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.
Not only is November
9 election day in Maryland, it also happens to be the same day the state's
vaunted Saturday Night Special law takes effect. Passed by the state legislature
in the spring despite a $6.7 million lobbying effort backed by the NRA,
the law set up a review board to identify and prohibit the sale of cheap
handguns in Maryland. Touted as a victory over gun control opponents and
a counterweight to handgun violence, the law is in truth a largely meaningless
exercise. Not since the 1970s have cheap handguns been responsible for
more than a handful of the city's homicides; nowadays even teenagers are
walking around with semiautomatics tucked into their sweatpants. Smith
& Wesson, Glock, Baretta, Sig Sauer... An though Maryland's landmark
gun control law is the pride of its political leaders, it has arrived about
fifteen years too late.
- David Simon, "Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets" (1998)
"They (in favour of gun control) must believe in the existence of a substantial number of persons who are willing and able to break serious laws such as those prohibiting murder, assault, and robbery, yet who are not willing or able to break gun control laws."
"God may have made men and women, but Colt made them equal."
"Are you armed, Lestrade?"
"As long as I have my trousers I have a hip-pocket, and as long as I have my hip-pocket I have
something in it."
"Good! My friend and I are also ready for emergencies."
- Sherlock Holmes and Lestrade, facing danger in "The Hound of the Baskervilles"
An inmate in a Florida prison wrote to agree with me on the availability of guns, saying that a 'criminal can and will get a stolen gun faster than you can get your car washed.' He also points out that many criminals prefer guns gotten illegally, since they will be harder to trace.
Would gun control in
America have prevented the carnage at Virginia Tech university? Probably,
yes. Does that mean that tighter controls will reduce gun crime? Almost
certainly, not. That, simply put, is the dilemma that confronts us each
time we listen to the grim, but all too familiar, details of a school or
college massacre, the planned, methodical preparations for an apparently
deranged act of revenge, the shock experienced by a small and peaceful
community and the soul-searching that comes in its aftermath... The UK
ban has had no discernible effect on gun crime, which has continued a steady
rise dating back more than 25 years and which accounted for some 4,000
injuries in the UK last year. Immediately after the ban, the number of
shootings actually went up and has stayed up, though the homicide rate,
which is relatively low, has been almost unaffected. In Scotland, for instance,
the rate of about eight killings a year by guns has remained the same despite
the Dunblane ban... Nor does the widespread possession of arms necessarily
indicate a violent society. In Switzerland, for instance, where owning
a gun is mandatory and where the laws and traditions of the country require
every able-bodied adult to keep a semi-automatic weapon at home, crime
levels have been historically low... Any government that wants to
be seen to be taking action after a violent event can reach for legislation,
but it is likely to discover that the social malaise that led to the violence
is more deep-seated and intractable... What is needed is a wholesale shift
in the national culture — and that will take rather longer than an arms
- Magnus Linklater, "The Times"
Being quick to make
the shooter a victim rather than a moral agent would be a mistake... On
Monday at Virginia Tech a young man faced a powerful temptation to do great
evil. Influenced by strong emotion and a tendency to rationalize his actions,
he chose evil. Does the scenario sound familiar to anybody?
- E. Christian Brugger, "National Review"
If this is not evil,
it is hard to know what is. Yet the modern reflex is to recoil from such
moral categorisation and to look for supposedly deeper causes — social,
psychological, even genetic — that erode and displace the doctrine of personal
responsibility. The cunning of evil is to disguise itself. In such cases
— depressingly commonplace in our times — it is all too easy to lose moral
focus and to allow our response to become meaninglessly diffuse. No culture
can long remain healthy if it surrenders the concept of moral responsibility
to the modern doctrines of mitigation, determinism and collective guilt.
Yet the reality of evil is mirrored in the persistence of good. The unspeakable
depravity of Cho found its match in the heroism of Professor Liviu Librescu,
a 76-year-old Holocaust survivor, who blocked a classroom door to save
his students before perishing. That, rather than the present cacophony
of half-baked sociology, should be our abiding memory of the Virginia massacre.
- Leader in "The Spectator" (Apr'07)
I think we have a problem
in our culture not with "realistic weapons" but with being realistic about
reality... Virginia Tech, remember, was a "gun-free zone," formally and
proudly designated as such by the college administration. Yet the killer
kept his guns and ammo on the campus. It was a "gun-free zone" except for
those belonging to the guy who wanted to kill everybody... The administration
has created a "Gun-Free School Zone." Or, to be more accurate, they've
created a sign that says "Gun-Free School Zone." And, like a loopy medieval
sultan, they thought that simply declaring it to be so would make it so.
The "gun-free zone" turned out to be a fraud -- not just because there
were at least two guns on the campus last Monday, but in the more important
sense that the college was promoting to its students a profoundly deluded
view of the world.
- Mark Steyn, "Chicago Sun Times"
I’m sick over the Virginia
Tech story. But I’m sickened of the Virginia Tech 'story'. That is, it’s
at moments like this — the “aftermath” stage of some horrible event — when
the press, particularly television news networks, are most proud of themselves
that I find them the most repellent. To be sure, it’s difficult to see
the line between enough and too much when journalists go wild, “flooding
the zone,” competing with each other like starving dogs for the slightest
new morsel of information they can then put on a permanent loop on cable
TV, until the next fragmentary detail is pried loose by a reporter desperate
to be first, for 15 minutes. Because there isn’t enough new information
to fill the infinite void allotted to these stories, the press quickly
succumbs to a kind of emotional vampirism, feeding off the grief, fear,
and anguish of victims clearly incapable of understanding their own feelings
or of finding meaning in events that defy either understanding or meaning...
Tragedy becomes feeding time for the press.
- Jonah Goldberg, "Emotional Vampirism", "National Review"
Last week, a Finnish
teenager shot eight people dead in a Finnish school. It was interesting
that the coverage of this horror was rather perfunctory. Whenever similar
killings take place in the United States, huge stories run for days, with
BBC reporters saying things like, ‘Just another example of America’s love
affair with the gun.’ ‘Finland’s love affair with the gun’ doesn’t have
the same ring. Besides, gun laws are strict in Finland, so there was no
cheap point to be made. But the eight people are just as dead.
- Charles Moore, "The Spectator" (Nov'07)
"Allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths. If those states that did not have right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders; 4,177 rapes; and more than 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided yearly."
About a decade ago,
Bill Clinton developed a favourite statistic--that every day in America
12 children died from gun violence. When one delved a little deeper into
this, it turned out that 11.569 persons under the age of 20 died each day
from gun violence, and five-sixths of those 11.569 alleged kindergartners
turned out to be aged between 15 and 19. Many of them had the misfortune
to become involved in gangs, convenience-store holdups, drive-by shootings,
and drug deals, which, alas, don't always go as smoothly as one had planned.
If more crack deals passed off peacefully, that "child" death rate could
be reduced by three-quarters.
- Mark Steyn, "Western Standard"
"HCI claims one child per day killed by handgun accidents; the figure from the National Safety Council is an average of 256 per year for ALL ages, 10-15 a year for kids under age 5, and 50-55 per year for kids under age 15. For comparison, 381 kids under five drowned in pools in 1980, while 13 were killed by handgun accidents. 432 were killed by fires caused by adults falling asleep while smoking. Car accidents take 190 times as many lives as handgun accidents. HCI cooks the books by picking a particularly violent year and taking anyone under 25 to be a child', thus approaching 365 per year. It still falls short, though."
"While handguns are used in vast numbers of crimes annually, they are used more often by good citizens to repel crime - approximately 581,000 crimes vs. about 645,000 defense uses annually."
"Most murders are not 'acquaintance murders', committed by normally law abiding citizens who murder because of the accessibility of a gun in a moment of anger. Most murderers are highly disturbed aberrant individuals, characterized by felony records, alcohol and/or drug dependence, and life histories of irrational violence against people around them. 74.4 percent of arrested murderers nationally had prior arrests for violent felony or burglary and, on average an adult record of a six year criminal career with four major felony arrests."
"Differentials in international crime rates are a function of socio-cultural and economic factors, not the percentage of gun ownership. In fact, there is an *inverse* correlation between violence rates and the percentage of gun ownership in many foreign countries, the most noteworthy being Switzerland and Israel."
"A handgun ban is not realistically enforceable. Confiscating guns would require house-to-house searches and alienate the very individuals whose compliance is essential to the success of any regulation. If gun ownership were prohibited, organized crime would step in to provide the firearms that will continue to be procured with criminal intent."
1915-1917 : Ottoman
Turkey, 1.5 million Armenians murdered
1929-1953 : Soviet Union, 20 million people who opposed Stalin murdered 1933-1945 : Nazi-occupied Europe, 13 million Jews, Gypsies, and others who opposed Hitler murdered
1948-1952 : China, 20 million anti-communists or communist reformers murdered
1960-1981 : Guatemala, 100,000 Maya Indians murdered
1971-1979 : Uganda, 300,000 Christians and political rivals of Idi Amin murdered
1975-1979 : Cambodia, 1 million educated persons murdered
"A well-educated electorate being necessary to the prosperity of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books, shall not be infringed."
Do you conclude from
this that only voters may own books?
Do you believe that all "inflammatory" books should be stored in libraries, since no honest person needs such a book at home where a child might read it? Does this statement make you want to register books, or ban some of them, or prevent them from being read in public?
Should there be a waiting period for the purchase of "dangerous" books, magazines, and newspapers?
Should speed reading courses be restricted to police and military to prevent "assault reading" by citizens?
Do you think that banning legal possession of easily-concealed novels will stop criminals from reading?
Should we stop teaching children to read, since what they might read could be harmful to them?
Trigger locks are not parents.
Reality: "If we can sue the gun manufacturers for human actions, does this mean we can sue the car manufacturers for being hit by a drunk driver?"
Guns Don't Kill People, Kids On Welfare Do.
FIGHT CRIME... SHOOT BACK!
"DRIVER CARRIES NO MORE THAN $20.00 .... worth of ammunition"
"Gun Control Is Being Able To Hit Your Target"
Genocide is only possible with Gun Control.
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