Second Amendment News
06/18/2007 Just before 2:00 AM, Colin Bruley heard his neighbor in his apartment complex had been shot, so he grabbed his own shotgun and rushed over to help her. He found shooter had left the area, stopped the bleeding, waited for police to arrive and went home after his neighbor was taken to the hospital. Since he also worked as a leasing agent in the apartment complex, he called the office at 9:30 that morning and reported the incident. Instead of being praised for helping to save a life, he was fired! See the article here. Click here if the article link is dead to see a PDF of the original article.
11/24/2003 Don't have a gun, go to jail? Well you will not go to jail, but you will be fined $10.00. The law-abiding citizens of Geuda Springs, Kansas are now required to have a gun and ammunition. Councilman John Brewer stated "This ordinance fulfills the duty to protect by allowing each individual householder to provide for his or her protection."
11/21/2003 The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled that once again gun manufacturers can be held responsible if a crazy person uses a gun to perpatrate a hate crime. Buford Furrow, who murdered a postal worker is in jail for a life term without parole. Going after Buford's family would make more sense, but there is no jackpot of money in that. For those of you who don't keep up with the news, the Ninth Circus is the same court that is trying to get the words "Under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, and has the highest percentage of cases that have been overruled in history. If the link above does not work, click here to see the article.
11/19/2003 Fox News published a great article by John Lott, Jr. showing the the liberal candidates are indeed ignorant (my words, not John's) of the gun ban laws. If the link above does not work, click here to see the article.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
By John Lott, Jr.
Giant NFL players admitting they feel threatened by crime? This hardly fits their tough, macho image. Our concern is supposed to be for women walking alone at night.
But while the massive size and strength of NFL (search) players might seem to make them unlikely victims, their wealth and high profiles nonetheless make them targets for violent criminals. Yet, crimes against professional athletes don’t engender much sympathy or news coverage.
So, what do many NFL players do when they realize that their physical strength does not give them enough protection from violent crime? The same as many other would-be victims -- they get guns. Well over 50 percent of NFL players are estimated to own guns. By contrast, about 45 percent of Americans generally own guns. Shortly before New Year’s, the concern that a majority of NFL players actually own guns rated a news story in the politically correct New York Times.
Early in the morning on Jan. 21, Corey Fuller (search), the 5-foot, 10-inch, 210-pound defensive back for the Baltimore Ravens, was confronted by two armed robbers outside his Tallahassee house. One robber chased Fuller into his house where his wife and children were sleeping, but Fuller was able to grab a gun and fire at the attackers, who then ran away.
In late October, T.J. Slaughter (search), a 6-foot, 233-pound linebacker, was arrested for allegedly pointing a gun at motorists who pulled up next to him on the highway. Slaughter denied that he had pointed the gun at the motorists and claimed that they had threatened him. According to Slaughter, he told the men to move away from his car. No charges were filed, but the Jacksonville Jaguars still cut Slaughter the next day. Jacksonville claimed Slaughter was performing poorly.
Greg Anthony, a 6-foot, 176-pound guard for 12 years in the NBA, carried a registered gun during part of his career. He said, “More and more people approach you, and you just never know what somebody is capable of doing ... [Players] see carrying as a deterrent.”
Well-known coaches, such as Barry Switzer (search) and Bobby Knight (search), have also carried guns.
Recent media stories -- from the New York Times to the Chicago Tribune -- have run extremely negative stories on professional players owning guns. The Tribune described players owning guns as a “problem [that] persists.” Ironically, within days of the December New York Times piece, it was revealed that the New York Times lets its reporters carry guns in Iraq.
With high profile basketball players including Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen having been arrested for illegal gun possession -- as well as football players such as Alonzo Spellman and Damien Robinson -- the issue of professional athletes and guns is often in the news, and this coverage helps form people’s opinions. (Though, in all these cases, charges were eventually dropped.)
There are no systematic numbers on the crimes committed against professional athletes, but anecdotal stories abound, proving that professional athletes’ physical strength hardly makes them immune to crime. Take a couple additional examples.
-- Yancy Thigpen (search) of the Tennessee Titans (height: 6-1, weight: 203 lbs.) has faced three armed robberies since joining the NFL eight years ago. The last one left him and his fiancée tied up inside his house with their 2-month old daughter locked in a closet. An earlier robbery involved a carjacking.
-- Will Allen (search) of the New York Giants (height: 5-10, weight: 195 lbs.) was assaulted, doused with gasoline and robbed by an assailant when he returned to his house one evening in 2001.
Unfortunately all of the nation's four leading pro sports leagues -- the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball -- trivialize the athletes’ concerns over safety. The NFL’s official advice: “In some circumstances, such as for sport or protection, you may legally possess a firearm or other weapon. However, we strongly recommend that you not do so.” The league advocates passive behavior when confronted by a criminal.
Such misguided advice simply makes players and their families more vulnerable and does not square with the U.S. Department of Justice's findings. Take robbery or assault. The Justice Department’s National Crime Victimization Survey has shown for decades that providing no self-protection is by far the most likely to result in injury. Even actions other than carrying a weapon, such as screaming or trying to attract attention, are safer than passive behavior.
The NFL has gone so far as to conduct annual seminars for their athletes on firearms, stressing the risks to children of guns and the risks of having a gun in a car. The teams have forbidden players from having guns with them at stadiums or while traveling on League-related business, but this leaves players who obey the rules as sitting ducks before or after games.
Indeed, the players who violate the rules are probably doing their teammates a favor because they at least create some uncertainty in criminals’ minds about whether a player can protect himself. Yet, the league’s sanctions make players reticent to talk about defensive gun uses.
Even professional athletes are not supermen. T.J. Slaughter expresses no regrets for having a gun despite running afoul of political correctness and being cut by the Jaguars. He said. “I believe legally owning a gun is the right thing to do. It offers me protection. I think one day it could save my life.” It seems a lesson that many who are not quite as strong can learn from.
John Lott Jr., a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of The Bias Against Guns (Regnery 2003).
By Randy Hall
CNSNews.com Evening Editor
November 21, 2003
(CNSNews.com) - A federal appeals court in California reversed an earlier decision and ruled on Thursday that a wrongful death suit filed against the gun industry by families of victims in a 1999 shooting can proceed.
The 2-1 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reinstated a lawsuit that was dismissed in 2002 by a federal judge in Los Angeles who stated that gun manufacturers and distributors were not responsible for a rampage that left one person dead and five others wounded at a Jewish day care center in Grenada Hills, Calif.
The case, Ileto vs. Glock, is named for Joseph Ileto, the Filipino postal worker who was killed on Aug. 10, 1999, when Buford Furrow opened fire at the North Valley Jewish Community Center. Furrow, who is now serving life in prison without the possibility of parole, told police that his intention had been to "kill Jews."
Filed under California negligence and wrongful death statutes, the suit alleges that practices by gun makers Glock, Inc., and North China Industries, as well as firearms distributor RSR Management Corp., facilitate easy access to guns by purchasers like Furrow.
"Today's decision will ensure that these victims receive their day in court," said Joshua Horwitz, executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, which serves as co-counsel in the case. "This ruling also shows that many cases against the gun industry are hardly frivolous, as supporters of the gun industry contend."
However, Erich Pratt, director of communications for Gun Owners of America, told CNSNews.com that such cases are indeed frivolous.
"It's wrong to punish the makers of a legal product, a constitutionally protected product, for something that is completely out of their control," Pratt said. "They've made a product that is used in self-defense 7,000 times a day in this country."
Pratt stated that such lawsuits reveal an inherent hypocrisy, noting that if Furrow had used a knife instead of a gun, "they wouldn't be going after the knife manufacturer."
At about the same time as Furrow's rampage, Pratt added, another man "ran his car over kids at a Jewish day care center. He was shouting anti-Semitic statements. But we didn't go after the maker of that car. There's a real double standard here."
Pratt said that such lawsuits are also part of "a war against firearms" in the U.S.
Since 1998, at least 33 municipalities, counties and states have sued gun makers, many claiming that manufacturers, through irresponsible marketing, have allowed weapons to reach criminals. Organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have made similar claims, but none of these suits has resulted in a manufacturer or distributor paying any damages.
"These suits have been very unsuccessful, but it's really not about winning the cases," Pratt stated. "Even while gun manufacturers have won, there have been instances where the gun manufacturer won and had to go bankrupt, which is exactly what the other side is shooting for."
However, Pratt said that Thursday's ruling could be a good thing in the long run because "it may light a fire under the Congress to pass legislation to stop these frivolous suits."
The House of Representatives passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in April, but the bill is stalled in the Senate, where Democrats have threatened to filibuster it. Nevertheless, a spokesman for Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) told the Associated Press on Thursday he expects that chamber to pass the measure early next year. President Bush has said he would sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.
That is something Horwitz does not want to see happen. "It is unconscionable that Congress is considering granting special protection to this industry," he said Thursday.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
By John R. Lott Jr.
A new career awaits Democratic presidential candidates: offering advice to hunters.
Tuesday, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean explained his support for extending the assault weapons ban next year because "deer hunters don't need to have assault weapons." Gen. Wesley Clark says: "I like to hunt. I have grown up with guns all my life, but people who like assault weapons should join the United States Army, we have them." Sen. John Kerry offered, "I never contemplated hunting deer or anything else with an AK-47."
Clearly what worries these senators is that people and not deer will be "hunted" with these guns. As Sen. Carl Levin noted early this year, allowing the ban to expire will "inevitably lead to a rise in gun crimes." Ratcheting up the fear factor to an entirely new level, Sen. Chuck Schumer claims the ban is one of "the most effective measures against terrorism that we have."
The most charitable interpretation is that the ban's proponents know nothing about guns. The "assault weapon ban" conjures up images of machine guns used by the military, which are surely not very useful in hunting deer. Yet, the 1994 federal assault weapons ban (search) had nothing to do with machine guns, only semi-automatics, which fire one bullet per pull of the trigger.
The firing mechanisms in semi-automatic and machine guns are completely different. The entire firing mechanism of a semi-automatic gun has to be gutted and replaced to turn it into a machine gun.
Functionally, the banned semi-automatic guns are the same as other non-banned semi-automatic guns, firing the exact same bullets with the same rapidity and producing the exact same damage. The ban arbitrarily outlaws different guns based upon either their name or whether they have two or more cosmetic features, such as whether the gun could have a bayonet attached or whether the rifle might have a pistol grip. While there were no studies or scientific basis offered for making these distinctions, the different names or cosmetic features were claimed to make these guns more attractive to criminals.
With the sniper trial now going in Virginia, the media understandably focuses on the so-called "sniper rifle." Yet, the .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle (search) used in the sniper killings was neither a "sniper" rifle nor an "assault weapon." In fact, it is such a low-powered rifle that most states ban it even for deer hunting precisely because of its low power, too frequently wounding and not killing deer. By contrast, the much-maligned AK-47 (search) (only new semi-automatic versions of the gun were banned) uses a .30-caliber bullet that is actually well suited to hunting deer.
The law never had any effect on crime. Banning a few percent of semi-automatic guns when otherwise identical guns are available only changes the brand criminals use. The law didn't even stop the criminals from getting these guns. Even President Clinton, who signed the "assault weapon ban" into law, complained in 1998 how easy it had been for gun manufacturers to continue selling the banned guns simply by changing the guns' names or by making the necessary cosmetic changes.
The banned guns were seldom used in crime to begin with. A 1995 Clinton administration study found that less than 1 percent of state and federal inmates carried "military-type" semi-automatic guns (a much broader set of guns than those banned by the law) for crimes they committed during the early 1990s before the ban. A similar 1997 survey showed no reduction in this type of crime gun after the ban.
Only two studies have been conducted on the federal law's impact on crime, one of which also examined the state assault weapons laws. One study was funded by the Clinton administration and examined just the first year the law was in effect. It concluded that the ban's "impact on gun violence has been uncertain."
The second study was done by me and is found in my book "The Bias Against Guns." It examines the first four years of the federal law as well as the different state assault weapon bans. Even after accounting for law enforcement, demographics, poverty and other factors that affect crime, the laws did not reduce any type of violent crime. In fact, overall violent crime actually rose slightly, by 1.5 percent, but the impact was not statistically significant. The somewhat larger increase in murder rates -- over 5 percent -- was significant, but not all states experienced an increase.
The only clear result of the state bans was to consistently reduce the number of gun shows by about 25 percent. Features such as bayonet mounts on guns may not mean much to criminals, but gun collectors sure seem to like them.
The bans have now been in effect for almost a decade, without any evidence of any benefits. Increased crime is not the biggest danger arising from not extending the law. Politicians who have claimed such dire consequence from these mislabeled "assault weapons" have put their reputations on the line. If the extension fails, a year after that voters will wonder what all the hysteria was about.
Fueled by false images of machine guns and sniper rifles, the debate next year is likely to be very emotional. Let's hope that the politicians at least learn what guns are being banned.
John R. Lott, Jr., a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "The Bias Against Guns" (Regnery 2003). http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0895261146/qid=1048130570/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/002-8219841-8363245?v=glance&s=books&n=507846