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A Tale Of Two Cities [Jul. 22nd, 2009|01:26 pm]
Gun Debate

[music |Breaking The Law - Judas Priest]

Last year Washington DC's handgun ban was overturned as unconstitutional. Supporters of the ban warned, as they always do, that there would be blood running in the streets and all the other usual terrifying scenarios that would occur if DC residents were allowed to keep a handgun in their home. Mayor Adrian Fenty warned that:

"More guns, anywhere in the District of Columbia, is going to lead to more crime."

This is the usual refrain from those who believe that gun availability—rather than social, economic and cultural factors—is what drives crime rates up and down. So what has happened in DC?

Violent crime has plummeted in the Washington area ... In the District and Prince George's County, homicides are down about 17 percent this year.

I'm not claiming that the drop is due to handguns being suddenly legal for law-abiding people to own. But it's pretty clear that allowing them to do so has not caused the surge in violent crime and gun crime that the anti-gun rights people all claimed would occur. It never does.

Since the ban was overturned, 515 handguns have been legally registered with the DC Police Department. Although 2,000 illegal weapons have been seized in the last year, none of the legally owned and registered handguns has been stolen. None have been used in the commission of a crime.

Last week, not too far from where I live in Jersey City, five police officers were shot by a felon in a shootout. One of the officers has since died from his wounds. Jersey City Police Chief Thomas Comey called the weapon used by the suspects:

"... a combat weapon. It's got a stock that's retractable. It had a strap on it where he had numerous shells on it. He was ready to battle ... I don't know how many times a big city chief has to stand here and say we need help to stop these weapons from hitting the streets. This weapon is manufactured for no other reason than to hunt man. So we should stop being afraid of the NRA and start being afraid of our own rights."

First of all, the weapon used by the now-dead felon was not made to "hunt man," nor was it an assault weapon. It was not even semi-automatic. It was a pump-action shotgun.

Secondly, New Jersey already has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation—even a .22 rifle that Sears used to sell is considered a banned "assault weapon." Even to purchase a "normal" rifle or a shotgun in this state you need to first acquire a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card. Needless to say, the cop-killer did not purchase or possess his shotgun legally—he had already served four years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm—a direct violation of both State and Federal Law.

So I'm wondering just what gun laws Police Chief Comey thinks NJ doesn't already have that would have prevented a career criminal from illegally acquiring a pump-action shotgun.
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District of Columbia vs. Heller [Mar. 22nd, 2008|08:32 pm]
Gun Debate

For those interested, here's an mp3 recording of the oral arguments presented. It's an 1:37 long so set aside some time if you're gonna listen.

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Brady Bunch: Running Scared in Virginia [Jan. 20th, 2008|12:19 pm]
Gun Debate

(X-posted to guns)
A while back, I hopped on the Brady Bunch website to leave them some snarkage about one piece or another of stupidity. They only allow you to post, if you register. This means that I now get all the action alerts from the Brady Bunch, and the Misguided Mommies. This led to me being called last fall about the six-month anniversary of Tech, with urgent requests to Do Something. I had a lot of fun telling the caller that I'm the Northern VA Community College chapter chair, for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

Anyway, so this just landed in my inbox [my snarkage and comments in brackets]:

URGENT: Help Close the [actually non-existent] Gun Show Loophole!
Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Criminals
[and legit buyers who don't want the gummint knowing what they have]

Dear Virginia Brady Campaign Member,

The 2008 Virginia state legislative session has hit the ground running, and on Monday SB 109 will come up for a vote in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee. [Note that the equivalent house committee has already gutted, skinned, and roasted their version on Friday] This life-saving [Do tell. Odds of saving a life = approximately odds of someone needing expensive surgery, hitting the PowerBall or MegaMillions lottery] piece of legislation would require background checks on all [as opposed to, say, 99.9% of] gun purchasers at gun shows. Members of the Committee need to know that you want them to pass this life-saving bill.

Tell them: "As a Virginia citizen, I urge you to support SB 109. Closing the gun show loophole will help prevent prohibited people from buying guns."

Ken Cuccinelli (804) 698-7537
[My Senator. At least as pro-gun as I am]
Creigh Deeds (804) 698-7525
[Typical VA Democrat - more pro-gun than Yankee Republicans]
John Edwards (804) 698-7521 [NRA A]
Thomas Norment (804) 698-7503 [NRA D]
Frederick Quayle (804) 698-7513  [NRA C]
William Reynolds (804) 698-7520 [NRA A Rated]
Kenneth Stolle (804) 698-7508
[RINO, occasionally votes right (NRA C-)]

[Looks to me like the committee as a whole rates as a solid B.]

There is currently an extremely dangerous loophole in Virginia's gun law that allows criminals, the adjudicated mentally ill, and would-be terrorists to purchase guns at gun shows…no questions asked…no background check. We know that background checks stop criminals from buying guns: in 2005, the Virginia State Police reported that background checks by licensed dealers prevented 2,668 illegal gun transactions by prohibited purchasers in Virginia.

Here is what you can do today:

1. Call the key Senators listed above on the Courts of Justice Committee
Tell them: "As a Virginia citizen, I urge you to support SB 109. Closing the gun show loophole will help prevent prohibited people from buying guns".

2. Forward this e-mail to friends, family, and colleagues in Virginia

3. Click here to contribute to our efforts in Virginia and across the country.

To get involved in the gun violence prevention movement in Virginia, please contact your local Virginia Million Mom March Chapter and Virginians Against Handgun Violence.

We must close the gun show loophole! Please call these Senators today.

[Busted link to tiff of the hag's signature]
Sarah's Signature [image]Sarah Brady, Chair

Bwahahahahaaaaaa....   I'll be sure to tell Ken about this when I talk to him on Monday.
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(no subject) [Aug. 12th, 2006|04:06 pm]
Gun Debate
Check out what I wrote about Michael Moore and Bowling for Columbine.

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(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2005|04:02 pm]
Gun Debate

Please check out a community about Columbine that my friends and I have started. We hope that it will have a lot less judgement than other communities, where you can express your ideas freely without being condescended. To join the community, click here.

For more information, please read the user information. Thanks for checking it out, and we hope to hear from you.
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(no subject) [Jun. 26th, 2005|12:39 pm]
Gun Debate
Hey, I'm new here.
I don't see alot of entries posted,
maybe that will change.
I live in Maryland, and like shooting,
particularly the heavy revolvers.
Here are most of the handguns I own.

I own many rifles and shotguns as well.
Mostly for hunting.
I've been a member of the NRA for as long
as I can remember.
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(no subject) [May. 4th, 2005|11:56 am]
Gun Debate

I'm surprised no one has brought this upCollapse )
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Arguing for my life [Jan. 9th, 2005|12:48 pm]
Gun Debate

I'm a lefty gun owner who lives in San Francisco. There is a proposed ban that would prevent all SF residents from keeping a handgun in their business or residence.

I'm against this ban for numerous reasons: it doesn't cover non-residents, there is no talk of renumeration, there is no specified penalty for failure to comply, the ban will fail in the courts as it did in 1982, it's unconstitutional, and it's just plain wrong-headed in my opinion.

As you might imagine, I have many lefty friends who unlike me, do not see gun rights as civil rights... yet. In my journal I've gone through many posts trying to convince unlike-minded people. I've tried stats, discussions of risk, metaphors... if you're interested, read away. I had the flu during most of those posts, so the comments are fast and furious.

After all of it, I've come up with two sources I think most people will trust, and two small reasons to vote against the ban. These won't convince people of anything bigger than that, but if I can help this ban fail, I'll be pleased with that step.

Here's what I've got:

2004 US Attorney General Opinion finding that the 2nd amendment does protect an individual right to own guns. Various case law supports this as well.

From the Center for Disease Control: During 2000–2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, “shall issue” concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws.

The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.)

(I highly recommend looking at the links. I think one of the problems in the gun debate is how few people look at the source material. I posted this here as well, in a somewhat less polite form.)

I guess all I'm hoping to do is to 1. illustrate the right to gun ownership and 2. illustrate that gun laws do not reduce crime the way some may hope.

This is a complex situation... saying that you need to change economics and attitudes is harder than taking away my gun. It's hard for me personally because I'm more ACLU than NRA. But like I said, baby steps.

Any thoughts on this are appreciated. I do feel like I'm fighting for my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
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Man accused of trying to run down Rep. Katherine Harris [Oct. 27th, 2004|11:40 pm]
Gun Debate

not that she does or does not deserve it, but late in the article, what is the defendant accused of?

After police tried to contact Seltzer, he came to to the Sarasota Police station where, according to a police report, he admitted trying to “intimidate” a group of Harris supporters.

“I was exercising my political expression,” Seltzer told police, according to the report.

He was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is now in Sarasota County Jail, and is to have a court appearance Thursday.

a deadly weapon... a car

you know where this is going. it's not about the weapon, it's about the intent
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John Kerry wants to ban guns in America [Oct. 20th, 2004|01:27 pm]
Gun Debate
FACT: Kerry co-sponsors a bill that would ban all semi-automatic shotguns and detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifles, a gigantic step toward bringing Australian-style gun control to the U.S.1

FACT: Kerry says, “I think you ought to tax all ammunition, personally, I think you ought to tax guns.”2

FACT: Kerry has voted nine times in favor of banning semi-auto firearms.3

FACT: Kerry has voted for a Ted Kennedy amendment to ban most center-fire rifle ammunition, including the most common rounds used by hunters and target shooters.4

FACT: Kerry has voted to close off hundreds of thousands of acres of the California Mojave Desert to hunting.5

FACT: Kerry has voted to hold the highly regulated American firearms industry legally responsible for the illegal acts of violent criminals.6

FACT: Kerry was one of only 18 Senators to oppose the Firearms Owners` Protection Act, which ended alarming abuses being committed under the 1968 Gun Control Act.7

FACT: Kerry was one of only 29 Senators to vote to prohibit gun manufacturers from discharging debts created by the reckless lawsuits filed by municipalities.8

FACT: Kerry has voted to allow BATF to conduct unlimited warrantless inspections of FFL holders.9

FACT: Kerry has voted to criminalize legal sales between private individuals at gun shows.10

FACT: Kerry has voted to impose penalties of a year in prison and a $10,000 fine on an adult if a juvenile steals a firearm from him, and then merely displays it in a public place.11

FACT: Kerry has voted to force many small firearms dealers out of business, which would have impacted both the availability and price of guns, particularly in rural areas.12

FACT: Kerry has voted 11 times to force law-abiding citizens to wait to exercise their Second Amendment rights. He voted to keep the federal waiting period after the National Instant Check System was in place.13

FACT: Kerry voted twice to eliminate the Civilian Marksmanship Program.14

FACT: Kerry wants to silence gun owners` voices. When NRA sought the same exemption from campaign finance rules that news organizations have, Kerry called that effort "hijacking America`s airwaves."15

FACT: Kerry commended the Million Mom March for their march on Washington that included calls for gun owner licensing, gun registration and other restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.16

FACT: If elected president, Kerry will pack the U.S. Supreme Court with Dianne Feinstein/Chuck Schumer/Ted Kennedy-selected anti-gun activists who believe you have no right to own any firearm.

1. Signed on as co-sponsor of S. 1431 on Nov. 21, 2003.
2. CNN “Late Edition,“ Nov. 7, 1993.
3. Vote No. 24, March 2, 2004; Vote No. 295, Aug. 25, 1994; Vote No. 294, Aug. 25, 1994; Vote No. 293, Aug. 25, 1994; Vote No. 375, Nov. 17, 1993; Vote No. 365, Nov. 9, 1993; Vote No. 133, June 28, 1990; Vote No. 103, May 23, 1990; Vote No. 102, May 23, 1990.
4. Vote No. 28, March 2, 2004.
5. Vote No. 87, April 12, 1994.
6. Vote No. 24, March 2, 2004; Vote No. 25, March 2, 2004 ("poison pill" amendments).
7. Vote No. 142, July 9, 1985.
8. Vote No. 4, Feb. 2, 2000.
9. Vote No. 140, July 9, 1985.
10. Vote No. 134, May 20, 1999; Vote No. 25, March 2, 2004.
11. Vote No. 118, May 14, 1999; Vote No. 224, July 22, 1998.
12. Vote No. 227, July 30, 1993.
13. Vote No. 141, July 9, 1985; Vote No. 115, June 28, 1991; Vote No. 113, June 28, 1991; Vote No. 278, Nov. 27, 1991; Vote No. 53, Mar. 19, 1992; Vote No. 262, Oct. 2, 1992; Vote No. 385, Nov. 19, 1993; Vote No. 386, Nov. 19, 1993; Vote No. 387, Nov. 19, 1993; Vote No. 390, Nov. 19, 1993; Vote No. 394, Nov. 20, 1993.
14. Vote No. 325 Oct. 12, 1993; Vote No. 178, June 27, 1996.
15. Vote No. 64, April 2, 2001; “Kerry asks FEC to Block NRA Channel,” AP, Dec. 9, 2003.
16. Vote No. 104, May 17, 2000.
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