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Sept. 24, 2004

Americans in the crosshairs

by Alex Mazerov, Page Editor
On Sept. 13, despite numerous pleas from law enforcement groups and concerned Americans, the U.S. Congress and President Bush allowed the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons (SAWs) to expire. The law, which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994 as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, forbid the manufacture, sale and importation of 19 military-style, semiautomatic weapons and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Assault weapons were responsible for the deaths of 41 police officers between 1998 and 2001, and the TEC-9, a firearm outlawed by the ban, was used in the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School that left 12 students and a teacher dead. Our national leaders owe to it to their constituents and the families of gun victims to renew and strengthen the assault weapons ban.

In his 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush, then Governor of Texas, vowed to support the reauthorization of the assault weapons ban—a regulation he deemed “reasonable"—when it came up for a vote in 2004. As commander-in-chief, Bush maintained that he would sign a renewal passed by Congress if it reached his desk. But the president did nothing to ensure the continuance of this life-saving law. Bush didn’t lobby a single Congressional leader or deliver one speech backing the SAW ban. All signs point to the uber-political-influence-and-money-wielding National Rifle Association (NRA) as the primary cause of the federal government’s inaction.

By allowing the assault weapons ban to expire, Bush—whose re-election campaign has been largely based touting the president’s ability to combat terrorism— and Congress chose to make the jobs of terrorists easier. The 9/11 commission report stated that terrorists are encouraged to purchase assault weapons in the United States. As Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said on Sept. 14, “For the first time in 10 years, when a killer walks in a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, if they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they are going to hear one word—sure."

Several national opinion polls show that a majority of the American public support the renewal of the assault weapons ban. A survey by the Consumer Federation of America found that 74 percent of Americans support the ban’s renewal, as do 52 percent of gun owners. Another poll by the University of Pennsylvania's non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center in August and early September found that 68 percent of adults want Congress to extend the ban. Fifty-seven percent of people with a gun in their household support the extension and even 32 percent of NRA members support it.

Since the assault weapons ban was passed 10 years ago, the criminal use of SAWs decreased by 66 percent, according to statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The act was effective, but not nearly effective enough. The ban was passed more as a symbolic gun-control gesture than as an actual attempt to keep SAWs off the streets. As its opponents argue, the ban primarily covers cosmetic features of weapons not related to lethality. The law defined assault weapons as semiautomatic firearms that accept a detachable magazine and has at least two military-style features—such as a bayonet mount, flash suppressor or pistol grip. Obviously, this major loophole in the ban opened up many opportunities for gun manufacturers to get around the restrictions.

The recently expired assault weapons ban is not flawless, but an imperfect law is better than nothing. That’s precisely why it needs to be strengthened. The Consumer Federation of America poll found that 63 percent of Americans support such an improvement. A new ban that is all-encompassing and outlaws all SAWs across-the board, not just weapons with two or more ornamental features, must be passed.

Congress should still maintain the symbolism of and precedent set by the 10 year-old assault weapons prohibition in the hope that sometime in the future, a more independent and bold group of politicians in the federal legislative branch will be sensible enough to pass a law that truly protects the American people from these deadly weapons designed for mass killings.



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  • Brad on September 24, 2004
    I don't understand why the blame is placed on Bush, he is not responsible for the bills considered in Congress. His lobbying is not what gets laws passed. Those truly concerned about the automatic weapons ban would not worry about placing blame on Bush, but would rather write or call in to their congressperson expressing their discomfort to someone who actually has the ability to present legislation that would bring back or reinstate the ban. Instead, the beginning of this article looks like a partisan attack on the President, a move directed to hurt his hopes for re-election.
  • William O. Wrights on September 24, 2004
    Amendment II

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
  • Bill Arevalo (View Email) on September 24, 2004
    The writer of ths story was 6 years old when the Ban took place.

    Now he knows what is best for the entire country?

    We are a consitutional republic.
    Its the Bill of Rights, not The Bill of Polls or what is popular at a given time.
  • Barn (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    If the American people knew the whole truth they wouldn't think much of the ban. It did nothing and you are continuing to tell more lies. Your going to go the way of Dan Rather, everyday your misinformation is being exposed for the garbage it is.
  • Wildfire (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    I say this ignorant person is just parroting, the proven liar, Sara Brady and that the FBI and the Justice Department does not agree with this ignorant person’s claims: Fact: In 1994, you were eleven (11) times more likely to be beaten to death than to be killed by an “assault weapon”. (FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1994) This was before the Federal assault weapons ban. Was the ban in effect when Columbine happened? If a ban doesn’t work, only someone with no power of reason would promote it. Fact: Nationally, “assault weapons” were used in 1.4% of crimes involving firearms and 0.25% of all violent crime before the enactment of any national or state “assault weapons” ban. In many major urban areas (San Antonio, Mobile, Nashville, etc.) and some entire states (Maryland, New Jersey, etc.) the rate is less than 0.1% (Gary Kleck, “Targeting Guns”, 1997, compilation of 48 metropolitan police departments from 1980-1994) What is 1.4% minus the claimed “66%”? Fact: Even weapons misclassified as “assault weapons” (common in the Federal and California assault weapons confiscations) are used in less than 1% of all homicides. (FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1993) Fact: Police reports show that “assault weapons” are a non-problem: For California: Los Angeles: In 1998, of 538 documented gun incidents, only one (0.2%) involved an "assault weapon". San Francisco: In 1998, only 2.2% of confiscated weapons were "assault weapons". San Diego: Between 1988 and 1990, only 0.3% of confiscated weapons were "assault weapons". “I surveyed the firearms used in violent crimes...assault-type firearms were the least of our worries.”( S.C. Helsley, Assistant Director DOJ Investigation and Enforcement Branch, California, October 31, 1988) For the rest of the nation: Between 1980 and 1994, only 2% of confiscated guns were "assault weapons". Just over 2% of criminals that used guns used “assault weapons”. Fact: Only 1.4% of recovered crime weapons are models covered under the 1994 assault weapons ban. (From statewide recovery report from Connecticut (1988-1993) and Pennsylvania (1989-1994) Fact: In Virginia, no surveyed inmates had carried an assault weapon during the commission of their last crime, despite 20% admitting that they had previously owned such weapons. (Criminal Justice Research Center, Department of Criminal Justice Services, 1994) Fact: Most “assault weapons” have no more firepower or killing capacity than the average hunting rifle and “play a small role in overall violent crime”. (Philip McGuire, Handgun Control, Inc., April 7, 1989, New York Times) Fact: Only 1% of police officers murdered were killed using “assault weapons”. They were twice as likely to be killed with their own handgun. (“Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted”, FBI, 1994) Fact: Only 8% of criminals use anything that is classified (even incorrectly) as an assault weapon. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Firearm Use by Offenders”, November 2001) Fact: Criminals are as likely to carry single shot (derringer) handguns than they are to carry assault weapons.( Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Firearm Use by Offenders”, November 2001) Fact: "Assault rifles have never been an issue in law enforcement. I have been on this job for 25 years and I haven't seen a drug dealer carry one. They are not used in crimes, they are not used against police officers." (Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Firearm Use by Offenders”, November 2001) Fact: "Since police started keeping statistics, we now know that assault weapons are/were used in an underwhelming 0.026 of 1% of crimes in New Jersey. This means that my officers are more likely to confront an escaped tiger from the local zoo than to confront an assault rifle in the hands of a drug-crazed killer on the streets." (Deputy Chief of Police Joseph Constance, Trenton NJ, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Aug 1993) Thoughts: “Assault weapons” are large and unwieldy items. Even those misclassified handguns tend to be bigger than concealed carry will allow. Criminals (who incidentally disregard concealed carry laws) are unlikely to carry assault weapons. They are simply impractical for committing crime. Thoughts: Recall the Rodney King riots, when the police ran away and allowed the mobs to run wild to burn rob, destroy and kill, in that anti-gun city of Los Angeles. Every major news network carried footage of Korean storeowners sitting on the roofs of their stores, armed with “assault weapons”.( Washington Post, May 2, 1992) Those were the stores that did not get burned to the ground, and those were the people that were not dragged into the street and beaten by rioters. Fact: And speaking of the King riots and Korean store owners, “You can't get around the image of people shooting at people to protect their stores and it working. This is damaging to the [guncontrol] movement." (Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center, Washington Post, May 18, 1993) Fact: The Brady Campaign claims that “After the 1994 ban, there were 18% fewer assault weapons traced to crime in the first eight months of 1995 than were traced in the same period in 1994”. However they failed to note (and these are mentioned in the NIJ study) that: 1. “Assault weapons” traces were minimal before the ban (due to their infrequent use in crimes), so an 18% change enters the realm of statistical irrelevancy. 2. Fewer “assault weapons” were available to criminals because collectors bought-up the available supply before the ban. Fact: It is a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs.
  • Gordon Arthur DeSpain (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    The Assault Weapons Ban, aside from creating a designation of Weapon that did not exist before, was faulty in more ways than you can imagine. Because, for one thing, it was never written to affect criminals, only Law Abiding Citizens.

    Josh Sugarmans (founder of Handgun Control Inc.) definition of the term he created: Anything from a Fingernail to a B-2 Bomber that can cause harm or death to a person, is an Assault Weapon. An "Assault Rifle," is a Military Weapon capable of "Select" or "Fully-Automatic Fire, which have been highly regulated since 1934, but, legal to own. If you want to jump through the Hoops, and, leap all the Hurdles, you can legally buy one today, and, I have friends who both own and shoot "Assault Rifles."

    But, how many Criminals buy their weapons legally? How many will obey a Law intended to make them Register their Weapons? How many even think about what is legal, and, what is not.

    The "Brady Law" and the "Assault Weapons Ban," were ineffective and destructive of society, causing escalating Crime rates in States that do not have "Shall Issue" Concealed Carry Laws. Meanwhile, Criminals proved the point that they are not their "Weapons of Choice," by 'not' using them in their more frequent and violent crimes (in States and Cities with Draconian Gun Laws), and, causing a 66% drop in the less than 2% of all Crimes that is represented as "committed with Assault Weapons." How much is 66% of 2%? It's a drop of 1.32% to 0.68%, which is within the natural fluctuations since 1993, which has been as low as 0.003%.

    Ask yourself: Why would Terrorists spend thousands of Dollars to get here, and, pay at least a thousand Dollars for an "Assault Weapon," when there are people in the Middle East who will 'give' them "Assault Rifles." Then, deliver them to a drop spot in your hometown, and, pay their way here to use them...against Citizens you've disarmed?

    The "Assault Weapons Ban" was just another elitist Left Wing assault on the Constitution, and, America...and, nothing less than an exercise in a "Conspiracy to Commit Tyranny" against the People.

    ("With Reservation of all Constitutional Rights")
  • Joe on September 25, 2004
    When guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.
  • Eric (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    >>>On Sept. 13, despite numerous pleas from law enforcement groups<<< That is, politically-appointed officials, as opposed to the rank-and-file officers, who overwhelmingly understand that privately-held firearms, including so-called "assault weapons", are no threat to them, and who wholeheartedly SUPPORT said private ownership. >>>Assault weapons were responsible for the deaths of 41 police officers between 1998 and 2001, and the TEC-9, a firearm outlawed by the ban, was used in the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School that left 12 students and a teacher dead.<<< IF true (the first part of that stat, I suspect, is not - looks like a Brady soundbyte later exposed to refer to ALL rifle types used to slay police, rather than just so-called "assault weapons"), all that really shows is that, as the NRA, GOA, JPFO, and other pro-rights groups have said for 10 years, that the so-called ban did nothing except infringe upon the rights of those who were never any part of the problem. For this, we should renew and expand it? I think not. >>>Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said on Sept. 14, "For the first time in 10 years, when a killer walks in a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, if they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they are going to hear one word—sure." <<< He lied. The same restrictions laid against criminal possession and use of firearms are still in place tody as they were last year. Besides, why should Al-Qaeda come here to buy semi-auto's individually for hundreds of dollars apiece, when they can get real assault rifles (select-fire, that is - the newspapers would call them "machine guns", and be right for a change) by the crate for $50 a pop? >>>Several national opinion polls show that a majority of the American public support the renewal of the assault weapons ban.<<< Fortunately, this is still America, and my rights are not to be dictated by opinion polls. Fortunately also, YOUR rights are not to be dictated by opinion polls, either. You wish this to change? >>>The recently expired assault weapons ban is not flawless, but an imperfect law is better than nothing. <<< Perhaps if one regards Big Brother/nannygov to be the be-all end-all answer for everything. Among those of us capable for thinking for ourselves, such an attitude is 180-degrees-out from reality, where it is expected that people can think and care for themselves, and be responsible for their own actions. Come join us, you might like it. >>>A new ban that is all-encompassing and outlaws all SAWs across-the board, not just weapons with two or more ornamental features, must be passed. <<< Really eager to start Civil War II, aren't you? There are 80+ million gun owners in this country who've never done anything wrong, and you blithely advocate violation of their - OUR - rights rather than deal with the real issue (criminals do bad things). >>>Congress should still maintain the symbolism of and precedent set by the 10 year-old assault weapons prohibition in the hope that sometime in the future, a more independent and bold group of politicians in the federal legislative branch will be sensible enough to pass a law that truly protects the American people from these deadly weapons designed for mass killings. <<< LOL! Bought into media hype, didn't you? Well, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, none of you victim-disarmament types ever has your head on straight, or is able to debate the issue on FACTS. If it weren't for strident emotionalism, you'd have nothing. These are semi-auto rifles firing medium-powered cartridges considerably less-powerful than your average hunting round, or handguns with odd features, or semi-auto shotguns with too large a magazine tube, all of which >LOOK< mean. That's all, and is the only meaningful criteria to apply to the previously-restricted weapons. They >LOOK< mean. Forget that my co-worker's deer rifle can easily shoot through both sides of a soft-armor vest, and his elk rifle can shoot through any commercially-available vest-armor plate. Forget that my Kimber .45 is far more accurate and reliable a handgun than the TEC-9 used by murderous teens at Columbine (and thank God they used handguns and shotguns in their rampage, distracting them from properly completing propane bombs intended to kill 500 students in the cafeteria!). Forget that far more shotguns than ALL types of rifles combined are used in criminal activity - and that el-cheapo Saturday-Night-Specials are preferred above either of those far-more-deadly weapons, since they can be had (or MADE!) for far less money. In point of fact, the so-called "assault weapon" ban was utterly WORTHLESS - except as an incremental infringement upon the rights of tens of millions of Americans who've never done anything wrong. As an example of Fabian tactics, it excelled. For that reason alone, it was worth killing. It was a bad law. Bad laws deserve to die. It got what it deserved.
  • Informed citizen on September 25, 2004
    The SAME guns you can buy now, you could buy for the last ten years, just minus the bayonet lug, flash hider, and folding stock. Clearly, 'Alex' the so called "staff writer" just cut and pasted this article from the talking points of the gun ban groups he/she found on the internet. Hey 'Alex', how about disclosing the name of the gun ban group(s) who wrote "your" article! How about checking your facts once in a while! Alex,so called "assault weapons" function the same as any other semi auto. Sorry to bother you with reality genius!
  • W HUDSON (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    ALEX;
    PERHAPS YOU WOULD BE INTERESTED, AS I WOULD, IN A POLL THAT ASKED IF AMERICANS THOUGHT THAT ALL JOURNALISTS SHOULD BE LICENESED AND REGISTERED.
    I DON'T BELIEVE IN POLLS. I HAVE BEEN ALIVE FOR OVER 50 YEARS AND A REGISTERED VOTER FOR OVER 30 OF THOSE YEARS AND HAVE NEVER BEEN POLLED. PERHAPS, BECAUSE I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO THAN TALK TO SOME TELEMARKETER.
    THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR YOU TO REMEMBER IS THAT THE SECOND AMMENDMENT IS THE TEETH OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS WICH IS WHAT ALLOWS YOU THE FREEDOM TO SPILL YOUR OPINIONS.
    THE SECOND AMMENDMENT IS NOT ABOUT HUNTING OR EVEN SELF-DEFENSE, IT IS ABOUT BEING ABLE TO SUSTAIN THIS REPUBLIC AGAINST ALL ENEMIES 'FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC'.
  • Mark (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    September 20, 2004 -- NEW YORKERS are at least four times as likely to be punched to death than to be killed with an assault-style rifle, unpublished state crime statistics show.
    The eye-opening figures — obtained by The Post from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services — reveal that New Yorkers are also at least twice as likely to be clubbed to death than shot dead by an attacker wielding one of the semi-automatic rifles previously covered by a federal government ban that expired last week.

    The most recent statewide statistics — murder-by-weapon-type figures from 2002 — also show that New Yorkers are at least five times as likely to be stabbed to death with a knife than they are to be shot with an assault rifle.

    Of 893 murders committed two years ago, just 22 — or slightly over 2 percent — were carried out using some form of rifle, including assault-rifles, the figures show.
  • John De Marco (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    If people that read the newspaper and watch television news get all their information about any subject all polls are flawed.
    media is hopelessly biased against firearms. We only get the information they want us to hear. Why would anyone want to lead around by the nose?
    If you do your own research and formed your own opinions the polls on all firearm laws would reverse. That is of course if get your information from non biased organizations. The CDC has said that their is no evidence that the assault weapons ban was effective in saving any lives. And the incident at Columbine happened with the ban in place.
  • Andrew C. on September 25, 2004
    1) SAW is not the standard acronym for semi-auto assault weapons, is it? I thought SAWs were squad automatic weapons...

    2) Mr. Bill of Rights, we all know that there are some parts of the Constitution that are outdated. Amend II is one of the most debated, because we don't need militias anymore. For the "security of a free State", we now have the Armed Forces.
  • DanH (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    This is an interesting article that has absolutely no substance. Rather, it only echos misinformation about a restriction that the author apparently did not research too hard.

    If a "semi-automatic assault weapons" is not "cosmetic features of weapons not related to lethality" then what is one?

    Full-auto has already been covered by laws from 1934, 1968, 1986 and outlawed for importation in 1989 so it cannot be that.

    The semi-auto versions of AK shoots a round that is close to the 30-30, one of the lowest powered hunting rounds allowed for deer. So you advocate banning low powered semi-auto rifles that look mean? Interesting.

    DanH
  • AJ Kurpjuweit (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    Read the DOJ study that Mazerov got his 66% reduction in criminal use of "SAWs" from. DOJ's own findings showed that the ban had no appreciable effect on crime. The 66% reduction number was from a sample size so small that it was statistically insignificant. But I guess it is a case of "liars figure".

    So 63% of Americans support renewing a stronger ban? Once in this country an overwhelming majority supported slavery. That still didn't make it right.
  • John Mitchell (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    Before writing an article, make the effort to do your research and get your facts straight first. Your lack of understanding in the matter is clearly apparent, and does nothing to aid your credibility.
  • lynn (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    You need to do some researh before you go shooting off your mouth.You don't have a clue. Quoting statistics from gun-ban wacko extremists like Brady campaigne or VCP just makes you look like a baffoon.
  • Gordon (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    First of all, semiautomatic weapons are NOT designed for mass killings. The are designed for more efficient feeding of rounds to the chamber and require you to pull the trigger each time you fire a round. If you were to ban all semiautomatic weapons, as is demanded here, there are still plenty of weapons available which fire just as quickly, revolvers for instance. Secondly, the AK47 is regulated by the law enacted in the 1930 against automatic weapons which is still in effect. You can still own one, you just have to pay the $200 fee and file the necessary forms with the ATF. What you are talking about banning here is all hunting rifles, most shotguns, all pistols, most of which are used for self-defense. So, the object is obviously NOT to make us safer, but to make us more defenseless against criminals, who by definition do not obey the law. And it is ludicrous to think a terrorist would pay hundreds of dollars to buy a gun here when they can get them for free from other countries.
  • f s arnold (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    Same old liberal blather!!

    The 1994 AWB was a sham from the begining..it did not affect legal mechineguns..which BTW are LEGAL in 38 states.

    It only banned some guns with SOME "military-looking" features..things like flash suppressors, bayonet lugs, collapsible stocks and simple pistol grips: things that LOOK scary to liberals...

    It did not do ANYTHING to ban semi-automatic guns which did NOT have these features..and was about as sensible as the gvt banning some people..and then telling folks that it was because they "look scary"!!! I

    t ws a feely-good measure designed to placate sokkermomz. Even the gvt admitted it did NOT stop crime, not did it deter CRIMINALS from buying guns on the black market..or simply STEALING them!!

    The muslim terrorists who killed 3500 Americans on 9-11-01 are walking around in their terror world with easily-obtainable fully-automatic AK47s, RPGs and explosives..all of which were not part of the 1994 AWB.

    Use logic!!! Terrorists do NOT walk into US gun stores, produce PICTURE IDS, get fingerprinted and buy their guns and walk out!! Only honest hard-working American taxpayers would put up with THAT!!

    IMHO the AWB inconvenienced honest American shooters and collectors and artificially increased the price of guns...ridiculous!!

    The 2A says the PEOPLE should be able to keep(own) and bear(carry and use) arms..it DOES NOT say only single shot rifles..it SAYS...arms. personal arms.....like the milittary carries .

    Get real folks....the semi-automatic rifles demonized by the leftists' AWB.... are the VERY rifles we should be buying to keep around to fight the terrorists who are killing us!!
  • Glenn Bowen (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    (") "For the first time in 10 years, when a killer walks in a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, if they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they are going to hear one word—sure."(")

    they could have done it any time since the ban was in place if they could pass a background check- I'm not a criminal or a terrorist, and I bought three such weapons in the last ten years legally. the ban sold more of these weapons than it "banned". and drove their price up.

    let's assume terrorists don't go to gunshows and gunshops. they don't- to assume so is ridiculous.

    society will always have a percentage of people who are willing to abuse their fellows- that is the "gun control" problem, not the guns. the greater the limitation to firearms access, the less one's right to self-defense exists. look to the United Kingdom, look to our major urban areas.

    the constitution is not offered on a cafeteria basis. you get it all, or you get none of it. living in a free society involves personal responsibility of individuals, not response of a government to what might be a popular, but unconstitutional, idea. living in a free society involves *risk*.

    BTW, all "weapons", whatever they are composed of, are "lethal".
  • Scott A. Hyde (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    Alex,

    Did you know that the 1994 Assault Weapon's ban prohibited me, a soldier, from buying high capacity magazines for my issue M9 magazines to replace the worn out equipment issued to me by the Army prior to deploying to Iraq last year? I had to spend over $50 each to buy older, so called pre ban magazines. A current production law enforcement magazine was selling for about $15 at the time. I spent $200 on 4 magazines because my life depended on that equipment but that was $200 my family had to do without. Had I bought the law enforcement only magazines I and the dealer selling them to me would have been committing a crime.
    You are young and impressionable. Your ignorance is obvious. You have merely repeated articles written by the anti gun left again and again. The 94 ban did nothing to curb crime. What it did do was increase the demand for the banned weapons and magazines. Those that never consisdered owning one in 1993 have 10 of them today and a few hundred magazines. If you want people to buy a lot of something, ban it and watch the demand go through the crazy! More guns were sold from 1994 to 2004 than from post WWII to 1994. How could that be?
    Do a bit more research and find out exactly how many shootings involved SAWs before and during the ban. Less than 1% of all shootings combined. The ban increased demand and did nothing to curb crime. Bans and laws only impact those that follow the rules. Criminals don't give a darn about rules. That is why tey are criminals. They prefer to steal guns or get a $50 nickel plated Lorcen instead of a $1,000 AR15. AR15s are kind of hard to stash under your coat too!
  • H. FLORES (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    I, disagree with your view. I am a police officer and Iraqui war veteran and do not believe the AWB did anything to keep us safer. The ban was anti second ammendment, thats our right. I do not believe the government should infringe on the constitution. In Isreal to combat terrorism and events like Colinbine the government issues out assault weapons to qualified people: teachers, students, former military members. Now instead of putting down something you don't understand fully, why don't you go to a local range and learn what the weapons and ideas are about. Try seeing things from the other side, you may even like it and join in.
  • Keith Gilbert (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting...it is about US citizens being able to protect themselves from each other and our government.

    Only a Facist or Communist would attempt to disarm our citizens at a time when we, all of US, are under dire threat from islamic terrorist worldwide and at home.

    I certainly don't trust or expect local law enforcement to be able to protect me in good times...certainly not in times like these.

    Diesel
  • varun g. on September 25, 2004
    To respond to Glenn Bowen:
    Yes, it is true that citizens could have legally obtained guns through a background check, but the ban never "sold" more weapons than it banned. Putting a restriction on some weapons does not mean that the ban "sold" the rest. The ban's purpose was to make it difficult to obtain those weapons that caused the many unlawful deaths of innocent lives throughout the united states. And that is what it did.

    There is no way one can assume that terrorists and killers do not go to gunshows and gunshops. Actually, without the ban, this only ameliorates the process for them, and creates an incentive for them to go to these outlets. It's like giving them an option of entering someone's house by going through the door or climbing through the chimney. Obviously, they would go through the door.

    You say that the greater the limitation on firearms access, the less one's right to self-defense exists. Self-defense does not entail guns and violence. No one has the right to kill or harm another person, and two wrongs do not make a right. If someone confronts you and holds a gun to your head, you have the right to self-defense. But what are the chances that at that moment, you have access to your mode of "self-defense," or your gun? If you are talking about long term defense in situations when you do can use your weapon, then it becomes obsolete - the police and the law are there to carry out justice, so there is no need to take matters into your own hand.

    Keep in mind that the amendment to the Constitution was made at a time of post-crisis; the United States wanted to ensure the rights of the public, and at that time, had just barely set up a law enforcement system. In context, their main goal was to make sure that citizens were protected from over-ruling federal powers.
  • Gary Mehalik (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    If "assault rifles" are evil, how come Senator John Kerry says he owns one? See:http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2004/092004/09222004/1510706 John Kerry and assault weapons: Takes one to own one? Date published: 9/22/2004 CHASTISING PRESIDENT BUSH for allowing the ban on assault weapons to lapse, Sen. Kerry charged in a speech on Sept. 10 that "America's streets will not be safe because of a choice George Bush is making" and that "in the al-Qaida manual on terror, they were telling people to go out and buy assault weapons, to come to America and buy assault weapons." Furthermore, "Every law-enforcement officer in America doesn't want us selling assault weapons in the streets of America," he claimed. Strong words from the Democratic candidate. But now we read in the October issue of Outdoor Life that Mr. Kerry himself may have one of these nefarious firearms. Asked if he was a gun owner and, if so, what was his favorite gun, the man from Massachusetts said, "My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam. I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle." An assault rifle? Egads! So what is Mr. Kerry's philosophy, exactly? Outlaw guns, so only lawmakers can have them? Date published: 9/22/2004 [Gary Mehalik] FYI -- the sale of any firearm at retail, whether in a gun store or at a gun show, can only be completed after an FBI criminal records background check. That's been the law since 1998. Persons prohibited from buying a gun include non-residents, criminals, those dishonorably discharged from the military, drug addicts and others. Is the FBI giving permission for al-Qaida terrorists to buy guns? http://www.nssf.org Also, FROM:http://www.thestate.com/mld/state/news/opinion/9735743.htm Assault weapons ban deserved its fate By CARLOS A. CUEVAS Guest columnist The assault weapons ban finally ended Sept. 13. Discussing the ban’s demise with friends on both sides of the issue during the past months, I grew less and less surprised by the pro-ban crowd’s arguments. It came down to two groups supporting the ban. One is vehemently anti-gun, and no amount of discussion ever will change that. The other based their support on lack of information or a steady diet of pure misinformation by the anti-gun zealots. They had been duped, and once enlightened, a few were genuinely embarrassed. To those who were willing to listen with an open, analytical mind, I offered some truth. One of the most common pro-ban arguments I heard was that it would keep machine guns off the streets. Actually, the ban had nothing to do with machine guns (fully automatic weapons). They have been strictly controlled by the National Firearms Act since 1934. In 1986, new machine guns were banned from private possession. Another argument is that the ban’s end would start a flood of AK-47s and M-16s. Surprise! The semi-automatic — non-machine gun — versions of these guns have been for sale legally throughout the ban. If, as the anti-gunners will argue, the ban has somehow equated to a decline in murders committed with the assault weapons — though they have actually been on sale the whole time — then it could be argued the ban actually was ineffective. In fact, a 1999 report by the National Institute for Justice concluded, “the banned guns are used in only a small fraction of gun crimes; even before the ban, most of them rarely turned up in law enforcement agencies’ requests to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) to trace the sales histories of guns recovered in criminal investigations.” So, what did the ban actually do? First, it classified certain guns incorrectly as assault weapons based entirely on cosmetic features, and banned those features. It had nothing to do with the way the weapons operate, which, technically, is semi-automatically, a system of operation used for more than 100 years. The gun-haters try to have you think the semi-autos and machine guns are synonymous and that these types of guns were behind all crime. Since 1934, only one legally owned machine gun has been used in a crime. In reality, the zealots just didn’t like the way the guns looked. Aside from banning features, the ban’s other misguided goal was preventing further sale to law-abiding citizens of magazines holding more than 10 rounds, an arbitrary number having no correlation to being able to reduce crime. Again, the National Institute for Justice report: “Given the limited use of the banned guns and magazines in gun crimes, even the maximum theoretically achievable preventive effect of the ban on outcomes such as the gun murder rate is almost certainly too small to detect statistically.” The only thing the magazine ban achieved was driving the price of grandfathered magazines into the unaffordable range. Of course, this had no affect on criminals. I personally believe the freedom for a private citizen to own the gun of his choice is specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. I don’t care that the Founding Fathers did not talk expressly about my owning an AK-47 with a 30-round magazine. It doesn’t matter, because they were looking at a broader cause and cementing the rights of the people. If you want to effect change with gun-related crime, go after the criminals, not the Constitution. Misguided, born in the minds of opportunists and fed by hatred and misinformation, the assault weapons ban is dead, and I am glad. Mr. Cuevas is a resident of Blythewood.
  • A.P. (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    "Only a Facist or Communist would attempt to disarm our citizens at a time when we, all of US, are under dire threat from islamic terrorist worldwide and at home."

    Was there a terrorist attack by muslims after 9/11 in US? Or did I miss something.

    And what precisely do you mean by "right to bear arms"? Is there a law prohibitting me from owning a Abrams tank?

    And if you don't trust or expect local law enforcement to be able to protect you, why do you pay the taxes that go in their paychecks?

    Pesonally I believe that the act was passed in order to protect the government from the people if they should rise up in a rebellion. The whole idea, though, still looks stupid even in such crazy interpretation.
  • Big Jim on September 25, 2004
    One of the first things Hitler did when comming into power is ban guns from civilians. So when he did cruel things, nobody could do anything about it. So, for those Liberals who think Bush is just a reincarnation of Hitler, his allowing of this bill to end obviously proves otherwise.
  • Melissa Arevalo (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    I am a woman.

    I carry a gun, have gone through all the background checks.

    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." -Sigmund Freud

    You are just a kid. Realize that is you got sent off to this WAR you when then be using true assault weapons.

    Stick to the Acne, the dating girls and homework and leave the Constitution to the Adults.
  • Howard (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    It appears that you are studying to become a journalist. You are doing a good job.
    You can cut and paste, and you've learned to accept information without confirming facts or sources. Keep up the good work. Dan Rather would be proud of you.
  • bob on September 25, 2004
    The second ammendment also talks about a militia belonging to THE STATE. How many states that you know have a militia? It says that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    Also, back then their version of weapon was a musket. To Scott Hyde, why didn't the army buy you a new one? They should have.

    I have mixed feelings about this, I just pointed out what people on the other side were saying since most of you seem to oppose the ban.

    Basically, I think that no matter what, criminals are going to get weapons. They could get these weapons with the ban and did. But on the other hand you hear a lot about how a kid died or something because they accidentally set a rifle off. What if they accidentally shot an assult riffle instead of just a regular rifle?

    I think the main point also is that you could still buy an assult riffle under the ban, it just couldn't look like one. But to Keith if you read the ammendment the guns are actually for a militia. About protecting ourselves, why would you need an asult riffle anyway? And the constitution definately isn't about us protecting ourselves from the government. And you talk about how people are so and so more likely to buy from so and so than an assult riffle. Well if you want it to be like that, I'm sure we could come up with a lot more analagies like that to terror attacks, so why worry about stopping terror? In the US I would bet (don't know for sure) that more people have died from assult riffles than on 9/11. I'm still undecided on this issue. I'm not really trembling in fear because the ban expired, but I think the other side has some good points too.
  • 05magnet on September 25, 2004
    Melissa, although I do not agree with the the ban, I also do not agree with your "leave it to the adults reasoning". Not only is it very stupid as there are plenty of children much smarter than many adults, but for heaven's sake, YOU ARE POSTING IN A SCHOOL NEWSPAPER! If you think this is something to "grown up" for us kids, why don't you go take it to one of your "adult" forums then?

    Also, you might want to go back to school and learn some proper grammar while you're at it.
  • jeff (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    to melissa:
    "Stick to the Acne, the dating girls and homework and leave the Constitution to the Adults. "
    wow, you have no idea what you're talking about. you might have been some ignorant little girl when you were a teenager, but that doesnt mean that everybody is indifferent and frankly, ignorant, as you are/were/probably will be. after all, is america not the country we "kids" live in? so why are you critisizing us for determining and playing a part in our futures? i would trust alex, along with any of us "kids" more than you.
  • billy joe (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    "Since the assault weapons ban was passed 10 years ago, the criminal use of SAWs decreased by 66 percent, according to statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The act was effective, but not nearly effective enough"....when all of you read this, did you just happen to ignore this part?
    to eric: In this paragraph, Alex proved your point. Many of you stated that the ban did not reduce crime. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT ALEX IS SAYING. He is saying that this ban was inadequate, and to use his words, "ceremonial." He is absolutely correct, and he is also correct in saying that the law needs to be strengthened. All of your statements further prove his argument. Its sad how when people dont have actual coherent logic to prove their points, they tend to resort to ad hominem attacks, and how some people refuse to look at both sides of the issue, as well as immediately dismissing it as liberal.

    furthermore, the constitution is outdated in many sections, WHICH IS THE EXACT REASON THAT THERE IS AN AMENDMENT PROCESS. the second amendment was put in explicitly after lexington and concord when the british took away american's guns; they were to maintain a militia, something we now call the armed forces, so in the somewhat words of melissa: "stick to the ignorance and personal attacks, and leave the constitution to people who actually know what they're doing and who actually think before they waste their breath in saying meaningless things."

    also, to howard:
    its called quoting reliable information, not "cut and paste". furthermore, there is a reason that this section is marked "opinions". just because alex here tends to disagree does not mean he is a bad journalist at all, and if you haven't read anything else he's written means you're guilty of what you are exactly accusing him of. so before you open your mouth, why dont you "confirm facts" yourself?
  • Wildfire (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    Bob, please reread your post and make some corrections. It makes you appear to not have a clue about what you are talking about. “The second ammendment also talks about a militia belonging to THE STATE.” "A well regulated Militia, being necessary TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE State” It is needed to SECURE the FREEDOM of the State; it does NOT say the militia BELONGS to the State Government. “How many states that you know have a militia?’ EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” — George Mason, during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788) "the militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense……ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time." The Supreme Court US vs. Miller Use common sense here. If you were called to defend the State, from enemy foreign or domestic, as the SUPREME COURT stated, would you want to do so with a musket? “Also, back then their version of weapon was a musket.” That was the “Assault Weapon” of their day. It was the most advanced firearm of an infantryman. It is always best to meet the enemy equally or superiorly armed. ”I have mixed feelings about this, I just pointed out what people on the other side were saying since most of you seem to oppose the ban.” What “the other side” is saying, is devoid of common sense. There is no need for a person with cognitive thought to repeat the ignorance and lies of what the clueless talking heads parrot daily. “The People” need to hear facts and the TRUTH. ”But on the other hand you hear a lot about how a kid died or something because they accidentally set a rifle off. What if they accidentally shot an assult riffle instead of just a regular rifle?” There are two major points; 1) They had not received proper gun safety training, thanks in a large part to the anti-freedom crowd like the Brady group. (Here’s a question for you. All these groups such as Handgun Control, Center for Prevention of Gun Violence, etc. CLAIM to be for gun SAFETY and NOT gun banning and confiscation, and the NRA is “a Right wing nut” group . . . which organization trains cops? Second note: Hitler was a LEFT winger, NOT a “Right winger”.) 2) The damage would be LESS, due to the lower power of the “assault weapon” than if it had been a “regular” hunting rifle. ”I think the main point also is that you could still buy an assult riffle under the ban, it just couldn't look like one.” Assault Rifles have been tightly controlled since 1934. “But to Keith if you read the ammendment the guns are actually for a militia.” Again: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” — George Mason, during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788) "the militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense……ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time." The Supreme Court US vs. Miller “About protecting ourselves, why would you need an asult riffle anyway?” Can you not remember all the way back to the “Rodney King Riots” in LA? When the cops ran away and left the innocent law-abiding citizen to the roving mobs? What businesses were NOT torched? The ones with the Korean shop keepers on the roof with these very same guns! LEARN from HISTORY! Name the mass killing of the innocent, Holocaust, genocide, workplace shooting, or school shooting, where the victims were NOT disarmed either by Government law or “Company Policy” neither of which the murderers obeyed. “And the constitution definately isn't about us protecting ourselves from the government.” Says who? It is to INSURE the PEOPLE the means of overthrowing a tyrannical government should the need ever arise AGAIN. (Remember: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary TO THE SECURITY OF A FREE State”?) “In the US I would bet (don't know for sure) that more people have died from assult riffles than on 9/11.” Do you often bet . . . not knowing ANYTHING about what you are betting ON? The FBI and the DOJ say you owe me money! (Read my post below if you want to lean something. And LOOK IT UP! Don’t take my word for it! See for YOURSELF what the FACTS are! If someone says “It’s dropped 66%!” READ THE DATA! Don’t just swallow anything you are fed! USE common sense!) “I'm still undecided on this issue. I'm not really trembling in fear because the ban expired, but I think the other side has some good points too.” WHAT “good points”? The 1994 law only prohibits manufacturers from producing firearms with TWO OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING features: RIFLES Folding/telescoping stock (And how is this more dangerous? Shortens a rifle, but still MUCH longer than a pistol.) Protruding pistol grip (And how is this more dangerous?) Bayonet mount (How is it dangerous at all? It’s only a small nub of metal. Had a rash of drive-by bayonetings?) Threaded muzzle or flash suppressor (And how is this more dangerous? The flash and noise is still tremendous, and “silencers” are already federally controlled.) Grenade launcher (How is it dangerous? A grenade launcher without the GRANADES, which the legal public has never had nor have they ever been used in a crime, is AN APPLE CORER.) PISTOLS Magazine outside grip (And how is this more dangerous?) Threaded muzzle (How is it dangerous? “Silencers” are already federally controlled.) Barrel shroud (And how is this more dangerous?) Unloaded weight of 50 ounces or more (And how is this more dangerous?) Semi-automatic version of a fully automatic weapon (And how is this more dangerous? They are STLL semi-auto and VERY had to convert. The conversion itself is already a federal crime.) SHOTGUNS Folding/telescoping stock (And how is this more dangerous? The gun is STILL larger than a pistol.) Protruding pistol grip (And how is this more dangerous?) Detachable magazine capacity (And how is this more dangerous? The 20 gauge I hunted squirrels with when I was 8 had this feature.) Fixed magazine capacity greater than 5 rounds (The cops, who encounter fewer criminals than average citizens, and usually have the backup of other cops when they do encounter criminals have full capacity shotguns. Why shouldn’t the law-abiding citizen as well?) Use common sense, and decide where the danger of the “Assault Weapon Ban” actually lies . . . with the INFRINGMENT of "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."
  • Michael Bushnell (View Email) on September 25, 2004
    "Only a Facist or Communist would attempt to disarm our citizens at a time when we, all of US, are under dire threat from islamic terrorist worldwide and at home."

    Unless Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or Osama bin Laden is gonna break into my house, I dont see how that matters.

    I'm for this bill getting an extreme makeover, because its a good plan, just not effective the way it was. The bill the way it was stunk, and didnt do anything to curb gun violence.

    I'm just glad that now people can cary bayonettes so now hunters can stab their deer.

    "The muslim terrorists who killed 3500 Americans on 9-11-01 are walking around in their terror world with easily-obtainable fully-automatic AK47s, RPGs and explosives..all of which were not part of the 1994 AWB."

    You're right and wrong. You mention guns that made the 94 AWB a joke, but using 9/11 was wrong; they used $3 box cutters that you can get at Home Depot.

    The 2nd amendment is outdated, but is what it is. What America needs is to mandate ballistic fingerprinting, and to teach gun responsibilty and to mandate locks, etc. Very, very few people need guns in the U.S. who are not cops.
  • brian on September 25, 2004
    melissa, you call yourself an "adult"?

    What is "Realize that is you got sent off to this WAR you when then be using true assault weapons" supposed to mean. Go to school and learn some English.
  • CozInCowtown (View Email) on September 26, 2004
    The AWB was nothing but a slap in the face of law abideing citizens and a slap on the back to criminals.
    If we are/were safer when the AWB was in place then why not apply this logic to other areas of our lives, say ban radios and cellphones in autos, lotsa folks killed or hurt that way. A whole lot more than are hurt/killed with assault weaons.
    How about in the home, cleaning chemicals, lotsa kids get into them each year, ban them.
    Our physicians we so depend on to keep us well, more people die from malpractice than accidental gunshot wounds. Ban them.
    The logic is flawed as is those who would rely on this logic to stage their beliefs.
    It is not about what I/we need, it is about what I/we want and haveing the freedom to do so.
    If this country wants to "take a bite out of crime" then harsh punishment to those who would break our laws is what it is gonna take. Something we might learn from Muslim countries.
    Murder somebody, you get the death penalty. No matter if you use an assault weapon or not.
    Steal something, loose a hand. More and more laws and less freedom is not the answer to this "crime" problem, they only affect the honest and law abideing IMO.
    Coz
  • Numbar Won (View Email) on September 26, 2004
    Your a fool, do the research...properly and unbiasedly.. and you will see that the ban had no affect on crime. Where do u think thugs get automatic weapons? Black Market DUMMY. Plus, the bans calls semiauto weapons, assaualt wepaons, which is incorrect. Also, KID, you are more likely to get your skull bashed in by thugs with Louisville sluggers than shot by a Bushmaster rifle(m16type weapon). So now should we ban basball bats cuz they cause crime...what kind of thinkg is that??? You know what ban cars while your at it cuz i drive crazy; so i am capable of runnin 100's of innocent people over..Please. Fact is it is said out of 21 violent crime instances,one was involed the use of a "assault type weapon". All over instances were bats, clubs, and oh yes BARE HANDS. CAn You imagine getting beat to death..i sure cant cuz my .45 is on my hip ALL the TIME.
    Oh, open carry is legal in my state. Just in case you thought i wasn't a law abiding citizen..LOL!
  • Numbar Won on September 26, 2004
    Even during the ban, my MILITARY friend went to a pawn shop, purchased a AK-type weapon, with five round clip. American made-just had the AK action, same rounds(7.62x39mm) just not a real russain Automavo Kalashinkov(sp?) with minor mods he was able to fit a 30rd clip from a chinses ak47 to his SA 2000. Damn it sure looks like an assault weapon. hell with 3.5 lbs. trigger pull you could dump as fast as you could move your index finger. The law mostly banned attachments on these type of guns. Not automatics dummy, Regan banned those in like 89 or something. This election even though W suxx..I'll vote ..MY SPORT.
  • Numbar Won on September 26, 2004
    God, Fools. The type of calibers these banned weapons are weak. Compared to the gross amount of hunting calibers out there.. there is a huge difference in ballistics. Yeah a .22 can kill, but a m16 which is a .223 is nothing compared to a .300 magnum which can blow chunks of deer out and have the power to tear a man in half. Why do the anti gunners make false claims to gain suppoet.. these guys must be buddies with the reefer maddness fools.
  • Glenn Bowen (View Email) on September 26, 2004
    in response to varun g:

    (")Putting a restriction on some weapons does not mean that the ban "sold" the rest. The ban's purpose was to make it difficult to obtain those weapons that caused the many unlawful deaths of innocent lives throughout the united states. And that is what it did.(")

    sales went up.
    it was no more difficult to obtain them after the law was passed- go to the gunstore, pass the background check, put down the money, leave with the rifle.
    what you describe is what it didn't.

    (")There is no way one can assume that terrorists and killers do not go to gunshows and gunshops. Actually, without the ban, this only ameliorates the process for them, and creates an incentive for them to go to these outlets. It's like giving them an option of entering someone's house by going through the door or climbing through the chimney. Obviously, they would go through the door.(")

    as the situation is as I cited above, the terrorists would have been stocking up on semi-auto rifles for the last ten years, according to you. where are they?

    (")You say that the greater the limitation on firearms access, the less one's right to self-defense exists. Self-defense does not entail guns and violence. No one has the right to kill or harm another person, and two wrongs do not make a right.. the police and the law are there to carry out justice, so there is no need to take matters into your own hand.(")

    self defense does entail violence- if you are being threatened or attacked with violence, what does one do, submit to being beaten or killed? I really would rather be alive while my attacker's justice was being meted out; if you think the police are obligated to protect you as an individual, you are mistaken- and an individual certainly does have the right to take a life in the circumstance of defending his own. ask the Dahli Lama.

    (")the United States wanted to ensure the rights of the public, and at that time, had just barely set up a law enforcement system. In context, their main goal was to make sure that citizens were protected from over-ruling federal powers.(")

    the founders wanted to ensure their rights, and the constitution is proof that that is still the case. what "law enforcement sysytem"? law existed in America before and after the revolution. the "aim" of the constitution remains "to make sure that citizens were protected from over-ruling federal powers".

    are you under some bizarre impression that everything has changed and the rights specified in the constitution aren't needed?
  • Wildfire (View Email) on September 26, 2004
    billy joe Where can I see the data that says “the criminal use of SAWs decreased by 66 percent”? Where did it decrease? What city? What state? Where did the NUMBER “66 percent” come from? It was NOT from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms! If it DID come from the BATF . . . what report? If I SAID “The BATF said that ENDING the ban lowered criminal gun use by 600 percent!” This does not make it so! He using made up numbers. This makes him a bad journalist. Once again in 1994, you were eleven (11) times more likely to be BEATEN TO DEATH than to be killed by an “assault weapon”. (FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1994) This was BEFORE the Federal assault weapons ban. Did the ban prevent Columbine? What STOPPED the Pearl Mississippi School Shooting? (The vice principle with a GUN!) What STOPPED the Virginia Law School Shooting? (TWO ARMED students!) What prevented the massacre at Shoney’s in Anniston Alabama after the robbers who killed their victims the week before, had herded the customers into the walk-in cooler? (An armed CUSTOMER Thomas Glenn Terry!) Nationally, “assault weapons” were used in 1.4% of crimes involving firearms and 0.25% of all violent crime before the enactment of any national or state “assault weapons” ban. In many major urban areas (San Antonio, Mobile, Nashville, etc.) and some entire states (Maryland, New Jersey, etc.) the rate is less than 0.1%. (Kleck, “Targeting Guns”, 1997, compilation of 48 metropolitan police departments from 1980-1994) Even weapons misclassified as “assault weapons” (common in the Federal and California assault weapons confiscations) are used in less than 1% of all homicides. (FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1993) Fact: Police reports show that “assault weapons” are a non-problem: For California: Los Angeles: In 1998, of 538 documented gun incidents, only one (0.2%) involved an "assault weapon". San Francisco: In 1998, only 2.2% of confiscated weapons were "assault weapons". San Diego: Between 1988 and 1990, only 0.3% of confiscated weapons were "assault weapons". “I surveyed the firearms used in violent crimes...assault-type firearms were the least of our worries.”( S.C. Helsley, Assistant Director DOJ Investigation and Enforcement Branch, California, October 31, 1988) For the rest of the nation: Between 1980 and 1994, only 2% of confiscated guns were "assault weapons". Just over 2% of criminals that used guns used “assault weapons”. Fact: Only 1.4% of recovered crime weapons are models covered under the 1994 assault weapons ban.( From statewide recovery report from Connecticut (1988-1993) and Pennsylvania (1989-1994) “He is saying that this ban was inadequate, and to use his words, "ceremonial." “He is absolutely correct, and he is also correct in saying that the law needs to be strengthened.” Why do we need something "ceremonial" that’s only does HARM to the American people? Name the mass killing, where the victims were not first disarmed, be it Holocaust, genocide, workplace shooting or school shooting, where the victim s weren’t first disarmed either by Government law or “company policy”. Neither of which the murderers obeyed! Name the US city, where stricter gun laws have LOWERED the crime rate. (Hint: NONE!) What is the crime rate in cities with LAX gun laws? (Hint:LOWER! In fact, you always hear the anti-Freedom groups like Sara Brady’s screaming “DC’s gun violence rate is so HIGH, because Virginia’s gun laws are so LAX!” Really? Then use common sense and ask yourself “Then WHY AREN’T, if this is even vaguely TRUE, Virginia’s streets running with blood?”) “Its sad how when people dont have actual coherent logic to prove their points, they tend to resort to ad hominem attacks, and how some people refuse to look at both sides of the issue, as well as immediately dismissing it as liberal.” I’ve looked at both sides, I’ve studied both sides and I have learned that the anti-Rights side IS liberal and SOCIALIST. I’ve presented coherent logic. I have shown you mine, now show me yours. “the second amendment was put in explicitly after lexington and concord when the british took away american's guns; they were to maintain a militia, something we now call the armed forces” The Second Amendment is probably the most important Amendment it INSURES the others. And No, Freedom from a tyrannical Government will not be insured with the GOVERNMENT’S armed forces! THINK for yourself and use common sense. “just because alex here tends to disagree does not mean he is a bad journalist at all” WRONG! When he does NOT do the research and check his facts, and yet presents LIES as facts based on lies, this makes him a bad journalist.
  • Jon Brookstone on September 26, 2004
    how the heck did so many non-Blair students find this article?
  • Jon Brookstone on September 26, 2004
    Sorry, I believe I ment people where I said students.
  • Wildfire (View Email) on September 26, 2004
    To Michael Bushnell you write an interesting reply. “Unless Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or Osama bin Laden is gonna break into my house, I dont see how that matters.” What about if these named people, the terrorist, initiate an attack that has the criminal element found in most societies rioting in the streets; like LA during the “Rodney King Riots” when the police ran away and left parts of the city to the criminals? What businesses were not looted and torched? (Hint: The KOREAN businesses where the owner protected their families and homes with GUNS!) “I'm for this bill getting an extreme makeover, because its a good plan, just not effective the way it was.” WHY? Name the US city, where STRICTER gun laws, lowered gun or violent crimes. (Not a made up account, provide the source so it can be researched.) "Gun control has not worked in Washington D.C. The only people who have guns are criminals. We have the strictest gun laws in the nation and one of the highest murder rates. It's quicker to pull your Smith & Wesson than to dial 911 if you're being robbed."(Lt. Lowell Duckett, Special Assistant to DC Police Chief; President, Black Police Caucus, The Washington Post, March 22, 1996) “The bill the way it was stunk, and didnt do anything to curb gun violence.” Then WHAT is GOOD about it? “I'm just glad that now people can cary bayonettes so now hunters can stab their deer.” Has your area had a rash of drive-by-bayonetings? “You're right and wrong. You mention guns that made the 94 AWB a joke, but using 9/11 was wrong; they used $3 box cutters that you can get at Home Depot.” You are RIGHT! So the AWB had NOTHING to do with stopping terrorist or CRIMINALS. “What America needs is to mandate ballistic fingerprinting” Ballistic “fingerprints” CHANGE a little ever time the gun is shot, and is easily altered until they are of no legal value. This is an expensive and worthless idea. (“Feasibility of a Ballistics Imaging Database for All New Handgun Sales”, Frederic Tulleners, California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services, October, 2001 (henceforth “FBID”) The rifle used in the Martin Luther King assassination was test fired 18 times under court supervision, and the results showed that no two bullets were marked alike. ( “Ballistics 'fingerprinting' not foolproof”, Baltimore Sun, October 15, 2002) “Every test bullet was different because it was going over plating created by the previous bullet.” “to teach gun responsibility” This is a GREAT idea! “Very, very few people need guns in the U.S. who are not cops.” Firearms in private hands are used 2.5 million times each year to prevent crime, or 6,849 times every day (Gary Kleck, Criminologist, Florida State University, 1997) Law Enforcement is about the SAFEST job in America. (Compare the less than 100 officers killed in the line of duty nation wide to the number of taxi drivers, convenience store clerks etc.) Most cops retire without ever using their guns in the line of duty. Ask any officer you like, to make a list of all the felonies he has stopped in progress. Then ask the same officer, to make a list of all the felony reports he has written. Which list is longer? And, EACH felony report, is a report that happened SO CLOSE to THAT officer, that he actually took the report, but did NOT stop the crime! The police FAVOR armed citizens! 92.7% of law enforcement officials believe that citizens should be able to purchase firearms for self-defense and sporting purposes. (National Association of Chiefs of Police, 1999 Police Survey) The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals. In Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981), the court stated: `[C]ourts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.” Well, except for politicians that receives taxpayer-financed bodyguards. The United States Department of Justice found that, in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence for which police had not responded within 1 hour. 95% of the time police arrive too late to prevent a crime or arrest the suspect. (Witkin, Gordon, Guttman, Monika and Lenzy, Tracy. “This is 911 ... please hold.” U.S. News & World Report, June 17, 1998) 75% of protective/restraining orders are violated and police often won't enforce them unless they witness the violation. (Ellen Sorokin, “Anti-stalking laws usually are unable to protect targets.” Washington Times, April 16, 2000) The US gun control policy was taken nearly word for word from the Nazi gun control policy. Is that REALLY a direction you feel we want to travel?
  • Anonymous on September 26, 2004
    To Jon, the internet of course.
  • varun g. on September 26, 2004
    In response to Glenn Bowen:

    The act wasn't made to prevent the sale of common rifles. It was made to prevent the sale of those semi-automatic weapons that were designed by military scientists to inflict the maximum level of damage to human beings, such as AK-47s and UZIs – the kind that, back then, was assumed to be what murderers, terrorists, and killers used. If you are saying that these rifles are still accessible, and people are purchasing them, then what they are doing is unlawful. Of course, the act was not that efficient in carrying out gun control. As Alex said, "That's precisely why it needs to be strengthened."

    I never said that they have been stocking up. I merely presented a metaphor, saying that it would make it easier for them to obtain these previously illegal guns at common gun outlets. And if you're wondering where they are, look at the numerous homicides that occur every year on the streets of the United States, our allegedly free country.

    You are right, self-defense obviously contains violence, but that does not mean a weapon is necessary. We always have martial arts. Like I said, the chance of you having a gun on you in the event of immediate confrontation is highly unlikely. There is a certain faith we must put in our government; if you maintain that you follow the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, then you must obviously abide by our country's own laws and justice system. And I would be glad to ask the Dalai Lama (not Dahli Lama) if I knew him.

    Sure, law enforcement existed in America before and after the revolution, but it was flawed. What we had was chaos and an unfair government, and under those circumstances the Constitution was created. The law enforcement system I refer to is our justice system; our way of bringing criminals behind bars, and our police force. And no, I am not under any "bizarre impression" that everything has changed. We still have certain rights; yet some are outdated, including that of the right to maintain a weapon.
  • ad hominem on September 26, 2004
    Why don't people on both sides grow up and attack the facts and not the writer? Your self-righteous attitudes do not help your cause.
  • Melissa Arevalo on September 26, 2004
    JEFF
    and
    05 Magnet
    and
    Brian

    Tell your argument to the next Columibine style victims. one Gun would have saved their lives not your moronic ideas. We live in a Constitutional Republic, read your school books a little harder, your not as smart as you think, but we already know this, your one of your senators has killed more people than my gun just drinking and driving, and then other one has admitted he's a war criminal and your STUPID parents keep electing these two.

    A "TRUE Assault weapon is FULLY AUTOMATIC. Not some semi-automatic copy that you children like to use in all your video games but have never even used in REAL LIFE.

    All you kiddies need to GO TO A GUN SHOW.
    All you kiddies need to GO READ THE BILL OF RIGHTS, not the Bill of "high school kiddies think it should be this is way because, well just beacuse, since we don't know what we are talking about".

    All you think guns are so EVIL, tell that argument to a young punk like yourself at the next high school party when some idiot pulls out a gun on you. You just stand there and tell him your argument and let's see who wins. Tell him how it is illegal for him to have it in the first place, tell him how you can't explain how criminals will always have guns anyway.

    Again, stick to your homecoming dances, football games, and enjoy it while it lasts.

    Your arguments will NOT hold water when you all enter the real world shortly.

    All you guys need to go hang out with Alex, he'll protect you with his backward logic.
  • Real Gun News on September 26, 2004
    Wondering how this thread got started?

    Wondering where to read about all the gun violence and REAL stories of self defense?

    Ever wonder why you might need a firearm?

    Mostly ANTI-gun articles, and some PRO gun ones TOO.

    Go here for the truth about guns, truth your teahcers can't tell you about because they will later be lambasted for, the truth newspapers won't print.

    KEEPANDBEARARMS.COM

    Now students, teachers, progun advocates, and every you anti gun people...........Have a nice day

    :)

  • wow on September 26, 2004
    To quote Melissa: "your not as smart as you think"

    haha, now what were you saying about the real world and moronic ideas?
  • ok on September 26, 2004
    In response to Melissa:
    (")Tell your argument to the next Columibine style victims. one Gun would have saved their lives not your moronic ideas.(")

    are you saying high schoolers should have guns?

    SOMEONE ARREST THIS LADY!!
  • drew (View Email) on September 26, 2004
    you quote statistics, a majority rule still can not change the constitution. it is yours and my responsibilty to protect each other, the police are here to clean up our mess. and the bottom line is: either you are for the bill of rights our you are against them, if you belong to the latter then its time for you to move, if you belong to the first then enjoy your freedom while it last, for it is surely going away opinions like this
  • Ekta Taneja on September 26, 2004
    Melissa - You keep admonishing us kids for being too "adult". Maybe you need to stop acting so childish. This forum isn't about adults vs. kids, you vs. me. This forum is about the Assault Weapons Ban, about its effectiveness or lack thereof. It irks me that all you can do is discourage us from expressing our views. Perhaps in your time, all kids did was worry about acne and dating and football games, but maybe now we've grown up a little. Maybe we realize that this world is going to be 'our' world soon, that this country is going to be 'our' stage. Maybe we're trying to have a mature discussion as to the prospect of our future. "your one of your senators has killed more people than my gun just drinking and driving, and then other one has admitted he's a war criminal and your STUPID parents keep electing these two" No senator is 'our' senator. If you recall correctly, most of us "kids" can't even vote yet; you 'adults' are the one who put the senators in power. And it may be our "stupid" parents who elect these backward senators, or it may be you. Although it might also be possible that our parents voted 'against' these senators, but were beat down by the majority. There are always two sides to every coin. You're probably right - likelihood is that we've never seen a real assault or semi-automatic weapon in our life. I personally would prefer to keep it that way. Letting everyone have access to arms doesn't seem like the way to go, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion, right? I would think so; that's what makes this country a free nation, a nation that allows everyone freedom of speech. "Kids" have as much a right to express their opinion and engage in spirited debate and discussion as do adults. Just because we don't have political or even adult influence yet does not diminish OUR rights. The situation you presented, of a "young punk" coming up to someone and putting a gun to their head - I agree, that wouldn't be the best time to launch into a lecture on how his possession of guns is illegal. But then maybe the scenario wouldn't arise in the first place if stricter gun regulations were enforced. I realize there are other alternatives when it comes to obtaining guns (namely the black market), and the govt. doesn't do enough, or doesn't have enough power, to control and limit access to those markets. The arena of gun control is in dire need of reform. Yes, people will always find loopholes, but that's a reality of life; the aim is to control and protect the 'majority' of the population. It will never be possible to extend control to the fringes of society. It's a sad truth, but one we have to live with. As for Columbine.. you say that one gun could have saved the lives of the unfortunate victims. "One gun" (or rather, two) is what the criminals, the bad guys had. I would feel extremely uncomfortable if any student in my school had "one gun" in his/her possession. Wouldn't you, if someone at your child's school had the power to threaten, maybe even extinguish the life of your child? Is that something you would advocate for? To put that power in a kid's hands? Because not everyone cares for just homecoming and dating.. some teens are out for some sort of twisted revenge, and we can't do anything to stop that, but the least we can do is not facilitate the process for them. Many people can and will argue that the assault weapons ban didn't have any significant impact in reducing crime rates. That's all well and good, but shouldn't that indicate that perhaps it's time to 'fix' that? I would think the best way to get around this is to 'modify' the ban, not to abolish it completely. I believe Alex's words were: "The recently expired assault weapons ban is not flawless, but an imperfect law is better than nothing. That's precisely why it needs to be strengthened." Yes, it wasn't effective, but then it becomes the duty of the government 'and' the people to amend the ban and MAKE it effective. The police may not have an obligation to protect citizens, but how many times have you felt the need to protect yourself and actually had a gun on hand? How many people in this nation walk around with a gun at their belt all day, every day the whole year round? I know I've never seen anyone do that. Perhaps it's legal in 'some' states, but it's illegal in many others. What do the people there do? Die in large numbers? I haven't heard of states being de-populated just because residents couldn't carry a gun for self-protection. Have you? Again, I personally do not think that every citizen is entitled to carry a gun. I do admit that the ban as it stood was ineffective at best, but any ban can be modified and strengthened. Yet, again, I won't force my opinion on anyone. I'm just here speaking for myself, and I encourage you to prove me wrong, to shoot down my arguments. I may even learn something from it - who knows? Have a nice day- Ekta T.
  • Melissa Arevalo (View Email) on September 26, 2004
    OK?.....no email address? Gutless@ok.com? You are so gutless you don't even fill out this form, just what I'd expect from a coward. No ninny. Those peoplw who stand in front of your classrooms, they are called adults. Adults can legal possess firearms, EXCEPT on school grounds. This stupid law helped kill 19 and injure 20 more when Clumbine happened. I guess Klebold and Harris didn't really care what a stupid law said huh? BUT HAD JUST ONE ADULT IN THE ENTIRE BUILDING BEEN ABLE TO CARRY THEIR FIREARM ON THEM, LIVES COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED. Sadly, Mr. ok.... You are too dense to realize that guns save lives just as much as they take them. Mr wow... again, also Gutless@wow.com? All you can do is laugh? I hope you have time to laugh should you have a Klebold or Harris of your own over there. Stop and realize by the time law enforcement gets there, you would already be dead VS. A legal to carry adult, be it a teacher, principal, janitor....whatever, would then be rapidly your friend in a worst case scenerio like this. Mr. ok.... and Mr. wow.... Stick to the comic books and trying to get a prom date. Again. Adults will protect you as usual. Kind like they do when bullies at your school get ready to beat you up. Funny how similar.
  • Freedom Lover (View Email) on September 26, 2004
    Perhaps as you get older you will learn to value freedom more than feel good laws. Want to save lives? Protect the unborn from abortion.
  • Roy Knight (View Email) on September 27, 2004
    Alex,
    First off I would like to comend you on your writing ability. I don't agree with you , but that's what makes America great, the right to choose and the right to express yourself. I am very pro 2nd amendment, and it apears that you are not. I see alot of people hear screaming and yelling about who is right and wrong. This matter can be solved very easilly, without new laws and regulations. Enforce the laws we currently have on the books. We have literally thousands of laws that have been written in the last 228 years this country has been around. It can also be solved by very simply letting me do what I am allowed to do by law, if you don't like what I am doing, do something you like to do. As long as I'm not infringing on your rights, what harm am I doing you? I also believe that it is a GOD given right to keep and bear arms, AS LONG AS IT FALLS WITHIN THE LAW. Several other have pointed this out as will I, fully automatic weapons are regulated by the U.S. Government. In the state I live in I can purchase a fully automatic weapon leagaly, ONLY after I have submitted to a background check by the FBI, ATFE,and who knows how many other groups, but only after I fill out the proper paperwork and have my local Chief of Police or Sherriff sign off that I have shown a logical request for such a weapon. Do I own a fully-automatic weaopn? No Do I own several semi-automatic weaopns? Yes I do, I also have four kids that I raise in the same house I keep my guns. I am resonsible enough to have purchased a safe that is kept locked at all times. I believe that it is an adults responsability to educate their kids about guns. I also strongly believe that their should be a law making the parent resonsible for crimes committed by their children if they use a gun not properly stored. Lastly I would like to comment about Columbine, I personally believe that their were enough people who droped the ball on that matter to personally say that I don;t think a gun ban or a gun in the school would have changed anything. What I do believe is that adults need to be paying more attention to their kids and what they have to say about the world we live in today. Some just might surprise you. And before everyone starts bashing this post, let me say;
    1. English was not my best subject in school.
    2. As stated I am very pro 2nd amendment.
    3. Just because you don't agree with something doesn't make it neccessary to attack it.
    4. If you find it neccessary to tell me that I am wrong and then that is fine, I only ask one thing, show me why my OPINIONS are wrong. the last time I checked the consitution, yes I have a framed copy along with the bill of rights, the pledge of allegence, and several other copies of important U.S. documents in my house, I was allowed to disagree with anyone or anything anyone said as long as I don't infringe on your rights or get violent.
    Once again, Alex this was a well written paper, if you wish to be a reporter good luck.
  • joke on September 27, 2004
    Assault weapons don't kill students.

    Klebold and Harris do.....

    Oh.......
  • peter (View Email) on September 27, 2004
    Don't they teach you to check the facts before writing an article? Those phony Sarah Brady statistics are a real piece of work. On the one hand its only cosmetic so "copycat" assault weapons are just as available as before - on the other hand the ban has reduced crime!!?? It can't be both, maybe you should go back and take a logic course as well as journalism.
  • shocked at comments on September 27, 2004
    So you don't mind more ppl out there with the ability to hunt you down like a dog with scary-looking weapons? Nevermind, don't comment on my comment, I'm too appalled!
  • KB (View Email) on September 27, 2004
    The Effects of the Ban on Crime Michael Caswell The agencies responsible for reporting crime and recordable statistics associated with crime agree. Crime rates have not improved as a result of the 1994 ban, nor could they be expected to, given the infrequency in which these firearms are used in crime. Supporters of the ban present statistics that they claim show the ban "works". From bradycampaign.org: In 1999, the National Institute of Justice reported that trace requests for assault weapons declined 20% in the first calendar year after the ban took effect, dropping from 4,077 in 1994 to 3,268 in 1995. Over the same time period, gun murders declined only 10% and trace requests for all types of guns declined 11 percent, clearly showing a greater decrease in the number of assault weapons traced in crime. It should be noted that, even though the above paragraph stealthily attempts to imply that the ban reduced crime, if you read it carefully, you see that this is not the case (more on this below). Brady Campaign also fails to mention the wealth of other very significant information present in this same report that all but invalidates their assertion. For example, with regards to the accuracy of using BATF, the report states: These data are limited because police agencies do not submit a trace request on every gun they confiscate. Many agencies submit very few requests to BATF, particularly in States that maintain gun sales databases (such as California). Therefore, tracing data are a biased sample of guns recovered by police. Prior studies suggest that assault weapons are more likely to be submitted for tracing than are other confiscated firearms. [emphasis added] In other words, law enforcement agencies submit trace requests on only a small percentage of firearms used in crime, and the unique appearance of "assault weapons" makes them much more likely to be submitted for a BATF trace compared to, say, a common revolver. So, according to this report, BATF trace data is not valid for this type of study. But, because it is the only available national statistic on types of guns used in crime, the researchers had little choice but to use it (with the disclaimer quote above, conveniently omitted by gun control advocates). Furthermore, consider the following: ...it appears that, at least in the short term, the grandfathered assault weapons remained largely in dealers’ and collectors’ inventories instead of leaking into the secondary markets through which criminals tend to obtain guns... offenders could replace the banned guns with legal substitutes or other unbanned semiautomatic weapons to commit their crimes. This is a critical point that completely offsets Brady's assertion that the ban has had any effect on gun-related crime. Grandfathered firearms (known as "pre-bans") cost significantly more than their "post-ban" near-equivalents; in some cases, new-in-box or mint condition pre-ban AR-15 style rifles can sell for more than double the retail price of post-bans (which aren't exactly cheap either). Disregarding the inaccuracy of trace requests as a reliable statistic, common sense says a decrease in the use of these particular firearms in crime is exactly what would be expected. Why would a criminal go through the hassle and expense of trying to obtain a banned "assault weapon" if there were plenty of other guns that would do the job just as well and were freely available? And, of course, on top of all this, "assault weapons" were very rarely used in crime even before the ban. Here is an analogy to help illustrate this point. Suppose an organization decides it does not like people driving, for example, Honda Civics that have all sorts of radical body modifications and attachments (spoilers, hood scoops, etc.), giving these cars a sporty, racy look. While these features are primarily cosmetic in nature, some people just don't like the way these cars look, convinced that only the most reckless and irresponsible drivers own them, and manage to get the local government to ban the manufacture of any new automobile with a race car-like appearance. For the people who like these cars, the ban has the effect of turning them into collector's items virtually overnight, and prices skyrocket. Because of this, and because no new ones are being produced, there are not nearly as many of them available to the average person... most are securely locked away in collectors' garages. After a few years, the group that called for the ban gathers statistics on speeding tickets and accidents, which naturally reflect the effects of the ban, showing a reduced number of traffic citations issued to drivers of these cars, though not an overall reduction in citations. The group claims victory, citing the reduction in traffic violations for this particular style of car, but ignores the fact that the small number of bad drivers who previously drove the cosmetically incorrect cars now simply drive other cars (and do so just as recklessly). The overall violation rate remains the same as it would have without the ban. But by selectively taking a very small part of the statistics out of context, the organization attempts to manipulate the masses into believing the legislation had a positive effect on public safety, when it has actually had virtually no detectable effect at all. The N.I.J. report cited by Brady also makes quite a few other significant points, such as: "A number of factors—including the fact that the banned weapons and magazines were rarely used to commit murders in this country...posed challenges in discerning the effects of the ban." [emphasis added] "...about half the banned makes and models were rifles, which are hard to conceal for criminal use." "...the banned guns are used in only a small fraction of gun crimes; even before the ban, most of them rarely turned up in law enforcement agencies’ requests to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) to trace the sales histories of guns recovered in criminal investigations." [emphasis added] "...other analyses using a variety of national and local data sources found no clear ban effects on certain types of murders that were thought to be more closely associated with the rapid-fire features of assault weapons and other semiautomatics equipped with large capacity magazines. The ban did not produce declines in the average number of victims per incident of gun murder or gun murder victims with multiple wounds." [emphasis added] "There were several reasons to expect, at best, a modest ban effect on criminal gun injuries and deaths. First, studies before the ban generally found that between less than 1 and 8 percent of gun crimes involved assault weapons, depending on the specific definition and data source used." [emphasis added] "Murders of police by offenders armed with assault weapons declined from an estimated 16 percent of gun murders of police in 1994 and early 1995 to 0 percent in the latter half of 1995 and early 1996. However, such incidents are sufficiently rare that the available data do not permit a reliable assessment of whether this contributed to a general reduction in gun murders of police." "Given the limited use of the banned guns and magazines in gun crimes, even the maximum theoretically achievable preventive effect of the ban on outcomes such as the gun murder rate is almost certainly too small to detect statistically..." [emphasis added] "The public safety benefits of the 1994 ban have not yet been demonstrated." This report, despite being sponsored by Federal government during the Clinton administration, clearly presents significantly more evidence that proves why the ban should not be renewed than it does supporting the ban. If you are interested in reading the entire report, we've made it available here. Summary It would seem then that the only folks affected by this silly bit of legislation are the honest, law-abiding citizens who own guns. Given the gun control objective of disarming citizens, we must now draw the line in the sand and state unequivocally, “Not my rights, not again!” The Current State of Gun Control in Politics (in a nutshell) After the Democrat's stunning defeat in the 1994 elections following the passing of the "assault weapons" ban, the party began to rethink their strong anti-gun stance. Though the issue of gun control once was an effective campaign issue for the Democratic Party, it has fallen out of favor over the past several years. After Al Gore's defeat in 2000, largely due to his anti-gun positions, Democrats have practically abandoned the issue altogether. The 1996 Repeal Vote Fulfilling a campaign promise made to constituents, House Republicans agreed to bring a repeal of the ban to the floor for a vote, which passed easily (239-173) with strong support from Republicans AND Democrats. Democrat leadership, acutely aware of the negative effect the support of the ban had on their party's House members in the '94 elections, reluctantly gave Democrats "permission" to vote for the repeal if they felt needed to. The vote was mostly symbolic, as it did not have much chance for being passed in the Senate, and would have certainly been vetoed by President Clinton. The Sunset One of the concessions that was needed in order to get the ban passed in 1994 was a "sunset clause" that set an automatic expiration of the ban 10 years following the enacting of the bill into law. This will occur in September 2004. This is significant, and is sometimes misunderstood. If Congress does nothing, the ban will expire. No repeal or other congressional action is necessary for this to happen. In order for the ban to continue, legislation must be passed through both houses of Congress and signed by the President. As a side note, to learn more about the positive effects that sunset clauses have on curbing ineffective and/or outdated legislation, take a look at this report from the Cato Institute. The ban on "assault weapons" is a perfect example of the appropriateness of sunset clauses. Without it, we would have an uphill battle – a STEEP uphill battle – to get rid of this ridiculous law. How We Stand While it is not a certainty that we will be successful in preventing the 1994 "Assault Weapons" Ban from being renewed (or, heaven forbid, replaced with something even worse!), things are looking very much in our favor: Democrats took a beating in 1994 due to the vote on the ban. Clinton himself said that his party lost 20 - 21 seats in the House because of it, giving up control to Republicans in the process. Politicians seem to have shied away from gun control over the past few years. It continues to be a losing issue for Democrats. Have they finally learned their lesson? The House passed a repeal of the ban in 1996. Many Democrats crossed over and voted for this repeal, and it passed handily. Republicans have control of Congress. While this by itself does not guarantee success, it is nonetheless a positive for us. On the other hand, we cannot afford to be complacent on this issue, thinking that we can achieve our goal without active involvement. Consider the following: There are still quite a few members of the House and Senate who are rabidly anti-gun (such as Schumer, Feinstein, and Conyers). These people will fight tooth and nail. The ban represents the very essence of anti-gun lobbyist organizations such as the Violence Policy Center, and the Brady Campaign. Since a defeat of the ban represents a defeat of the very core of their cause, they will pull out all the stops to prevent this from happening. Supporters of the ban will likely attempt to steer the debate away from "renew vs. expire" in favor of "renew vs. replace" (with a much more restrictive ban). In other words, letting it expire will simply not be an option... the debate will be framed so as to make a renewal of the existing ban the "pro-gun" option. The rhetoric will be intense and incredibly shrill. It will be "victims on parade", with countless family members of shooting victims being tastelessly exploited for the purpose of advancing the extremist agenda of a small number of politicians. Presenting effective counter-arguments is difficult. Though our position is solidly based on logic and truth, supporters of the ban can simply throw out emotionally loaded one-liners which are completely devoid of fact. In addition to being reckless and irresponsible, it makes the task of presenting our side of the argument very difficult. The Bottom Line If a replacement ban were voted on in the Senate, there is a good chance it would pass (if ban supporters were able to get it to the floor for a vote). If it reached the President's desk, he would probably sign it. In the House of Representatives, however, the ban has a much tougher road ahead, and this is where our best chances for success are. For an in-depth illustration of these factors, take a look at our AW Ban Scoreboard. Republicans generally are pro-gun rights, so we can assume that the leadership in the House will not go out of their way to bring a renewal or replacement bill to the floor unless incredible pressure is brought to bear. Because regaining control of Congress will be a top priority for Democrats in 2004, and they are no doubt acutely aware of the blow dealt to them in the past on this issue, they may not want to risk pushing for a renewal. This would be a best-case scenario for us... majority party has no interest in the issue, minority party is afraid of it. Neither wants it to come up and force them to publicly take a position on it. Both would prefer that it simply be ignored, and remain bottled up in some dungeon committee. The real bottom line is this: the more intelligently written, reasonable sounding letters our congressmen receive from us, the greater the chance the above will happen. The future of the ban is up to you.
  • 05 magnet on September 27, 2004
    Actually, Melissa, if you actually bothered to read my post instead of ignoring it like an ignorant child (yes I said child, you act like you are three years old), you would have seen that I am against gun-registratition, not for it.

    I'm starting to think, however, that maybe we need more restrictions on making guns available to people as dumb as you, because guns are important but people need to be responsible with them. I also don't believe that children should have access to guns (and that includes people who act like children like you, Melissa) because many of them (though you imply all of them in a contradiction of when you said guns would have protected them from columbine) are not mature enough to use a gun responsibly.

    Yes, I'm only a kid, but I have fired guns before. I'm actually pretty good at it. Do I own my own? No, I'm not allowed to. Am I planning on it? No. But I don't see why RESPONSIBLE, INTELLIGENT people should be prohibited from owning their own guns.

    And Melissa, the only good thing I can sense about the fact that you have a gun is that people who own guns are statisticly more likely to be shot by guns. So I am sort of glad that you have a gun as to remove your brainlessness from the gene pool.
  • Melissa Arevalo (View Email) on September 27, 2004
    My second attempt to get this on. My FIRST attempt was violated in an obvious attempt to protect his board from my FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT to post an opinion, yet let papers like this get written that attck the SECOND AMENDMENT. To Ok... AND wow... Assault weapons are ALREADY ILLEGAL IN YOUR STATE. Had any Adult at Columbine had a gun, they could have saved lives. Not the students, the students are not even smart enought to recognize how important the 2nd Amendment is!!!!!! I live in Indiana. You live in a State run By Kennedy and Kerry. BOTH ANTI-GUN. Fine, you want to. I live in a State where my government trusts me with REAL assault weapons. FULL AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. SILENCERS. SHORT BARREL SHOTGUNS. I CAN ALSO AND DO, LEGALLY CARRY A FIREARM. How a politician trusts the people says a lot. How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual... as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of. — Representative Dr.Suzanna Gratia Hupp (TX) OR EVEN BETTER. "The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting, and I know I'm not going to make very many friends saying this, but it's about our right, all of our right to be able to protect ourselves from all of you guys up there." - Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, appearing before Representative Charles Schumer's committee hearings on the assault weapons ban Please stop being so GUTLESS.
  • Wow, Speechless on September 27, 2004
    Lets see here... First off, the only "SAW" I've ever heard of is a "Squad Automatic Weapon" which can be found at the list of links below. If you had done a little more research, you may have found out that just because some little ban has expired, it doesn't mean the end of the world has arrived. This ban was so ineffective that it was more like window dressing (that was in the washington post). Plus, all legit gun dealers would require background checks, and registration. You also forgot this saying "if there's a will, there's a way". How do you think gangs get guns? Its probably not through a legitimate dealer. Becides, remember the Snipers we had running around here last year? You wanna know what guns they used? Bushmasters (link below). These guns are LEGAL, 10 bullets per clip et al. They still killed many people. If you're gonna ban Assult Weapons, you may as well ban any other type of weapon. Knives, Handguns, Hunting Rifles, even bows and arrows. Last time I checked, all of those could kill people too. You wanna know how easy it is for a kid to get a knife around here? Just walk into target and buy one. You can fit it in your pocket and bring it into school no problem. Thats dangerous right there. Oh, and you should also cut off everyone's arms, cause we could still break each other's necks. I've digressed though. Secondary point. The ban also allowed the sale of flash suppressors, bayonet mounts, and silencers. Those are even more dangerous. It'll allow a killer to remain discreet and hidden as he kills. Given the motive and desire, you could kill anybody. A marksman with a hunting rifle could kill just as many people as some wackjob with an assult weapon. You can make home made bombs that'll kill a lot more people than anyone with an automatic weapon. And by the way, from what I see, most of the weapons you referred to in your "article" had the ability to be fully automatic. I've never really heard of a "Semi-Automatic Assault Weapon" before. The closest thing would be bushmasters, but those have been avaiable for ages. I'm not a psycho, I just am against gun control. If you want to stop the problems, target the illegal gun dealers who don't require registration and background checks. Pass movements for better police protection. Also, for future notice, reading one article and playing "James Bond" on your game system isnt enough background. People'll just laugh at you, I know I did. Links: SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon): http://www.hqmc.usmc.mil/factfile.nsf/0/0678d19b6a3890f98525628100765697?OpenDocument Bushmaster.com http://www.bushmaster.com/
  • wow on September 27, 2004
    In response to Melissa:
    "A legal to carry adult, be it a teacher, principal, janitor....whatever, would then be rapidly your friend in a worst case scenerio like this. "

    THAT'S WHAT SECURITY AND ARMED PROFESSIONALS ARE IN OUR SCHOOL FOR. GOOD MORNING!!
  • jeff (View Email) on September 27, 2004
    hmm, more irrelevant [stuff] out of melissa. how typical/expected. again, since she cant use some good logic, she'll instead use ad hominem attacks on anybody who disagrees with her, ad nauseum. and also, i can protect myself better than some woman who thinks she knows about everything, in exactly the same way she criticizes us. how hypocritcal and sad.
    also, melissa seems to suggest(its called inference, if you dont know that, melissa), that everybody would be safer carrying guns. oh yeah, that makes sense.
    also ironic is melissa's comparison to bullies. hmm, i'm sorry, when a bully beats you up, i dont think he kills you, a slight difference, but then again, melissa isnt too hot on nuances and details, now is she?
    so, continuing, melissa, you can be as self-righteous as you want, you seem to be so stubborn that you continue wasting your breath, saying whatever pops into your logic-faulty head. continue blasting us for being "kiddies" as much as you want, its not my fault you have the maturity and naive logic of one.
  • WAKE UP on September 27, 2004
    http://www.mikecaswell.com/awcountdown.gif
  • MLM on September 27, 2004
    Gun Control Works :/
    Just Ask Hitler, Stalin, or Mao .
  • BTW on September 27, 2004
    JUS BEKAUSE PEPOLE MIPELL WORDDS DOESNOT MAK THEEM RONG, BUTT JUSST MAK UR ARGUMENT WEEK.
  • BTW PART 2 on September 27, 2004
    C HOOW EVN BAAD GRAMAR KAN STIL GIT A' POINT AKROS.
  • bill on September 27, 2004
    melissa,
    for some unknown reason you have the crazy impression that the writer of this article and the students who have commented on it live in Massachusetts. Check your facts. We live in MARYLAND a state that happens to have a Republican governor.
    You want a full-scale gun battle in a school with over 1000 students? You want students shooting back and forth at each other with hundreds of their classmates in the crossfire?
  • Anarchist on September 27, 2004
    Perhaps if we ban weapons, people who know Karate (or Tae-Kwon-Do, or Krav Maga, etc.) will be forced to wear handcuffs in public so they do not use the deadly weapons that their fists have become to injure and kill innocent people.

    Find this ridiculous? Then you should find gun bans ridiculous too.
  • um on September 28, 2004
    to "BTW":
    yes, "baad gramar" does get your point "akros", but it also makes you seem extremely ignorant in the process...
  • John Galt (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    The "Ban" never banned any rifles. Just new sales. Most of the rifles banned fire the weakest common cartridge sold. Any deer rifle is far more powerful and accurate. This "Ban" was a joke.
    Bush didn't "Let it die". It's death was part of the law. Bush only followed the law.
    What part of "Shall make no law" is so hard to understand?
    All guns have been banned and even confiscated in England and Australia. Violent crime shot up. Meanwhile, we greatly expanded "concealed carry" here and crime greatly dropped. Oh well, so much for facts and reason...
  • Tino (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    Wow. This is unbelievable.

    First, just a thing to everyone in general: could we please post links instead of copying and pasting every single article we could find? It takes FOREVER to read through all of those!!! I mean, some of them are good, but...

    Ms. Arevalo:
    1) This is Maryland, not Massachusetts. Our senators are Sarbanes and Mikulski, not Kennedy and Kerry.
    2) I believe there was at least one security officer @ Columbine who had a gun. However, put two boys with guns in a high school, and try to find them before they kill a whole lot of people. Good luck.
    3) Stop telling us to go mind our own "high school" business. This is our business. This is the world that we're going into. I don't know what kind of HS education/experience you had, but I think that high school is where you get ready for the "adult world", not your last chance to mess around.
    4) Like other said, if you think that we have some issues, don't talk. You are entitled to your right to speak, but so is everyone else. And unfortunately, many of the others, myself included (see the email address? @MBHS.EDU) attend the school that runs this website, newspaper, and forum. Last time I checked, you don't go barging into a house and tell its occupants to get out.

    For the Record, I feel that the ban is not helpful at all. What is needed is more education and background checks. Banning guns don't make the country any safer; educating people do.

    And the thing with law enforcement officers having the safest job: I think that has to do with SWAT officers dealing with the most dangerous situations.
  • Nathaniel Lichten on September 28, 2004
    Alex, I think your article is great. I'm very sorry that this comment list has been taken over by a bunch of right-wing gun nuts who obviously have no connection to the Blair community and no interest other than restricting our freedom of speech (FIRST amendment). The implication that highschool students don't have the right to participate in the debate on this issue in OUR OWN newspaper, let alone in any public forum, is ridiculous. I've read several claims that gun control formed an important part of the changes Hitler made when he came to power. This is wrong--he did little to change the policies of the Weimar republic on the issue. What he did restrict was freedom of speech. He told people what they could say and were they could say it.

    But I'm probably going too far, I'm sure my opponents aren't facists. They're just unimaginitive, with closed minds that can't accept change, no matter how positive, and nothing better to do than to attack and insult students for expressing their opinions.
  • Alex Gold (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    Firstly, I would like to commend Alex on a well-written article, regardless of the content of the article you may or may not agree with, this is still quite well written. Anyway, I know that as a Blair student, I feel that I would not like to see anyone with my school with a gun. Even seeing the police officer assigned to our school carrying a gun in school frightens me.

    First, I would simply like to debate the practicality of utilizing a gun for self-defense, which is many people's stated reason. For self defense, there are far more efficent, easier to use, easier to obtain, and more selective in level of force weapons. To fire a gun, a person must pull it out, turn off the safety, aim, and fire. I must say that is a lot of work. I don't know how many other people on this forum ever have, but when someone is running at you, with the intent of harming you, you can't do much.

    Having trained for several years intensively in martial arts still can barely do more than get my hand up in the time it takes for a person to cross the 5 or so feet between us, and no, I am not just really really bad at martial arts. By the time an attacker reveals themself to you, if they have a weapon, it's already pointing at you. You WILL NOT have time to go through the afforementioned steps in order to fire your weapon at them. Something else, like a knife, pepper spray, or even a special keychain (available through many martial arts suppliers for around $10) with two spiky points meant to be held in a closed fist while punching, will be far more effective. An instructor I know, incidentally an excellent martial artist, and police officer, who has put more than 90 criminals out with one certian type of take down, refuses to teach gun self-defense tactics. There is nothing you can do. You can get lucky, the gun could jam, or the bad guy could decide not to use it. There's no other way about it. If someone is pointing a gun at you, having a gun in a holster by your side is going to do nothing but make you look stupid when the police find your body. I'd like an actual statistic on how many crimes are defeated using guns by civilians....I bet it's way lower than the number of crimes committed with assualt weapons.

    Moving along to the greater concern of actual safety, has anyone taken a look at england lately? Their police officers don't carry guns. According to http://guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvinco.html,
    in 1997 the gun violence rate per 100,000 people is .11, while in America in 1999, the rate was 5.24 per 100,000 people...that's a lot higher. Additionally, total homice was vastly higher, being 5.7/100,000 in America and only 1.41/100,000 in England.

    If you wish to insult me, do it here if you like, but why don't you actually email me personally, and we'll talk.
  • Quelin (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    Hi, Im a liberal, a very liberal person. I will likely vote for Kerry. But just might vote for Budnarik (Libertarian)

    I support gun rights. I feel that law abideing American people (non-felons) should be able to own any type of weapon they wish. I see nothing wrong with registration. Nor with taxing the way tabbaco is taxed.

    I do not hunt. I collect and fire guns because I find it enjoyable. The kick, and the skill needed to make a ball of lead hit a taget a foot ball field away.

  • nathaniel on September 28, 2004
    actually nathaniel, the weimar republic required registration of all guns, when hitler took power he first had jews removed of gun ownership rghts.

    that was easy as all gun owners were registered already, he later removed the rights of the whole population i believe to own guns.

    had there been no registration laws the jews couldve fought back, for instance like the civilians that fought off the germans and soviets for awhile in warsaw.
  • chaunsey on September 28, 2004
    actually nathaniel, the weimar republic required registration of all guns, when hitler took power he first had jews removed of gun ownership rghts.

    that was easy as all gun owners were registered already, he later removed the rights of the whole population i believe to own guns.

    had there been no registration laws the jews couldve fought back, for instance like the civilians that fought off the germans and soviets for awhile in warsaw.
  • Your are Flip Flopers on September 28, 2004
    Nathaniel, Your state, Maryland is a joke, like you sir. You have IN REALLITY have no legal rights to carry a Firearm. Legally you do, but go try it. Since you and all your people are basically Flip Floppers, try reading your own state's Constitution, Amendment II, you have no right to even open your mouth about gun rights, when they are denied to you, sir. KIDS are <18 years old, like the writer. ALL OVER and EVEN in courts of laws, the rulings have been that students/ kids have no real First Amendment right. What is alex wanted to take his senior picture with a ak-47, instead of a stupid dog, or god knows what. Do you really think ALL the Adults there would allow it? Why not. Its just a picture RIGHT? WRONG. THE SCHOOL WOULD VIOLATE YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT. The same way the school has THE ULTIMATE WORD and rights of what goes into a school newspaper. So since your first amendment right truly does not exist in school, SHUT UP. But don't feel bad, the 2nd amendment right is also raped and piliaged in schools, EVEN for Adults who can get their hands on one of your states RARE carry concealed permits. Go tell all the DEADS Bodies your thoery about dead JEWS. HITLER DID TOO OUTLAW GUNS, EXCEPT TO TRUE GERMANS. Otherwise the Cattle cars rides and poison showers would have NEVER taken place.....Get a Clue. Funny, I wonder how many Jews thought like you did Nathaniel, OH......I don't have to think, I know. About 6 million did. Tino, don't worry, I wasn't going to leave you out. WHAT PART OF 1994 GUN FREE SCHOOL ZONE ACT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND? Only LEO, can caryy in a school. Not rent-a-cops. You don't have to find them Einstein. They came right to you. There, I hope there is, an Adult usually present in the cafeteria at lunch. When they walked in, they opened fire and then tried to activate a propane bomb. PLENTY of time for any adult with half your brain, to shoot both these rookies. They were rookies, look what happend in Russia, when MEN do the same. Fine stick to your business, the 2nd amendment is NOT negotiable. Its a RIGHT, not what your school thinks. Don;t think people barge in and tell people what to do? Waco. Tell it to all the dead children in the basement. Ruby Ridge. Tell it to Weaver's wife and 12 year old son. AND how does SWAT have a hard job? Real hard to kick in a door wearing FULL BODY ARMOR. WITH "True" Assault Weapons, FULL AUTOMATIC. and if you accidentally open fire and kill an unarmed person, you don't get in any trouble.......Ruby sniper shot Randy Weaver's wife right in the facxe while she held a 3 month old baby, To date no charge have ever been brought. I do agree with you in that Cops do have the safest job though......Nothing to fear if you make a mistake. Anarchist, You make alot of sense, sad too many people are to dense to realize that......
  • Anonymous on September 28, 2004
    Ok,
    antigun people.

    How many guns were used on 9-11?
    How many were used to level the Murrah Building?
    How many were used to ALMOST sink the USS COLE?
    How many were used at the Pentagon?
    How many were used to try and topple the First WTC towers?

    ??????
  • syank (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    Quote "and no interest other than restricting our freedom of speech (FIRST amendment)" You people love to waive the 1st Amendment around any time someone has something that you don't agree with. What are you trying to say? That just because someone has an opinon that differs than yours that that means someone is trampling on your rights? You people love to use the constitution when it suits you, but God forbid someone stands up to protect our rights under the 2nd Amendment! Such hypocrites! I on the other hand think that our 2nd Amendment rights are just as important as the rights you waive in our faces. But that is the typical way of the left in this country. In case you want to know, here is where I come from.. I am an adult, with an education, I vote, I am a sworn Law Enforcement Officer with 9 years spent wearing a uniform and being in public service. I own many guns, not nearly as many as I would like to, I hunt, I shoot and so does my wife and 14 year old son. I carry a gun for work every day, I carry a gun when I am off duty everyday. My wife carries a gun everyday and she has a pistol permit. This is not ignorant behavor, or out of fear, this is because I have spent 9 years in Police work and I know that the police cannot always be there. More times than we would like, we get to the scene of a crime after the crime has been committed. People should be allowed to defend themselves if they are law abiding and mentally sound, and should carry a gun.. The law abiding armed citezens of this country actually result in less crime. It's a fact. In most cities and states that have the most repressive gun laws have a direct correlation with higher crime rates. That is because in places that have more armed citizens, there is less crime. An armed citizen makes a bad target. As a police officer, I never advocated people taking the law into their own hands, leave that job to us, but that does not mean you should let someone else put your life in jeopardy. The 2nd Amendment is OUR RIGHT, and people should fight for those rights as diligently as every other right that we share. The assualt weapons ban was a farce. It did nothing to reduce crime, the weapons that were part of this ban were selected for pure cosmetic reasons, and many semi auto matic weapons were still allowed under that law. I own a Ruger Mini 14, the rifle would have been illegal for me to own if I added a bayonet lug? But otherwise it was completely legal to have under the ban, even with several 30 round magazines. Now you tell me where is the logic? As for handguns under the ban, it became illegal for semi auto handguns to hold more than 10 rounds, and the high capacity mags that used to hold 15 rounds became illegal. Ask your self, how could such a firearm be any more or less lethal becaue of of 5 rounds? The point is the assualt weapons ban was a ridiculous law and needed to be lifted. This is coming from someone who was allowed because of my job to have these weapons regardless. So keep screaming the 1st Amendment when someone gives a different opinion, but denounce our gun rights..You people need to recognize you can't pick and choose which rights you like and the ones you don't like. Thank God Bush has been there to keep the Constitution intact. If you anti gun people had your way, this country would far worse than it is now. Go Bush!
  • syank (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    Quote "and no interest other than restricting our freedom of speech (FIRST amendment)" You people love to waive the 1st Amendment around any time someone has something that you don't agree with. What are you trying to say? That just because someone has an opinon that differs than yours that that means someone is trampling on your rights? You people love to use the constitution when it suits you, but God forbid someone stands up to protect our rights under the 2nd Amendment! Such hypocrites! I on the other hand think that our 2nd Amendment rights are just as important as the rights you waive in our faces. But that is the typical way of the left in this country. In case you want to know, here is where I come from.. I am an adult, with an education, I vote, I am a sworn Law Enforcement Officer with 9 years spent wearing a uniform and being in public service. I own many guns, not nearly as many as I would like to, I hunt, I shoot and so does my wife and 14 year old son. I carry a gun for work every day, I carry a gun when I am off duty everyday. My wife carries a gun everyday and she has a pistol permit. This is not ignorant behavor, or out of fear, this is because I have spent 9 years in Police work and I know that the police cannot always be there. More times than we would like, we get to the scene of a crime after the crime has been committed. People should be allowed to defend themselves if they are law abiding and mentally sound, and should carry a gun.. The law abiding armed citezens of this country actually result in less crime. It's a fact. In most cities and states that have the most repressive gun laws have a direct correlation with higher crime rates. That is because in places that have more armed citizens, there is less crime. An armed citizen makes a bad target. As a police officer, I never advocated people taking the law into their own hands, leave that job to us, but that does not mean you should let someone else put your life in jeopardy. The 2nd Amendment is OUR RIGHT, and people should fight for those rights as diligently as every other right that we share. The assualt weapons ban was a farce. It did nothing to reduce crime, the weapons that were part of this ban were selected for pure cosmetic reasons, and many semi auto matic weapons were still allowed under that law. I own a Ruger Mini 14, the rifle would have been illegal for me to own if I added a bayonet lug? But otherwise it was completely legal to have under the ban, even with several 30 round magazines. Now you tell me where is the logic? As for handguns under the ban, it became illegal for semi auto handguns to hold more than 10 rounds, and the high capacity mags that used to hold 15 rounds became illegal. Ask your self, how could such a firearm be any more or less lethal becaue of of 5 rounds? The point is the assualt weapons ban was a ridiculous law and needed to be lifted. This is coming from someone who was allowed because of my job to have these weapons regardless. So keep screaming the 1st Amendment when someone gives a different opinion, but denounce our gun rights..You people need to recognize you can't pick and choose which rights you like and the ones you don't like. Thank God Bush has been there to keep the Constitution intact. If you anti gun people had your way, this country would far worse than it is now. Go Bush!
  • kk on September 28, 2004
    wow... this is amazing.

    yay for the power of google news and yay for all the sco readers it draws here... even if they don't agree with this article!!
  • pro-gun control on September 28, 2004
    Melissa--

    It would be much appreciated if you actually responded to some arguments constructively as opposed to reiterating old ones over and over again.

    I also fail to understand your argument concerning the Columbine shooting. Your argument is that the kids killed at Columbine would have survived had they (or their teachers) had guns.

    This seems like a non sequitor--the perpetrators had guns themselves. Giving guns to children would increase the chance of having a second Columbine because it would be easier for kids to have guns.

    In addition, your quotes from Dr. Hupp are hardly persuasive. Hupp basically says that anyone who wants to impose some sort of gun regulation distrusts the populus and assumes people to be criminals. By the same token, one could say that imposing drinking restrictions, smoking restrictions, or any other sort of legislation at all shows a distrust of the masses. In fact, using Hupp's logic, one could say that the entire notion of having a government shows distrust in the masses.

    I will not comment on your childish and immature personal attacks, which, coupled with your assertions that we should worry about being kids, turn out to be quite ironic.
  • slawson (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    It pains me that so many people in America do not understand the nature of rights. All rights are inherent in the human condition and cannot be taken away by any law or person. Rights can be violated, but never taken away.

    You could repeal the 2nd amendment and it would not affect the right of the people to keep and bear arms. This would still be protected under the 9th and 10th amendments. If you get rid of those then Roe v Wade falls along with protection for the right to travel and anything else which doesn't cost anyone anything.

    The US Constitution does not contain a list of things people can do anywhere. It is a list of things, which we the people allow our government to do, and a list of things government cannot say or do anything about.

    Congress only has authority to pass legislation on certain things. If you read the Constitution it says in several places "The Congress shall have authority to make appropriate legislation to support this." or words to that effect which apply to the specific article in which said clause is contained.

    Now let's look at the text of the 2nd amendment. A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    Now contrast that with the language of the 1st amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Notice how the 1st amendment begins with "Congress shall make no law..." what does the second amendment say "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." It doesn't say that congress can't do it; it says that it can't happen at all.

    Now reference the 10th amendment. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." Each state could; if it chose adopt a state religion. I wouldn't recommend it, but it is not prohibited by the Constitution. On the other hand the Constitution clearly prohibits laws infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

    Any law which prevents people from purchasing, owning, or carrying firearms is unconstitutional and a violation of the rights of the people.
  • jeff (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    actually, more likely, your first attempt to get your point across was most likely blocked to the probable amounts of continual ad hominem attacks

    also, since you live in indiana, and you are such an ardent supporter of guns, why dont you go lobby evan bayh and richard lugar, your senators, both of whom voted twice to keep background check restrictions in place(which would be violating your "second amendment rights", to vote to loosen background checks next time?
    oh also, you might want to tell your governor, joe kernan, that too.
  • Pearl (View Email) on September 28, 2004
    Everyone is entitled to their first amendment right, but when used to support an insubstantial if not ridiculous argument, it only reflects poorly on the person using it. It is also an unfortunately degrading use of the Constitution.

    Although I associate myself with right-wing politics, I think it's very tragic that the Bush administration has chosen to ignore one of the most fundamental problems of society: people cannot be trusted. As Alex said, guns are "deadly weapons designed for mass killings."

    Ms. Arevalo,
    Would you risk being killed by a stray bullet? Shot by two teenage boys? Killed by someone who has a criminal record, in which your death could have been easily prevented?

    Your posts are insulting, base, and only reflect poorly on your own understanding of politics. This is a forum for discussion, not childish bickering. Your reference to liberal-minded students as "gutless" is completely uncalled for; intelligence and pure arrogance are not values that go hand and hand. The status of the United States as a world power is not the result of "gut," as you naively perceive, but carefully weighed decisions to better the lives of Americans, if not simply allow them to live their lives without being killed.

    It is quite obvious that you are being simply ignorant when you say that we need to leave political matters to adults. I will not repeat what other people have already pointed out.

    You exhibit a naive view of conservative politics and have been blinded by the senseless propaganda of the Bush administration. America is not an invincible world power, American society is not flawless, and handing guns to American citizens is a serious threat to domestic security.

    I do not need to see a gun show in order to understand how guns affect society.
  • to all you gun nuts on September 28, 2004
    Maybe this ban was kind of stupid, but hey, you don't have to be.

    I always hate it when some gun-loving wacko says they need guns to protect themselves against the government. Are you retarded? Pick any fire arm you want. Do you feel safe against the United States Armed Forces? The people in Iraq have tons of assault weapons, yet they are getting killed right and left because all we have to do is drop a bomb on them. Bottom line: if the government wants to get you, the biggest gun on the market isn't going to stop them. The government has tanks, helicopters, missiles, bombs, elite soldiers, and guns that are better than yours. You fight the government with a weapon, you lose. It's so simple you can understand it even if you don't want to.

    If you are really so concerned about the government, maybe you should be concerned about disarming it, in other words, disbanding the army. If politicians really trust citizens, then why isn't there a movement to disband the army and let the entire responsibility of protecting the country fall into the hands of the citizens of the United States? Because your argument is stupid, that's why. "I love my gun" and "But the 2nd ammendment says so" are not viable substitutes for rational analysis of the situation.

    Furthermore, you people are taking the 2nd amendment out of context. It doesn't say that American citizens should be running amok with whatever weapon they deem appropriate. It says, and I quote: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." In other words, people have the right to keep and bear arms because well-regulated militias are important for freedom. Not, people have the right to bear arms because the 2nd amendment says so. Not in a well-regulated militia? Then the Constitution offers no justification for you to own firearms, unless I missed the part where it says "Citizens running amok with huge guns are necessary to security and freedom."
  • wow on September 28, 2004
    To "syank":
    We never told you guys to not post your opinions; we merely felt it was wrong for Melissa to tell high schoolers to, in simpler words, shut up on a public forum on a high school newspaper.

    Also, your 14-year-old son using a gun is wrong. Both you and your son could be sent to jail.
  • Arfcommer on September 28, 2004
    The ban was bogus, it did nothing. Besides criminals dont follow the law, its that simple. Last i knew killing someone was illegal, so whats the point? What you really have to fear is the pie eating MARPAT wearing zombies that carry the gun Al Pacino used in heat. +1 IBTL
  • Melissa Arevalo on September 28, 2004
    Pro-gun control, You are too dense to even start arguing with me. Stick to topics you know something about. I own: Ak-47 AR-15 Semi-automatic Shotgun. Semi-auto handgun. I can handle all, and know how to fire, clean and maintain them. Do you? If not, then shut up. If you can't realize that Police carry a weapon to save lives, theirs and yours, then you are too dense. Dr. Hupp is the reason that CCW exists in Texas. It took her watching her mother and father being gunned down in front of her WITH an Assault Weapon to motivate her to get CCCW for TEXAS. Maybe if someone blew your parents away tomarrow right in front of you, you'd get it. Somehow I think you'd probably be too dense to realize it though. Her logic is simple. She NEVER once blamed the guns used to kill her parents, she blamed the person. Sadly, she could not legally carry her handgun at the time, so it sat in her car, while her parents got pumped full of lead. Had she had it, lives could have been saved that day. SOUND FAMILIAR? Klebold and Harris could have been put away quickly as well, by a trained ADULT, not a child. Many children learn to shoot with their parents, I did. They don't go out and start blasting people, if they did, you woudl know it because they know how to shoot. Not like you kiddies, that think it's like a video game or something, it takes skill. I have NEVER voted for Lugar or Bayh. I keep trying to vote them out. I believe in NO background checks. Becasue like you said it is a violation. Criminals don't get background checks anyway knucklehead, THINK. Jeff, I got a CCW, do you? If not then Shut Up. You are just blowing hot air, talking about somethng you know nothing about as well. Jeff, Ever handle an Ak or Ar? If not shut up. :)
  • dead kids on September 28, 2004
    Etka Taneja,

    You have no voice. You are note allowed to vote, sorry.

    "Because not everyone cares for just homecoming and dating.. some teens are out for some sort of twisted revenge, and we can't do anything to stop that, but the least we can do is not facilitate the process for them. "
    -You just said the truth, criminals will get guns no matter what you think.

    "Again, I personally do not think that every citizen is entitled to carry a gun. I do admit that the ban as it stood was ineffective at best, but any ban can be modified and strengthened"

    -I agree, lets pass laws to not have to hear your destrort point of view, that would be fair right? Think.

    If you are so willing to restrict assault weapons and people carrying firearms, thenI think you should be restricted from speaking.

    Sounds pretty stupid, huh?
    Well listen to yourself.
    Have you ever handled a assault weapon, NO?
    Well, then stick to something you do know.
  • dead kids part2 on September 28, 2004
    Oh....yeah.

    Go ask the parents, not the high school minded children at Columbine, if they wish ANYONE, with a gun could have prevented the tragic act of having to bury your children?

    Go tell the dead bodies.
  • Melissa Arevalo on September 29, 2004
    I apologize to any student that is pro-gun.
    In no way should I have batched you together with these liberal minded anti-gun people.
    I was wrong to assume all you high schoolers were anti-gun.
    Some of you are able to realize that just because the Assault Weapons have legally return that THE SKY IS NOT FALLLING.
  • Anonymous on September 29, 2004
    Still think Nazis did not influence or commit gun control?

    Read here:

    http://www.jpfo.org/cs34.htm
  • jeff (View Email) on September 29, 2004
    Ooh. There goes melissa again, with her double standard of thinking she can say everything her logic-impaired brain wants, while complaining endlessly that people are trying to deny her “first amendment rights”. More double standards in her “you don’t know anything about it” as well – Melissa, do you honestly think that blasting a whole bunch of kids for not knowing anything while presenting no real facts doesn’t reflect too great on you either, but never mind that. Also, btw is right, in saying grammar and spelling is not necessarily needed to present an argument. Melissa, in the absence of proper spelling and grammar, has still unquestionably proved that she is unable to present an argument in a reasonable manner without injecting vitriolic, degrading, and unfounded comments in a futile attempt to make herself feel superior in the absence of reason, while also proving that she is unable to progress beyond a 4th graders sense of logic and naivete.

    also, with dr hupp, her logic may be simple, but is still flawed.
  • to Melissa Arevalo on September 29, 2004
    Maybe your parents should have taught you about thinking. Your argument makes no sense: "If you have not shot a big gun before, you are incapable of thinking about guns." If people took that approach to life we would still be living in the stone age.

    If that woman who was in the car had had a gun, what do you think would have happened? She would have reached for her gun, the murderers would have seen her and then blasted her away. I don't feel the need to brag about my big guns, and yet I know that if I was shooting people and I saw somebody reaching for a gun to shoot me, I would shoot them first. If you have a legitimate argument, talk it out the whole way through, try to anticipate the other side's response, and try to respond to that argument as well. News flash: we don't care how many big guns you have. We don't care how many times you tell people to shut up. To the majority of students at this school, you are the belligerent on the SCO forum who hasn't made a well thought out argument yet, despite the fact that you have probably posted here more than anybody else.
  • Tino on September 29, 2004
    "Your are Flip Floper"

    So you suggest putting LEOs in EVERY SINGLE SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY? Have fun.

    Waco was a situation gone awry because the Davidians refused to surrender, kept the children, and was prepared to fight. Of course this shows that guns were too accessible, but that can't be the basis of banning guns. Background checks are still a more reasonable answer.

    Ruby Ridge - I'm glad you brought that up. Sammy Weaver, the son, was shot and killed AFTER HE OPENED FIRE ON THE MARSHALS. This is a fact admitted by Mr. Kevin Harris, who was with S. Weaver, also having fired and wounded a US Marshal. Vicki Weaver was killed while she was holding a door open for Randy Weaver, who was carrying a rifle and had fired already. The sniper was using a tactic called 'leading', aiming slightly ahead of a moving target "run into" the bullet. The sniper fired too late, and the bullet shot V. Weaver in the head and R. Weaver in the arm.

    Also, don't take things out of context. I was telling Ms. Arevalo not to barge into places and tell people to shut up.

    And as for SWAT officers, they are punished for killing innocents. If it's serious enough, like shooting an obvious unarmed bystander, the officer may be kicked off and charged with manslaughter. In the case of Ruby Ridge, V. Weaver was standing inside the house, out of the view of the sniper, so unless the sniper was shooting at someone he couldn't see, I don't know why you'd bring criminal charges against him.
  • pro-gun on September 29, 2004
    "Since the assault weapons ban was passed 10 years ago, the criminal use of SAWs decreased by 66 percent"


    blatant lie.

    the SAW (squad automatic weapon) was not covered by the 94 assault weapons ban, the ban had NOTHING to do with fully automatic weapons.

    it only banned cosmetic features, like banning racing stickers to curb illegal street racing.

    the SAW was covered by the 1934 national firearms act aswell as a few other laws put in place most recently in 1986, 8 years before the current ban.

    PLEASE RESEARCH FACTS BEFORE YOU WRITE AN ARTICLE.
  • anti Michael Moore on September 29, 2004
    "Go ask the parents, not the high school minded children at Columbine, if they wish ANYONE, with a gun could have prevented the tragic act of having to bury your children?"

    The Columbine massacre had more to do with the ingenuity of the killers than the availability of assault weapons. The killers used homemade bombs to drive students into the library, at which point they probably could have taken out 15 people regardless of armament.
  • pro-gun control on September 29, 2004
    Again, Melissa, you have not refuted any of my arguments. You have finally introduced one of your own, which is basically that guns save people from other people with guns.

    This is quite simplistic and shortsighted. I agree that adding more gun control legislation or even repealing 2nd Amendment would not prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. HOWEVER, that does not mean that we should make it easier for people to get guns.

    "I believe in NO background checks. "

    Are you kidding? So, according to you, anyone should be able to walk in a store and buy a gun? The number of gun-related crimes would increase exponentially. It would also increase the ease of planning a terrorist attack.

    Melissa, no background checks would not only increase the chance of crime, it would increase the chance of terrorist attacks. Your logic is flawed because you assume that giving the masses guns would help people protect themselves. But you must ask yourself the question: from whom and/or what are they protecting themselves?

    Please address my points specifically in your next post, which will undoubtedly be soon.
  • pro-gun control on September 29, 2004
    "If you are so willing to restrict assault weapons and people carrying firearms, thenI think you should be restricted from speaking."

    The above quote, submitted by dead kids, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution. The Constitution is designed as a living document. It's not set in stone. The founders designed it specifically so that it would change with the times. If in the future, a large majority of people feel that guns should be banned, the 2nd Amendment may indeed be repealed. This is exactly what the Constitution was made for, and this is exactly what the founding fathers wanted.

    The Constitution is not perfect. It is as close to perfect as anything ever has been, but it is most certainly not perfect. This is not to say that we should constantly be changing it, but we shouldn't assume it to be set in stone, because it is not--that is exactly why the founding fathers wrote it the way they did.
  • Nathaniel Lichten on September 29, 2004
    "Quote 'and no interest other than restricting our freedom of speech (FIRST amendment)'

    You people love to waive the 1st Amendment around any time someone has something that you don't agree with. What are you trying to say? That just because someone has an opinon that differs than yours that that means someone is trampling on your rights?"--syank

    Syank, I fully support your right to express your opinion through any legal means. In fact, I don't think my post even explicitly stated my position on gun control. It was directed at the MANY previous comments that either implied or openly said that we, as highschool students HAVE NO RIGHT and SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED to talk about the subject. If that's not an assault on the first amendment what is?

    Also, pro-gun control, you make an excelent point.
  • Facts on September 30, 2004
    Cops shoot people all the time on "accident". Oh, he was holding a cell phone, my bad.....NO CHARGES. Now if you tried that argument when you "thought" someone was reaching for a weapon and were wrong, YOU'D fry. But why? Don't cops have "more training"....thus they should not make these kind of mistakes. Waco, BATFE.........Look it up. Nowhere in that is there anything about kids. AFTER, the davidians kicked the ATF's butt, did they then start looking for accusations, they were their for guns, AUTOMATIC ones, NONE were found. If it was"about the children", it would have been a local matter, not a federal one. Leading, please, you have never even shot through a high powered rifle in your life and now you know the methods? Get real. That's why Randy SUED the federal goverment, and WON. 3.1 million doallrs. Do you think if you opened fire on federal agents and lived you would then be awarded anything? ONLY if you were 100% in the right. I think everyone should be heard on this forum, right or wrong, but I'm pro-gun. Vermont- HAS NO BACKGROUND CHECKS, AND JUST THIS YEAR ALASKA JOINED THEM, NEXT ON THE LIST IS UTAH.........Please point out all the mass shootings that have happened there please.....None. Yeah. Vermont and Alaska interpret the 2nd amendment the way you anti-gun people do the 1st. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. BUT places that restrict guns have more deaths..... Also if the Constitution is a "lving breathing document, like all you liberals say". Then guess your 1st amendment right can be limited as well. Let's see. You want to post on this forum. Well first let's treat you like a criminal for wanting to just express your opinion. EVEN though it is your right, kind like the 2nd. Then you get fingerprinted. Again, like a criminal. Then you can only use your right in certain areas, not everywhere you please..... Sounds nuts huh? Well not to gun owners, they all have to go through this just to "have the right" to carry a firearm. Hitler never once fired a gun at anyone......millions died. Stalin never once fired a gun at anyone........millions died. Sadaam never once fired a gun at anyone.......millions died. North Korea............same Vietnam.................same. Rwanda................same. Sierra Leone............same. Somalia.................same. Cambodia..............same. Only their words and spoken orders had millions sent to their deaths.....they all to believed they didn't need guns, and just trusted the Government. More people have been killed in the 20th century by their own government then by assault weapons.......get real. Yet places that did have guns never had this happen to them.........Why?
  • Wildfire on September 30, 2004
    To pro-gun control Where do you derive this idea: “The Constitution is designed as a living document. It's not set in stone. The founders designed it specifically so that it would change with the times. If in the future, a large majority of people feel that guns should be banned, the 2nd Amendment may indeed be repealed.” You are of course incorrect. The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted, it means now. —— SOUTH CAROLINA v. US, 199 U.S. 437, 448 (1905) If the Constitution is to be construed to mean what the majority at any given period in history wish the Constitution to mean, why a written Constitution? — Frank J. Hogan, President, American Bar Assn. (1939) “This is quite simplistic and shortsighted. I agree that adding more gun control legislation or even repealing 2nd Amendment would not prevent criminals from obtaining firearms. HOWEVER, that does not mean that we should make it easier for people to get guns.” “Are you kidding? So, according to you, anyone should be able to walk in a store and buy a gun? The number of gun-related crimes would increase exponentially.” Comparing homicide rates in 18 states that had waiting periods and background checks before the Brady bill, with rates in the 32 states that had no comparable laws, the difference in change of homicide rates was “insignificant”. (Dr. Jens Ludwig , Dr. Philip J. Cook, Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2000) While your opinion feels good, it is not based in facts, it’s merely an opinion that history shows to be wrong. Though the number of firearms owned by private citizens has been increasing steadily since 1970, the overall rate of homicides and suicides has not risen. (Prof. Gary Kleck, “Targeting Guns: Firearms and their control”, with supporting data from the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, 1972 to 1995) With talk by many of the anti-Freedom crowd about the "Wild West" and there being "no need for personal protection" any more, at the height of the "Wild West," in the 1870s and 1880s, you were SAFER on the streets of Western towns than on the streets of pro-criminal victim-disarmament cities like Chicago, New York, and other major metro areas today. ...... the crime rates; the rate of SHOOTINGS, is astronomical in comparison. 1. Abilene had exactly 7 homicides in all its years as a cattle town (1870-72). 2. Ellsworth had exactly 6 homicides in all its years as a cattle town (1872-75). 3. Wichita had exactly 4 homicides in all its years as a cattle town (1871-1876). 4. Dodge City had exactly 15 homicides in all its years as a cattle town (1877-1885). 5. Caldwell had exactly 13 homicides in all its years as a cattle town (1879-1885). That's a total of 45 homicides for 5 of the major cattle towns for the entire cowboy era. (source: The Cattle Towns, Robert Dykstra). IF your unfounded belief were correct, how do you explain, that in the early 60’s a 12 year old with the money could walk into a hardware store buy a pistol and walk out. Yet, school shootings were unheard of and crime was much lower? It use to be, when a felon left prison, he was actually given BACK his guns. (He was, after all, an American citizen.) This ended with the racist “need” for gun control. “So, according to you, anyone should be able to walk in a store and buy a gun?” That is what Freedom and common sense would order. Why do YOU think that a person who is a danger to society . . . should be allowed to wander the streets? Half of all murders are committed by people on “conditional release” (i.e., parole or probation). (Robyn Cohen, “Probation and Parole Violators in State Prison, 1991: Survey of State Prison Inmates”, Bureau of Justice Statistics) As I’ve stated before; the Columbine murderers were convicted felons that had violated enough State and Federal Laws (19) to have been sentenced to life in prison before they committed their first act of violence. With Harris and Klebold violating nearly 20 firearms laws in obtaining weapons. What 21st law do YOU think would have made a difference? The two shotguns and rifle used by Harris and Klebold were purchased by a girlfriend who passed a background check, and the TEC-9 handgun used was already banned by the stupid law this post was started to address. In states without “right to carry” laws, there have been 15 school shootings. In states that allow citizens to carry guns, there has been only one.( Lott J, Landes W; "Multiple Victim Public Shootings, Bombings, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handgun Laws: Contrasting Private and Public Law Enforcement"; University of Chicago – covers years 1977 to 1995) In Pearl, Mississippi, the assistant principal had formerly carried a firearm to school. When the 1995 "Gun-Free School Zones" law passed, he began locking his firearm in his car and parking at least a quarter-mile away from the school. When that shooting incident started, he ran to his car, got his gun, ran back, disarmed the shooter and held him on the ground until the police arrived. Had the law not been passed, the assistant principal might have prevented the two deaths and seven shooting-related injuries. Firearms in private hands are used 2.5 million times each year to prevent crimes, or 6,849 times every day.( Gary Kleck, Criminologist, Florida State University, 1997) including rapes, aggravated assaults, and kidnapping. The number of innocent children protected by firearm owning parents far outweighs the number hurt by guns. History has shown that registration of the firearms of the law-abiding, the CRIMINALS of course did not participate. It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 is the source being used to confiscate (without compensation) over ½ of the handguns in 2001.( Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne Eisen, “Civil Disobedience In Canada: It Just Happened To Be Guns”, Idaho Observer, August 2000) It did in Germany. The 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition (before the Nazis came to power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came to power (pssst Nazis!), the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons. It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000 previously legal weapons from their citizens. It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to changing definitions of “assault weapons”, many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government. It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city. It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well. About 11% of police shootings kill an innocent person - about 2% of shootings by citizens kill an innocent person. The odds of a defensive gun user killing an innocent person are less than 1 in 26,000. (C. Cramer, and D. Kopel "Shall Issue: The New Wave of Concealed Handgun Permit Laws”. Independence Institute Issue Paper. October 17, 1994) And that is with citizens using guns to prevent crimes almost 2,500,000 times every year. The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals. In Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981), the court stated: `[C]ourts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.' Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police responded to only 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities. The United States Department of Justice found that, in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence for which police had not responded within 1 hour. 95% of the time police arrive too late to prevent a crime or arrest the suspect.( Witkin, Gordon, Guttman, Monika and Lenzy, Tracy. “This is 911 ... please hold.” U.S. News & World Report, June 17, 1998) Bottom line: If a citizen’s life doesn’t mean to him to take personal responsibility to protect himself, why should the cops? Now pro-gun control, why don’t you address these points please?
  • pro-gun control on September 30, 2004
    Wildfire--

    Where do I derive the idea that the Constitution can be rewritten? I wonder what would give me the idea that the Constitution can be AMENDED...you obviously fail to realize that amendments inherently change the Constitution, which is exactly what the Founding Fathers intended.

    Your statistics from the Ludwig book (I assume it is a book) are impressive, but look at the date: August 2000. September 11 changed the country and the need for greater security measures. The statistics may be the same, and I acknowledge that; however, this is a different world. In August 2000, your argument may have been a valid and strong one. Now, it is irrelevant. I'm sure you will be tempted to present me with statistics after 9/11, but that doesn't change anything--in this world and in this era, background checks need to be MORE stringent than they are now.

    Most of your statistics are quite outdated (I consider pre-9/11 outdated, just so there's no confusion).

    The rest of your argument centers around the main point that CITIZENS who have guns are not dangerous. Again, your statistics are outdated, but I will make an exception for this. For the sake of argument, I will assume that citizens with guns are not dangerous. Ok, but criminals with guns are dangerous. No background checks makes it easier for criminals to obtain guns.

    Having said all this, I am pleased to finally argue with somebody who attacks my points as opposed to resorting to childish name-calling.
  • to Wildfire on September 30, 2004
    By your logic, then, slavery should still be legal. After all, it was WRITTEN into the Constitution, so it must be right. Come on now. Why don't any of you people address the FULL 2nd Ammendment. There is more to it than "shall not be infringed." The reasoning behind the 2nd ammendment was that "well-regulated" militias were necessary to freedom and security. There is nothing "well-regulated" about a system that allows criminals to obtain high powered weapons.

    All of your statistics about cattle towns, etc., are complete nonsense. The fact that 5 random cattle towns in the west only had 45 gun-related homicides in a decade almost a century ago is not particularly relevant to today's society with today's weapons. First of all, how many people were even in those towns? Second of all, how comprehensive do you really think police reports were at the time? How would they ever know if somebody got murdered in the middle of the prairie, miles from nowhere. Your numbers prove nothing.

    I personally believe that law-abiding people should be able to get reasonable guns. What is reasonable? First, let's start with the obvious. Explosives aren't reasonable. I don't really think high-powered automatic weapons are reasonable either. Why on earth do you need an AR-15? All it takes is for one AR-15 owner to get smashed on PCP and run out into a crowded street and open fire. He could take out dozens before somebody had time to shoot him, even if everybody was armed. The second ammendment wasn't written with these ridiculous mass-killing machines in mind.

    Furthermore, what do the Nazis have to do with it? Hitler confiscated guns; so what? What's your point? If there hadn't been registration, and Hitler didn't have lists with which to confiscate guns, what really would have changed. Anybody seen with a gun could just be arrested, and anybody using a gun would just be shot on the spot. I've said it before and I will say it again: if the government was out to get us, all the guns in the entire world wouldn't help us at all. Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc. The people with the guns LOST. I defy any pro-gun person on this forum to name JUST ONE situation in which a person armed with a gun was succesfully able to defeat the federal government. I am betting you can't do it.
  • James Kolb on September 30, 2004
    Although, I agree that the ban wasn't very effective at all, I am amazed that the arguments from so many pro-gun adults posting here are so much less logically written and sensical than many posts by the students who should "leave the Constitution to the adults." This is a school-newspaper, you don't tell students of a school that they don't have first ammendment rights and shouldn't be posting in their own newspaper yet complain when your post is not posted due to likely valid reasons. As for the "I own lots of assault rifles so unless you do, I'm right when it comes to gun laws" argument, that's like saying "I smoke lots of pot so unless you do, I'm right when it comes to drug laws" or any other such baseless argument.

    Remember, this is a school newspaper. You're ability to post here is a privilige not a right (even for students). I'm amazed that they didn't block more posts then they did, so don't complain when only the highly insulting ones are blocked. Finaly, this is a school newspaper and we go to that school. You are the ones in our newspaper. You have no place to tell us to mind our own business and leave it to the adults.
  • Wildfire on October 1, 2004
    To pro-gun control You stated "Your statistics from the Ludwig book (I assume it is a book) are impressive, but look at the date: August 2000. September 11 changed the country and the need for greater security measures. The statistics may be the same, and I acknowledge that; however, this is a different world." Would you please explain how in post 9-11 America, disarming the law-abiding, while leaving the criminals and terrorists armed (neither group of which are known to BUY weapons anyway), makes society MORE secure? I frankly don’t see where 9-11 changed anything. (Except maybe the need for “Box Cutter” control.) George Hennard carried out the Luby's Cafeteria Massacre before 9-11. While just weeks later, Thomas Glen Terry STOPPED an equal massacred from happening. What made the difference? Mr. Terry was ARMED. Please explain how YOU feel the results would have been different in either case had they happened AFTER 9-11. What 9-11 did clearly show us was that while resistance may not stop all deaths, the number of deaths could have been greatly reduced had the passengers on the flights that stuck the Towers fought back, as did the passengers on the flight that went down in PA. Acting like sheep got the people slaughtered like sheep. Of the 2,500,000 annual self-defense cases using guns, more than 7.7% (192,500) are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse. When a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of rape attacks are completed, compared to 32% when the victims were unarmed. (U.S. Department of Justice, Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Rape Victimization in 26 AmericanCities, 1979) The probability of serious injury from an attack is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than for women resisting with a gun. Men also benefit from using a gun, but the benefits are smaller: offering no resistance is 1.4 times more likely to result in serious injury than resisting with a gun. (Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey) 28.5% of women have a gun in the house. (Smith, T: 2001 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center: Research Findings National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, December 2001.) 41.7% of women either own or have rapid access to guns.(Smith, T: 2001 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center: Research Findings National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, December 2001.) In 1966, the city of Orlando responded to a wave of sexual assaults by offering firearms training classes to women. The number of rapes dropped by nearly 90%. You are far more likely to survive a violent assault if you defend yourself with a gun. In episodes where there was an injury to a robbery victim, the injury/defense rates were: (British Home Office – not a “pro-gun” organization by any means) Resisting with a gun 6% Did nothing at all 25% Resisted with a knife 40% Non-violent resistance 45% HOW is pre or post 9-11 relevant?
  • Wildfire on October 1, 2004
    To pro-gun control
    I forgot to ask which Amendment are you referring to that eliminated or amended the Second Amendment?
    If there is none, then the original is still in effect. Correct?

    "In its first truly significant case, the Supreme Court asserted its power to overturn laws of Congress with the ruling written by Chief Justice John Marshall, which said simply: 'All laws repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.' " (Marbury v Madison, 5 US 137 (l803)

    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right.” [Nunn vs. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846)]

    This is my 2 cents worth.
  • History's view. on October 1, 2004
    James Kolb. You are exactly what is wrong with the world today. The laws that are written are there to protect idiots like yourself.. Quick to defend the 1st amendment, while having no problem restricting and impeding the 2nd amendment.........You have basic reading skills........What part of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" did you brilliant high school mind not comprehend? Assault weapons are protected by the 2nd, just like idiots like yourself are by the 1st. Now sit down and read what people through History had to say on guns and self defense.......Some are sad and some are funny, Thus you should relate because this would also describe you. "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." - Jesus, Luke 22:36 "The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting, and I know I'm not going to make very many friends saying this, but it's about our right, all of our right to be able to protect ourselves from all of you guys up there." - Dr. Suzanna Gratia Hupp, appearing before Representative Charles Schumer's committee hearings on the assault weapons ban "That rifle on the wall of the labourer's cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It our job to see that it stays there." - George Orwell "The right is absolute ... government has no authority to forbid me from owning a firearm ... the debate is not about guns. It is about freedom." - Cal. State Sen. Tom McClintock, 6/9/2001 "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." - Sigmund Freud, General Introduction to Psychoanalysis "There are three reasons to own a gun. To protect yourself and your family, to hunt dangerous and delicious animals, and to keep the King of England out of your face." - Krusty the Clown "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual... as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of. — Representative Suzanna Gratia Hupp (TX) The maintenance of the right to bear arms is a most essential one to every free people and should not be whittled down by technical constructions. -[State vs. Kerner, 181 N.C. 574, 107 S.E. 222, at 224 (1921)] If you think it's wrong to kill someone who is about to kill you, you are too stupid to be allowed to vote. — Michael James If the Constitution is to be construed to mean what the majority at any given period in history wish the Constitution to mean, why a written Constitution? — Frank J. Hogan, President, American Bar Assn. (1939) The essence of constitutionalism in a democracy is not merely to shape and condition the nature of majorities, but also to stipulate that certain things are impermissible, no matter how large and fervent a majority might want them. — George Will No one can read our Constitution without concluding that the people who wrote it wanted their government severely limited; the words "no" and "not" employed in restraint of government power occur 24 times in the first seven articles of the Constitution and 22 more times in the Bill of Rights. — EDMUND A. OPITZ I do believe that where there is a choice only between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. Thus when my eldest son asked me what he should have done had he been present when I was almost fatally assaulted in 1908 [by an Indian extremist opposed to Gandhi's agreement with Smuts], whether he should have run away and seen me killed or whether he should have used his physical force which he could and wanted to use, and defend me, I told him it was his duty to defend me even by using violence. Hence it was that I took part in the Boer War, the so-called Zulu Rebellion and [World War I]. Hence also do I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honor than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor. — Mohandas K. Gandhi, Young India, August 11, 1920 from Fischer, Louis ed.,The Essential Gandhi, 1962 Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. — Woodrow Wilson, May 9, 1912, Address, New York Press Club. Arms are the only true badges of liberty. The possession of arms is the distinction of a free man from a slave. — Andrew Fletcher 1698 The "assault weapon" ban didn't stop the [World Trade Center/Pentagon] terrorists, Brady checks didn't stop them, the high capacity magazine ban didn't. Right to Carry would have. If it had saved only one tower and the people in it, it would have been worth it. GUN CONTROL KILLS. — LTC Stasski, 9/11/01 "To prohibit a citizen from wearing or carry a war arm... is an unwarranted restriction upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege." --Arkansas Supreme Court-1878 There is no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. — Ayn Rand in her must-read novel, Atlas Shrugged
  • 06 on October 1, 2004
    I'm just curious. To all the gun nuts out there: What are your opinions on the Patriot Act? Surely don't support such a totalitarianistic attack on the RIGHTS of Americans?
  • pro-gun control on October 1, 2004
    How is 9/11 relevant to the issue? I think the question should be how do you not know the answer to that! 9/11 changed our security--yes, the terrorists used box cutters, but that still doesn't change the fact that no background checks, as Melissa suggested, would greatly increase the ease in which terrorists could obtain guns.

    I never said any amendment eliminated the 2nd Amendment. I speaking hypothetically. I was addressing the pro-gun commenters who seem to think that the 2nd Amendment is permanent. None of the amendments are permanent. They can always be amended, providing that there is enough support for the amendment. Again, your quotes are outdated. Please present recent facts that actually relate to the issue instead of resorting to facts that held true a century ago.
  • pro-gun control on October 2, 2004
    Please allow me to correct some typos:

    "9/11 changed the way we look at security--yes..."
    "I WAS speaking hypothetically."
  • RE: History's View on October 2, 2004
    "Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword."

    Matthew 26:52
  • to History's View on October 2, 2004
    Enough with the "guns protect us from government" nonsense. Only idiots believe that. Maybe it was true before governments possessed the power to destroy life on earth, but now the U.S. government has such powerful weapons that it can almost do whatever it wants. All the gun nuts in the world can't change that. I defy one pro-gun person to come up with one reasonable scenario where a person or persons armed with firearms could successfully rebel against the government.
  • some guy on October 3, 2004
    Exactly. To elaborate on "to History's View": lets set all of you pro-2nd Amendment people against the U.S. military and we'll see how you do. Whether Constitutional or not, the U.S. government can really do whatever it wants. Do you think you should be entitled to a private army of your own, fully equipped with tanks and nuclear weapons?
  • Wildfire on October 3, 2004
    The Warsaw Getto
  • Wildfire on October 4, 2004
    To Some Guy and History's View: Neither of you have much knowledge of military tactics or history. But you still have time to learn before it is too late. ““Enough with the "guns protect us from government" nonsense. Only idiots believe that. Maybe it was true before governments possessed the power to destroy life on earth, but now the U.S. government has such powerful weapons that it can almost do whatever it wants.” IF allowed to grow unchecked, in a few years this may be true, IF the Government’s power is allowed to grow without having to answer to the People. But if the watchful pays attention and does their part, this is not the case. There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq during the month of January..... In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January. That's just one American city, about as deadly as the entire war torn country of Iraq. Yet some claim President Bush shouldn't have started this war, Remember the following ... FDR... led us into World War II. Germany never attacked us: Japan did. From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost an average of 112,500 per year. Truman... finished that war and started one in Korea, North Korea never attacked us. From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost, an average of 18,334 per year. John F. Kennedy... started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us. Johnson... turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost an average of 5,800 per year. Clinton... went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent, Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on multiple occasions. In the two years since terrorists attacked us President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people. You hear the foolish complaining about how long the war is taking, but... It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take, the unapproved church, Branch Davidian compound. That was a 51 day operation, and all the BATF agents that were killed, were killed by “Friendly Fire”. The Branch Davidian never fired at agents outside of the buildings. (As for Ruby Ridge; The Government spent more money on reconnaissance to murderer a mother holding her baby and her 13-year-old son, than was spent on the Government’s invasion of Haiti.) We've been looking for evidence of chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the Rose Law Firm billing records. It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick. It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida! YET: In over a year’s time, LESS than 1000 military personal were killed in combat in the entire NATION of Iraq. Even though we had tanks, we had planes, and we had nuclear bombs. Have you heard of anyone wanting to get out of the war with Iraq, or don’t believe we should have even been there in the first place? There is even a President wannabe who already wants to cut and runs (As he did in Vietnam) out of Iraq. This is with the soldiers fighting less than 10,000 “foreigners” in a foreign land. What would do you think the resolve of the nation would be if the troops were facing only 25 MILLION Americans on American soil using the same or similar tactics? But still, the bottom line; The Second Amendment WAS written to INSURE the ability of the American people to overthrow a tyrannical government should the need arise AGAIN. 1. "Corrupt the young, get them away from religion. Get them interested in sex. Make them superficial, destroy their ruggedness. 2. Get control of all means of publicity and thereby: 3. Get the peoples' mind off their government by focusing their attention on athletics, sexy books and plays, and other trivialities. 4. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance. 5. Destroy the peoples faith in their natural leaders by holding up the latter to ridicule, contempt and obloquy. 6. Always preach true democracy but seize power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible. 7. Encourage government extravagance, destroy its credit, produce fear with rising prices, inflation and general discontent. 8. Foment unnecessary strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorders and foster a soft and lenient attitude on the part of the government towards such disorders. 9. By specious argument cause the breakdown of the old moral virtues: honesty, sobriety, continence, faith in the pledged word, ruggedness. 10. Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext, with the view of confiscating them and leaving the population defenseless." ~ Vladimir Ilich Lenin And "some guy" what voices are you listening to that said anything about nuclear weapons? One last note: (1) People who identify themselves as "victims" harbor excessive amounts of rage at other people, whom they perceive as "not victims." (2) In order psychologically to deal with this rage, these "victims" utilize defense mechanisms that enable them to harm others in socially acceptable ways, without accepting responsibility or suffering guilt, and without having to give up their status as "victims." (3) Gun owners are frequently the targets of professional victims because gun owners are willing and able to prevent their own victimization. (A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality By Sarah Thompson, M.D.)
  • Ely Portillo (View Email) on October 4, 2004
    Just to throw in a little fact (from my history textbook of all places):

    In 1992, handguns killed 33 people in Great Britain, 36 in Sweden, 60 in Japan, 13 in Australia, 128 in Canada -
    and 13,220 in the USA.
  • mike (View Email) on October 4, 2004
    Isn't it funny how most of the conservatives here probably support bills like the Patriot Act that are eroding our rights in the name of security, and support even more oppresive measures to fight terrorism (like Guantanomo Bay and the loss of trial by jury), but they oppose measures that could really make us safer? Like SENSIBLE gun control!
  • Paul Trace (View Email) on October 4, 2004
    Gun control isn't a new idea...
    "This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead into the future!" Adolf Hitler 1935.

    "Anyone willing to sacrifice liberty for temporary safety, deserves neither liberty, or safety." Thomas Jefferson

    Assault weapons are protected by the 2nd, just like anti-gunners are by the 1st.

    I have NO criminal record, NO desire to harm a single person, nor commit acts of GENOCIDE! I hope anyone, including the federal government, feels the need to come get my LEGALLY REGISTERED AR-15 chambered in .50 caliber. They will get the ammo first!
    Anybody who supports legislation against any CONVENTIONAL weapon, (firearms that is, people who cite tactical nucs as part of the 2nd have no idea about what a premium refined uranium 235 comes at or how complicated it is to produce a functional fission or fusion weapon.) be it a mac10, uzi or John Kerry's Cheap Chinese assault rifle, Seeks to destroy the very principals upon which this nation was founded! Anyone who doesn't beleive Old War Hero Johnny...he,he doesn't have a chinese assault rifle, Go to the discussion forum at Hkpro.com which covers the issue expressly citing his quote and the magazine he said it in. I'm a 19 year old college student from Jersey, the second strictest state in the union regarding gun laws, short of California's. My rifle is useless without me and likewise, I'm useless without it! Call me a nut if you will, I stand fast for my freedoms, those who don't, stand against them. "People who fear weapons are both sexually and emotionally retarded" Sigmund Fruied. So Please, chill out, with all the lame, unfounded parroting concerning the views of Democratic Focus groups. It's Political suicide to even bring up the issue of our, now sunset, assault weapons ban of 94 in the upcoming election. Thanks, Regards Paul T.
  • Jews on October 4, 2004
    From an order in Nazi occupied Belgrade, Yugoslavia: "All Jews must register with the city police on April 19 [1941] by 8:00 a.m. ..."
  • HKPRO member on October 4, 2004
    Kudos to Paul Trace....
  • to Wildfire and Paul Trace on October 4, 2004
    Ahhh!!! SO STUPID!!!

    What is so hard to understand about this?

    First of all I don't advocate the government taking everybody's weapons. I think it is reasonable to register guns and take the gun's fingerprints so that if a crime is committed with a gun, that crime can be traced back to that gun. "Ohh noo, but the criminals won't be registered/will switch the barrels/will steal guns, etc." So what. Some information is better than nothing. At least it gives the police a direction to look in.

    Ok I don't understand what was so complex about the nuclear weapons comment that you people didn't get it. I'm not trying to argue that criminals will get their hands on weapons grade plutonium or whatever. I will argue that the USAF already has plenty and if in your crazy doomsday fascist apocalypse scenarios the government goes bad, it has plenty of nukes, plus helicopters, tanks, etc. In other words, if the government is gonna go fascist, there really ain't much a bunch of gun nuts can do to stop that. Wildfire, you said

    "IF allowed to grow unchecked, in a few years this may be true, IF the Government’s power is allowed to grow without having to answer to the People.
    But if the watchful pays attention and does their part, this is not the case."

    How do you propose we "check" the power of nuclear weapons? With a handgun? Yeah right. The power of the USAF is uncheckable, period. Your Iraq analogy makes no sense. In fact, it supports my view. In a year, 10,000 people armed with grenade launchers and AK-47s have only managed to kill 1,000 U.S. troops. I know we have killed far more than that. Boom, right there, fanatics with big guns getting blasted by our military.

    Your "resolve of the nation" argument doesn't make any sense either. Obviously, if the government engaged in an all-out battle with AMERICAN CITIZENS, we would be far beyond the point where citizen's views on the issue would be important. People complain about Iraq because we felt the government made a mistake, and because we can vote and hope that our elected officials will hear our voice, which will totally not be the case in the civil war scenario. Finally, what does it tell you about the American public that we don't like it when 1000 of our young men and women die needlessly. With the push a button the government could take out 1000 times that many. I think the gun nuts would shut up real fast, because you can't shoot missiles with even the biggest, baddest assault rifles.

    Your justification for the Iraq war is also nonsense. Are you implying that because our government made several mistakes in the past several decades, it is justifiable for them to keep on making mistakes? We put several fascist dictators into power in South America, including Pinochet, who used his U.S. provided power to kill thousands of political dissidents. Well then, say we happen to put in power another nut who does the same. Guess that's okay, because we've done it before. Intelligent people and governments learn from their mistakes. Only idiots repeat them.

    To Paul Trace:
    I hope for your sake the federal government DOESN'T come try to get your AR-15. Real useful against bomb, now, wouldn't it be. Or some Marines. There are plenty of terrorists in Iraq right now with your same attitude, and the Marines clean up on them pretty quick. They aren't afraid of a gun nut with an AR-15. And frankly I find it pathetic that you feel yourself "useless" without a weapon.

    It's also pretty pathetic that you feel the need to mock someone's sexuality because of their feelings about gun control. How insecure are you? You know, there is a theory that gun owners buy guns to compensate for feelings of inadequacy because guns are large, powerful, and phallic. Now why did you have to bring that one on yourself by name-calling people who disagree with you on a completely unrelated subject?
  • James Kolb (View Email) on October 4, 2004
    Hey, "History's View", um, I'm kind of ANTI-GUN CONTROL, so you kind of just posted a whole bunch of points that agree with me, a person you called an idiot. This is the kind of thing I talked about in my last post.

    You come on to our school newspaper, you assume that anybody who is a student or points out the rapant stupidity that is going on here in these forums is pro-gun control. I am pro-gun. I've fired guns before. I still think that many of the pro-gun people here, including you, "History's View" need to actually bother to READ our posts and maybe even use something called logic.

    Well, I guess I better go back to my Quantum homework, or maybe I'm just too stupid to do it?
  • 4th amendment? on October 5, 2004
    EVER HEAR OF IT?

    "First of all I don't advocate the government taking everybody's weapons. I think it is reasonable to register guns and take the gun's fingerprints so that if a crime is committed with a gun, that crime can be traced back to that gun. "Ohh noo, but the criminals won't be registered/will switch the barrels/will steal guns, etc." So what. Some information is better than nothing. At least it gives the police a direction to look in."

    IDIOT.........YOU ARE SPPOSED TO BE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DON'T THINK THE MILITARY GETS KILLED BY ARMED CITIZENS?

    TELL YOUR ARGUMENT TO ALL THE 50,000+ DEAD BODIES FROM VIETNAM.
  • to 4th ammendment on October 5, 2004
    You are the idiot. Where did I say that gun owners were assumed guilty? You have to have insurance and a license and registration to drive a car. Does that mean you are "assumed guilty" of traffic violations before you commit them? It makes me so angry when people are this stupid.

    Your point about Vietnam is almost valid. Too bad now all the government has to do is drop thousands of bombs all over the place. I still maintain that in a civil war between the government and the army, the army would win hands down.
  • Wildfire on October 5, 2004
    To Ely Portillo, mike, and to the pitiful writer that couldn’t remember their own name You said “In 1992, handguns killed 33 people in Great Britain, 36 in Sweden, 60 in Japan, 13 in Australia, 128 in Canada - and 13,220 in the USA.” And what SOURCE is given for those numbers? Are they made up numbers? (Some school text books actually show the equator running through FLORIDA.) Switzerland has extremely lenient laws (more so than the U.S.), and has the third-lowest homicide rate of the top nine major European countries, and the same per capita rate as England and Wales. (Carol Kalish, International Crime Rates, Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report (Washington: Department of Justice, May 1988). 1984 data for Switzerland, and the 1983 data for England and Wales.) But let’s take those numbers. What was the NON-gun deaths rates in those countries? How many of those gun deaths in our country were from PVS? (Poor Victim Selection? Where the intended victim killed the predator? It is more common than you are told.) Consider, for instance, the fact that our nongun homicide rates exceed total homicide rates in many nations. In 1998, the murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate in the United States was 6.3 per 100,000 people, and firearms were used in about two-thirds of these killings. Even if we had somehow gotten rid not only of handguns but of all guns, and even if, improbably, none of the killers who used guns would have substituted some other weapon, we still would have been left with 2.1 murders for every 100,000 people - about four times the average annual homicide rate in Japan where guns are TOTALLY banned (0.5 per 100,000) and higher than the homicide rates in Great Britain (1.2) or Sweden (1.4). Obviously, access to guns isn't the only factor. Consider, too, countries where guns are common and crime is rare. Switzerland where most house holds have REAL assault rifles, that shoot FULL-AUTOMATIC, like Teddy Kennedy’s bodyguards carry, boasts a heavily armed population and a thriving gun culture (shooting contests for children are a popular tradition). Yet its homicide rates are comparable to Great Britain's. Israel, where most adults are either on active military duty or in the reserves and almost every home has a weapon, FULL-AUTOMATIC weapons, also has a low murder rate, on a par with most of Western Europe. What's more, more than half of gun deaths in this country (about 55 percent) are not homicides, but suicides. Am I saying that we needn't be concerned if people merely shoot themselves rather than shoot others? No. But in this case, blaming the guns for the deaths is especially dubious. Japan’s suicide rate is nearly DOUBLE that of the USA. Curiously, when it comes to suicide, we don't see many comparisons with all those countries that keep guns out of people's hands - maybe because America wouldn't look so bad by comparison. In 1996, the suicide rate per 100,000 people was 11.8 in the United States, 13.4 in Canada, 17.9 in Japan, 20.9 in France and 25 in Finland. (“More Guns, Less Crime” by John Lott an EX-gun control proponent!) Mike you said: “Isn't it funny how most of the conservatives here probably support bills like the Patriot Act that are eroding our rights in the name of security, and support even more oppresive measures to fight terrorism (like Guantanomo Bay and the loss of trial by jury), but they oppose measures that could really make us safer? Like SENSIBLE gun control!” Let’s take your post a little at a time: “Isn't it funny how most of the conservatives here probably support bills like the Patriot Act” “probably” meaning you don’t KNOW what you are talking about, but you want to hack on people, that present facts, with your baseless accusations because you can’t compete with FACT yourself. If the unfounded beliefs you have been taught are wrong, you can CHANGE your wrongful beliefs. Do research and find the facts for yourself! I did it! And if I can do it, you can do it! Where did you draw your conclusions of “how most of the conservatives here”? Who says? Who TOLD YOU to believe that? I don’t. Now on to “but they oppose measures that could really make us safer? Like SENSIBLE gun control!” Give me some examples of “SENSIBLE gun control!” (If it only controls the people that would obey the laws and would not be committing crimes and yet does nothing to stop criminals that by their very TITLE show that they do NOT obey the law and DO commit crimes against the innocent, it is NOT very “sensible” now is it?) Ok, make it simple for me; name the US cities with the strictest anti-Rights laws (gun control isn’t about controlling guns; it’s about controlling PEOPLE it is based in racism.) AND at the same time has the LOWEST crime and homicide rates. (Don’t forget the sources for your information. Thank You.) Now to the poster whose name isn’t all they don’t know. You stated: “I think it is reasonable to register guns and take the gun's fingerprints so that if a crime is committed with a gun, that crime can be traced back to that gun.” No you do not think. There in lies the problem. Thinking requires one to seek answers. You simply parrot things you have heard WITHOUT thinking for yourself. Name all the cities in the USA where registration of privately owned arms didn’t lead to confiscation. New York? Washington DC? Chicago? Now, do you know ANYTHING about “ballistic fingerprinting”? Of course not. Or you wouldn’t have presented such and expensive and worthless idea as “reasonable”. Here are some facts that may help prevent a good hearted, enthusiastic person such as you from looking like a fool when talking to knowledgeable people on the subject. More than 70% of armed career criminals get their guns from "off-the-street sales" in "criminal acts" such as burglaries (“Protecting America “, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1992), and 71% of these firearms are stolen.( “Armed and Considered Dangerous”, U.S. Department of Justice, 1986) Tracing these firearms will not lead to the criminals as the trail stops at THE LAST LEGAL OWNER. Fact: Computer image matching of cartridges fails between 38-62% of the time, depending on if the cartridges are from the same or different manufacturers. (“Feasibility of a Ballistics Imaging Database for All New Handgun Sales”, Frederic Tulleners, California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services, October, 2001. Henceforth “FBID”) Fact: “Automated computer matching systems do not provide conclusive results" requiring that "potential candidates be manually reviewed". (“FBID”) Neither New York nor Maryland has reported A SINGLE PROSECUTION BASED ON MATCHED CASINGS OR BULLETS. (“Ballistics 'fingerprinting' not foolproof”, Baltimore Sun, October 15, 2002 "Townsend backs New Rule on Sale of Assault Rifles", Washington Post, October 30, 2002) NOT ONE! The cost for this lack of success in Maryland exceeds $2,500,000 a year. Once again: Fact: "Firearms that generate markings on cartridge casings can change with use and can also be readily altered by the users. They are not permanently defined like fingerprints or DNA." (“FBID”) Fact: "Automated computer matching systems do not provide conclusive results.”(“FBID”) Fact: “Because bullets are severely damaged on impact, they can only be examined manually”. (“FBID”) Fact: “Not all firearms generate markings on cartridge casings that can be identified back to the firearm.” (“FBID”) Fact: The same gun will produce different markings on bullets and casings, and different guns can produce similar markings. (“Handbook of Firearms & Ballistics: Examining and Interpreting Forensic Evidence”, Heard, 1997) Fact: The rifle used in the Martin Luther King assassination was test fired 18 times under court supervision, and the results showed that no two bullets were marked alike. (“Ballistics 'fingerprinting' not foolproof”, Baltimore Sun, October 15, 2002) “Every test bullet was different because it was going over plating created by the previous bullet.” “Ok I don't understand what was so complex about the nuclear weapons comment that you people didn't get it.” Because it is irrelevant drivel. The USA has HAD atomic bombs since before 1945. Right? Now try to THINK, think real hard, in the last 50 years name ALL the foreign cites bombed by the USA with atomic bombs. That’s right! Other than the ones bombed by Democrat Harry S Truman nearly SIXTY years ago there have been NONE! Do you REALLY think the USA would bomb, say Washington DC with a nuke? New York City maybe? Chicago? Well here, name the city you “think” the USA would be willing to bomb with an atomic bomb on US soil. BOOM! Your point is gone! “I'm not trying to argue that criminals will get their hands on weapons grade plutonium or whatever. I will argue that the USAF already has plenty and if in your crazy doomsday fascist apocalypse scenarios the government goes bad, it has plenty of nukes, plus helicopters, tanks, etc.” The Government still has to deal with the COUNTRY that the elitist themselves live in. THINK, their own families may live next door to the pro-Freedom people. “In other words, if the government is gonna go fascist, there really ain't much a bunch of gun nuts can do to stop that. Wildfire, you said” Why don’t you present FACTS to back up what you parrot instead of simply call names? “Your "resolve of the nation" argument doesn't make any sense either.” Of course not. You must first have at least a modicum of understand of the subject, before you can understand higher points of the subject.
  • Paul Trace (View Email) on October 6, 2004
    Thank you wildfire for actually citing information, instead of the, you know there's this theory mindlessness. And to Mr. or Ms. anonymous Who wrote ahh. so Stupid to me and wildfire. I wasn't cutting on anyone's sexuality or lack there of, due to their views on weapons control. It was a quote built to draw a reaction from a certian cross section of society, Thank you for playing into it and losing your head. I'm sure we all have extensions of our personalities, that we have chosen to represent us. Whoever wrote the statement that I'm responding to, wouldn't feel so secure in their social circle without their tie dye shirt or hacky sac. But let's not throw stones or anything, we all have reactions to provocation. If gun owners are seriously prevoked, there's no doubt in my mind their first thought would be their very powerful concealed .22 or something, but it's better than throwing a brightly colored bean bag at an asailant as the alternative. Besides which, who do you think is the most likely tarket for a mugging or some random violence in general?... A confused well funded college hippie with highly dynamic ideas about tense situations or someone known to own a firearm? Let's see "gun nuts" aparrently wouldn't have any money to even take, given their perpensity to buy the newest colt 1911a1 .45 varient and ammo for it. The average insecure college kid has his/her parents money for food in pocket. I'm sure the criminals know an easy mark when they see one. Go ahead and call my logic skewed if you want, But my justifacation for being armed is sound and all the reason I need. What are your motives for being an easy mark? I'll retain my paycheck should some, poor, cranky, member of society with a weapon of any sort come for me! An armed society is a polite society. What do you think supported the rules of victorian propriety for so long? Insulting members of the general populus would land you in poor physical standing in short order if you lack means to back yourself up. An update on wild fire...Great Britian has had an all encompassing gun-ban for some time now. This year they also had the higest gun death per capita rate in western europe. So, If we did the same...Ban all guns in the us, and still had what you regard as a high crime rate related strictly to gun violence, what would be the average hippies solution then? Complain more? Sorry to use the stereotype "HIPPIE", but if someone feels the burning desire to call me a nut simply for being a citizen exersising his rights, I guess they have no legit arguement and have to resort to stirring up what hysteria they can by telling people the're gun toting crazy's on the street as we speak. So from hense forth i'm required to refer to those who seek to erode the very rights that allow them to be what they are, as hippies. HIPPIES- the general term for pacifists and anti-gunners alike, Wouldn't exist if it weren't for the basic rights our government affords them. Try going to any communist third world nation and be "yourselves". Oh...wait there go the riot police, sorry. What were you trying to change again...HaHa your no dictator. From an order in Nazi occupied Belgrade, Yugoslavia: "All Jews must register with the city police on April 19 [1941] by 8:00 a.m. ..." What's this erroneous post supposed to mean? It has nothing to do with guns but rather persecuted Jews? How did you get there? My quote is from 1935 and was to the german people, IN GERMANY,(albeit including the Jews in the population, the quote had nothing specifically to do with them registering themselves with the ss sa or einzatsgruppen!)... The quote I selected was a rather sterile one, to prove a point about how hippies and facists Relate in an indirect manner. It had no relation to occupied europe and newly aquired leibenstraum or living space the, biggest wanker of all time found himself in temporary control of. Was the anonymous response correct? Yes. The date is correct and action of the state historically valid but has nothing at all to do with guns! So thanks for the very necessary history lesson. What is that world history I or something? Please... Regards Paul T. P.s. thank you for the kudo's hkpro member.
  • paul trace (View Email) on October 6, 2004
    BY THE WAY THE GOVERNMENT ISN"T GOING TO BOMB ME, THEIR NOT GOING TO SICK THE MARINES ON ME, AND I HAVE NOTHING TO DO IRAQI TERRORIST's views. I DON'T APPRECIATE THE COMPARISON! FREAKEN HIPPIE I'm exersising my incumbant rights, which I expext to stay rock solid, your the one seeking change in this country. Remember that when you try painting me as a radical!
  • to Wildfire on October 6, 2004
    Dude, slow down and start thinking about what you are saying. More than 70% of armed career criminals get their guns from "off-the-street sales" in "criminal acts" such as burglaries (“Protecting America “, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 1992), and 71% of these firearms are stolen.( “Armed and Considered Dangerous”, U.S. Department of Justice, 1986) Tracing these firearms will not lead to the criminals as the trail stops at THE LAST LEGAL OWNER. Oh really? I guess the trail stops if you are close-minded and don't think this thing through. Police get clues from burglaries. Sometimes the burglars, and subsequent gun-using criminals, leave fingerprints or other identifying evidence. I never said that this would be a 100% successful thing. But why do you advocate cutting police off at the knees completely? I don't know where you are from. If you go to Blair or live in this community, you will remember the sniper shootings 2 years ago. Charles Moose described ballistic evidence as a "great asset." It was used to tie all the shootings together. The way they finally linked the shootings to Malvo was from a tip that the pair had committed a murder in Alabama. Investigators found Malvo's prints on a magazine about weapons, and then used that information to find out about Muhammad. The point is that in many crimes there is no 100% smoking gun piece of evidence. The police have to make do with the myriad small pieces of evidence they do have, including ballistic fingerprinting, which, while not perfect, is better than nothing. All the sniper information was compiled from the Washington Post website. Wildfire, you might want to read some of your reports more thoroughly. Fact: The report you cited by Frederic Tulleners contains this paragraph: "In 1994 the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) conducted a study1 as to the feasibility of automated imaging systems that could retain information and images of fired cartridge cases or bullets. This study produced an extensive publication that discussed the feasibility of such systems. This study found that in the context of databases used by local agencies, such systems were feasible and could subsequently compare these images in an automated fashion that would revolutionize firearms identification. In fact, the forensic laboratory would now become proactive and provide investigative leads to the investigator. Such a system would not be expected to, nor could it provide positive identifications. However, the system would provide a needed service if it could narrow the likely choices in open case files from many to a few." Again I will ask: even if ballistic fingerprinting isn't accurate enough to suit you right now, why do you want to cut the police off at the knees? You're not the one who has to solve gun related crimes, so what do you really have to say of importance on the subject? What do you know about being an investigator that the ONDCP doesn't? "THINK, their own families may live next door to the pro-Freedom people." Lord! Are you actually trying to argue that your apocalyptic scenarios are legitimate? Where do you think "the elitists" would be in the case of all-out civil war? Naturally, they would be living in houses right next to the people who want to kill them, of course. No, moron. They would move out. Your atomic bomb argument is nonsense. The only thing stopping the United States from dropping atomic bombs to solve wars is the outrage that it would cause in the US populace as well as the world community, as well as the threat of mutually assured destruction, the final resting place of the whole weapons-for-protection scheme. If the US government went fascist, I am pretty sure they wouldn't be too concerned about hurting the feelings of the people they are trying to kill. Please, Saddam had WMDs and he used them against his countrymen. I would like to add that whatever weapons those people owned did them no good against the nerve gas, anthrax, etc. "“In other words, if the government is gonna go fascist, there really ain't much a bunch of gun nuts can do to stop that. Wildfire, you said” Why don’t you present FACTS to back up what you parrot instead of simply call names? " Don't accuse me of parroting. Perhaps the worst but most repeated argument is that somehow guns are protecting our civil liberties from the US government. You have not once presented a single piece of evidence to support the claim that a bunch of gun nuts COULD stop the US government. I challenge you for the second or third time to articulate one reasonable scenario where a bunch of gun nuts could stop the full force of the United States Military. Finally, I think you are the one without the "modicum of understand." Reread my argument against your resolve of the nation nonsense. Explain in articulate, preferably grammatically correct English what is wrong with it. Explain why this nation's lack of resolve would assist it in fighting a fascist US government. Then you can try to make fun of me. Right now it sounds like you are struggling. You have nothing to argue, so you are just going to call me ignorant and hope that I will believe you. To Paul Trace: you are calling me a hippie because I advocate helping the police solve crimes, yet your email address appears to be a homophone for "Mr. LSD." Yeah, I feel just great about you having assault rifles. Anyway, first of all I never compared you to Iraqi terrorists. I compared the ease with which the Marines could take you out to the ease with which the Marines could take out the Iraqi terrorists. The LSD crack aside, I have no reason to believe that you are not an upstanding member of society. Second of all, I am not the one who first suggested that the government was going to attack you. I believe you are the one who said you would shoot operatives of the federal government if they tried to get your gun. I was merely pointing out the futility of that brilliant scheme by drawing comparisons to other examples of people who try to battle the US federal government with assault weapons. Finally, YOUR GUN IS LEGALLY REGISTERED. Fine with me, that's what I am trying to advocate here. Are you for or against registration of guns? Are you for or against registration of cars? Is there a difference? Is that difference in favor of letting random guns float around the country, unmarked and unregistered? Finally, and I am not trying to belittle you in any way, I am just curious, what do you actually do with your AR-15? Do you indeed carry it around with you on the streets of Jersey to defend yourself against criminals? I would like to share a true story. It gives the other side to the argument that if everybody is armed, nobody will mess with anybody else. I am removing many of the details of the story to protect privacy, but it does represent something that actually happened. A man from out of town was walking in another group's neighborhood. This group saw him, saw by his clothes that he was not from around their area, so they asked him who he was, where he was from, etc. He displayed his gun and announced that he didn't want any problems. At this point, the argument goes, the in-town group of people would leave him alone because he has a gun. What actually happened: they shot him 3 times in the face. Most of the gun nuts love to argue that crime is lower in places where people are heavily armed. But I have yet to see one convincing piece of evidence that this is due to guns rather than to the culture and situation of the respective areas.
  • Wildfire on October 7, 2004
    To the one who doesn’t know his own name: “I guess the trail stops if you are close-minded and don't think this thing through. Police get clues from burglaries. Sometimes the burglars, and subsequent gun-using criminals, leave fingerprints or other identifying evidence. I never said that this would be a 100% successful thing.” Close-minded or not, common sense and plain FACTS says that the last one complying with the law (law-abiding) will be the last one on record for that gun’s “ballistic fingerprint”, CRIMINALS are called “criminals” because they don’t obey the law. (Why do YOU think they, CRIMINALS, will register their STOLEN gun’s “ballistic fingerprint”?) But, since you like that idea so well, you will LOVE this offer! I will make you a deal: Give me $100,000 cash up front, and for the first 5 years, I will provide ALL your personal transportation needs . . . randomly at my choosing, 15% of the time! (Meaning 85% of the time I’ll be a “No Show”.) I’ll put in the fine print how much the vehicle upgrades will cost you extra, as well as my salary for this service during that time, as well as how much more it will cost than “originally projection”. Think of all the benefits to you! Your transportation needs will no longer be “cut off at the knees completely”! Of course this may not appeal to you “if you are close-minded”. What you fail to grasp is I didn’t present data from the NRA! I used data that was PRO “Ballistic Fingerprinting”! This report was WRITTEN trying to SELL this idea . . . and even THAT REPORT demonstrated how expensive and worthless it truly is! Yes, on a small scale, like city wide, it MAY work . . . but will the city small enough for it to be useful also be able to AFFORD the cost and manpower to implement it? Why not use the MILLIONS on salaries for more cops? “As of December 2002, neither Maryland nor New York had identified a hit with their RBID. The so-called “time-to-crime” factor may explain why. The “time-to-crime” is defined as the length of time from the first retail sale of a firearm to its recovery as a crime gun, regardless of the number of subsequent sales. The Crime Gun Trace Reports (1999) National Report, published by the ATF, identifies the median “time-to-crime” as three years for 32 percent of recovered guns. However, the latest Trace Reports (2002) indicates that an RBID is considered operable if it generates a hit rate of approximately 15% after two years of new-gun entries.” Or more clearly; an EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT (85%) FAILURE RATE after MILLIONS of dollars invested . . . this report considers GOOD! Shhhh! I’ll let you in on the secret of the MAIN crime solving tool the police use, the one that solves around 95% of their cases: The perpetrator or an associate talks too much! “But why do you advocate cutting police off at the knees completely?” MY position WON’T “cutting police off at the knees completely”. It has NOTHING to do with their knees, shins or ankles! Please try to follow the subject. “Charles Moose described ballistic evidence as a "great asset."” This was AFTER the murderers were FOUND, by the trucker, WITH the GUN in their POSSESSION! Is this the same Chief Charles Moose, which after the first Beltway shooting was given the description of the car and driver by witnesses that they thought was the origin of the shot, as well as at later shooting scenes . . . but he ignored them and didn’t stop the vehicle and investigate because the occupants were black? Is this the same Chief Charles Moose that insisted that the shooters were “White Supremacists”? The same Chief Charles Moose who threw away the WRITTEN evidence that the shooters had SENT to him? The same Chief Charles Moose whose officers HUNG UP on the shooters when they called half a dozen times? Are talking about the “Beltway” shootings? The ones where a “Bushmaster” was used? How could they have happened? This was a BANNED ASSAULT WEAPON! (The ORIGINAL TOPIC of this POST!) Those guns are TOTALLY BANNED where the murders took place aren’t they? We are talking about the same shooters whom were found by the TRUCK DRIVER and had DELIBERATLY LEFT their FINGERPRINTS and MESSAGES for Chief Charles Moose and because of what THE SHOOTERS TOLD THE POLICE were connected back to the Alabama shooting? If it is the same Chief Charles Moose he MUST be creditable! Now, AGAIN I ask you to name the US cities, with STRICT anti- Freedom laws, that also have the lowest crime rate. New York City? Chicago? Washington D.C.? But as an aside even Hitler could not implement the “Final Solution” without the support of the German people. As for the “nuclear bomb” foolishness; THINK, where do they live? How close would YOU feel comfortable having a nuke go off, if YOU were in control of said nuke? And CORRECTION: “This idea is foolish to even suggest.” The “Atomic Bomb” argument IS stupid . . . it was also YOURS. “Don't accuse me of parroting. Perhaps the worst but most repeated argument is that somehow guns are protecting our civil liberties from the US government.” I’m sorry but the REASON a law is written, is STILL the REASON the law was written. If you are NOT simply parroting, and the Government elitists DO NOT fear armed Americans . . . why does Teddy Kennedy push for laws disarming the law-abiding citizens of ANY firearms while HIS own bodyguards carry machineguns? Try to answer with common sense, intelligence and reason; the grammar used is up to you. I’m intelligent enough to carry on an intelligent discussion as well as understand logic even when written in poor grammar. As for you story (When people start their story “This is a true story” it is seldom true. As for the STUPID “person” in your story, a gun should never be displayed, brandished or pointed unless it is intended to be used to kill to save ones own life or the life of another, the bad guys should never have even known he was armed until they heard the report of the shoot. “He” got what he deserved.), true or made up, had you been the victim, why would you have felt better being unarmed and murdered in that situation? Soldiers carrying M-16’s have been killed. A gun does NOT save everyone. But facts do clearly show guns reduce crime. George Hennard killed 22 people in Luby’s, many could only sit and cower waiting their turn to be murdered. Yet just WEEKS later, Thomas Glenn Terry, saved 21 from TWO armed robbers who had used their STOLEN GUNS to committed murder in a robbery the week before. How was the Pearl School Shooting stopped? How was the Virginia Law School shooter stopped? Tell me the name of the US cities where when the gun control laws were dropped . . . crimes went UP. Then give me a list of US cities where when the gun civil rights of the citizens were restricted . . . crime went DOWN. I sure WISH guns were treated like CARS! (If you weren’t parroting what you were told to think you would never have made this ignorant comparison.) YOU DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO OWN A CAR, OR TO DRIVE ONE. There is no constitutional guarantee for you to own or possess an automobile, truck, car, motorcycle, bicycle or even a skateboard. If any of these products were deemed to be illegal you would have no constitutional challenge under the Bill of Rights (except, perhaps, that of due-process before you must give up your vehicle). With that out of the way, let's do a little comparison. First, let's think about registering guns like cars and licensing gun owners like car drivers. In the first place we'll have to purge a lot of useless laws off the books regarding firearms. Consider: There is no waiting period to purchase an automobile. Anyone can purchase an automobile as long as they can sign a legal contract to pay for it. You are not required to lock up your car and keep it away from children. People convicted of felonies or domestic violence can own an automobile. Anyone paying cash can purchase an automobile, even if they're under 18. You do not have to have a driver's license to buy an automobile. The government does not have the power to inspect how you garage your car. There is no limit how many cars you can own, or how many you can buy per month. The government can't limit the features of your car, such as top speed, fuel capacity, horsepower, etc. The government does not limit how many gallons of gas you can buy per month. The only penalty for not registering your automobile yearly isn't a felony. The government, except for a few states, cannot seize your automobile if you fail to register it. You only need to register an automobile if you plan to use it on the GOVERNMENT OWNED street. To obtain a driver's license you fill out a written test, provide a birth certificate (and/or INS papers), take an eye exam and a short driver's test to show you can operate the vehicle. The fee for a license ranges from about $5 to $20. Licenses are good for several years, some states renew automatically; others are lifetime licenses. Licenses are only revoked after a court trial for misuse or violating the laws. Are you still enthusiastic about it? You can see how many so called "gun-control" laws would be abolished by such an idea. But we have not considered the opposite side of this question. Since you don't have a right to an automobile, the government can impose many laws on their ownership, purchase and use that cannot be applied to guns. But let's stick with guns for the moment and see what you'd have to go through. Registering and Licensing Cars like Guns Convicted felons could not own or drive a car. You'd pay for a car, register it and then wait from 5 to 15 days to pick up your car. Purchasing a used car from a neighbor requires the same waiting period and you would have to transact the sale through a licensed car dealer. You could buy a car, register it but you'd need a special permit to take it out on the streets. To get the above "street permit" you have to show good cause and be of good moral character. Persons convicted of "domestic violence" could not own or drive a car, even if that occurred 30 years ago. Cars have to be stored where no child could access it and hurt themselves playing with it. In some places (e.g. NYC or New Jersey) you would first need a permit to buy from the police department which sometimes takes up to 2 years to obtain. If you own more than a certain number of cars, the government could enter your home at any time to ensure you stored your cars properly. This is actually a proposed law by Handgun Control, Inc. that would require anyone owning more than 4 guns to have an "arsenal" license and permit warrantless searches. If a minor child stole your car and hurt himself or others with it, you'd be guilty of a felony. In some cities (e.g. Washington D.C.) you would have to store your car partially disassembled. Failure to register your car would be a federal felony (prevents you from owning another one). People under psychiatric care or mentally incompetent could not own or drive a car. Some models of automobiles might be banned after you buy them and you'd have to turn them over to the government without compensation. "Assault vehicles" look evil and must be specially registered at extra cost. Hummers, 4x4 trucks, Suburbans, Dodge Vipers, Nissan NSX's, and Corvettes are likely targets. Cars under a certain size or having certain features could not be imported. You could not modify your car to allow more fuel, more performance, or better cornering. The government would allow some states or cities to not issue licenses at all, for any reason. Cars could not be operated on city streets with gasoline in the tank. (Kinda defeats the whole purpose, doesn't it?) In some states (e.g. Virginia, California) you could only buy one car per month. There would be no traffic "infractions", all violations would be misdemeanors or felonies. It would be illegal to directly buy a car from an out of state dealer or seller. Car dealers would have to allow government agents to review their records without a warrant and without notice. Car dealers who sell a car to someone prohibited would be charged with a federal felony. Car dealers would be subject to being shut down by the government for failure to keep proper records and charged with a felony. The inventory of car dealers could be seized and destroyed before a conviction was obtained. This all sounds pretty silly, doesn't it? Most of these are gun-laws, applied to autos or drivers. I don’t swallow the racism based reason for civil rights infringement too easily, because I have used my own gun to stop 3 armed robberies and a rape. But do me a favor, start wearing a pin on your chest and back stating “I DO NOT SUPPORT STOPPING CRIMES WITH A GUN!” And should I see you being criminally assaulted . . . I will go look for a phone.
  • To Wildfire. on October 9, 2004
    Man....how can ANY of these liberals follow that spanking you just dished out to these ANTI-gun kids.
  • Bud G (View Email) on July 7, 2005 at 2:11 PM
    July 2005
    So I see the sky hasn't fallen yet after the AWB sunset. Thank God someone in the gov't. has common sense.
    Bud
  • Robert (View Email) on December 24, 2005 at 2:16 AM
    Check the crime report and the inital recordes the government has. Only .005 or a 1/2 of a percent people are kill with an assualt weapon including the police. Guess what 1% are killed with a handgun. Never the less 60% are killed by hands and feet and the other 39.995 are killed by an object such as a lead pipe --- get a life dude. -- criminal Justice major.
  • Mike (View Email) on March 31, 2006 at 2:20 PM
    Hi
    You should start writing some more articles just like this one! You are great!

    Regards
  • T.J. (View Email) on December 19, 2006 at 6:58 PM
    I guess I was one of the many, many law enforcement officers who didn't decry the end of the "assault weapons" ban. Honestly, most crime is committed with stolen guns, no amount of criminilization or confiscation is going to stop the hardcore criminals who use illicit weapons.
    I know it sounds good in sound clips, but the average police officer is not supportive of gun taking legislation. I know I can't be everywhere, and someone needs to be able to defend themselves if they make that choice. Australia has had a disasterous rise in crime since they confiscated most weapons. Criminals now know citizens are unarmed.
    Again, I don't espouse everyone owning a gun. What I do say is states like Vermont which have liberal concealed carry and gun ownership laws have very limited violent crime. Guns don't cause crime, criminals do. Criminals carry guns, citizens should be able to defend themselves against aggression from criminals.
    Enough said, thus endeth the sermon.
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