A major concern of mine is the way some people think that doing away with the rights of LAW-ABIDING people to keep and bear arms is going to reduce crime and stop people from being killed with guns. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH ! ! ! People owning/carrying guns are responsible for PREVENTING more crime than all the police departments put together!
A 1997 (Clinton!) Justice Department study found that as many as 1.5 MILLION people use a gun in self-defense every year! Other studies have found as many as 2.5 MILLION self-defense uses, with savings to society of up to $38.9 BILLION annually!
Each year, more children drown in buckets or pails than are accidentally killed with a firearm.
There are so many gun control laws on the books in the U.S. now that no one is sure exactly how many there are! Best estimates put it at between 20,000 and 40,000 laws!!!
"We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down."
WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR.
In March 1982 Kennesaw, Georgia, enacted a law requiring householders to keep a gun at home; house burglaries fell from 65 per year to 26, and to 11 the following year.
States with the toughest gun control laws have the highest crime and homicide rate. Switzerland which has no gun control laws, has the lowest crime and homicide rate in the world. We have more "gun control" than we need now. What we need is the government to implement crime control and keep criminals in jail.
"Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety!"
In 1966 the police in Orlando, Florida, responded to a rape epidemic by embarking on a highly publicized program to train 2,500 women in firearm use. The next year rape fell by 88 percent in Orlando (the only major city to experience a decrease that year); burglary fell by 25 percent. Not one of the 2,500 women actually ended up firing her weapon; the deterrent effect of the publicity sufficed. Five years later Orlando's rape rate was still 13 percent below the pre-program level, whereas the surrounding standard metropolitan area had suffered a 308 percent increase.
47% of Federal Firearm offenses were committed by people already banned from handguns! Of these more than half had two or more prior felony convictions. (do you think they care that it was illegal for them to have a gun?)
Washington, D.C. and Chicago which have banned handguns are among the top five U.S. cities with the highest homicide rates.
The nine states with the lowest violent crime rates are all Right To Carry states.
"The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed."
THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1776
The Objective Nature of Shall-Issue Licensing
The case for shall-issue licensing is based on three primary arguments: (a) the right of self-defense, (b) a social utility argument that those laws deter crime, and (c) the constitutional right to "bear" arms without governmental interference. In addition, the available evidence, after 10 years' experience in 25 states, indicates that permit holders do not create law enforcement problems, that crimes committed by permit holders involving firearms are the very rare exception.
The Right of Self-Defense
The argument or justification made by those who seek to secure the right to carry firearms through shall-issue licensing laws, as opposed to a privilege granted at the discretion of the police, sheriff, court, or other state authority, is based on a simple principle: the right of self-defense. That is, the right to repel a criminal assault that threatens imminent danger of death or grievous bodily injury . Every state recognizes the right of its citizens to use lethal force in self-defense. Self-defense, so defined, is not lawlessness; it is in accord with the law. It is, in fact, the same law that the police rely on when they use lethal force. That right belongs to each person, not merely those who are deemed to have some special or extraordinary need as determined by the police or some other governmental authority.
Advocates of shall-issue licensing laws note some salient realities. Approximately 87 percent of violent crimes occur outside the home. Even assuming that the victim can "see it coming" and has the time and ability to call the police, the police can get to the scene within five minutes only about 28 percent of the time. The idea that police protection is a service that people can summon in a timely fashion is just that-an idea."Call for police, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first."
Criminals choose the time and place of their assaults, and they take pains to ensure that their crimes occur when the police are not around. Criminals choose their victims, and they take pains to choose those over whom they believe they have an advantage, be it in the possession of a weapon, youth, strength, or number. It is in the nature of things, therefore, that the victim will almost certainly be alone and be at a disadvantage relative to his assailant. The encounter will not be on equal terms; the fight will not be "fair." Without a weapon, an "equalizer" to overcome those natural disadvantages, it is unlikely that the victim will have an effective means of defending himself. Without a weapon, it is very likely that whether the victim lives or is maimed or injured will depend largely or entirely on the mercy of his assailant.
The discretionary licensing laws that are currently on the books succeed only in disarming those who respect the law. Perversely, by ensuring that those who abide by the law will not carry weapons outside the home, the law aids and abets criminals by ensuring that they will find easy victims, for unarmed men and women may be assaulted with greater confidence than those who are, or might be, armed.
To make matters worse, while laws deprive citizens of the ability to effectively defend themselves outside the home, thereby placing citizens in the position of having to rely on the police for their protection in extremis, it is a settled principle of law throughout the United States that the police have no legal duty to protect any individual citizen from crime. That may come as a surprise to many people, but the principle holds even in cases where the police have been grossly negligent in failing to protect a crime victim. The function and responsibility of the police is to serve solely as a general deterrent, for the benefit of the community as a whole; they are not personal bodyguards. Those who would prohibit the carrying of arms for self-defense thus bear a burden of establishing on what basis and on what moral authority the government, having no obligation to protect any particular individual, deprives particular individuals of the ability--and means--to protect themselves.
The most fundamental justification for concealed-carry laws is the right to life. Each person has a right to life, not just those who have demonstrated some special "need" or "proper cause." Indeed, our Declaration of Independence asserts that governments are instituted to secure the right to life. The right to life of necessity implies the right to maintain or continue one's life by defending it against violent criminal assault. Yet the right to defend one's life is meaningless, or a hollow promise, unless that right also encompasses the right to the means necessary for the effective exercise of that right.
Thus, for example, the fundamental right of free speech would be relatively meaningless if it only encompassed the right to speak one's mind wherever one happened to be standing or to shout one's opinions in a public park to those within listening distance. The right has been rendered meaningful, full-bodied, and effective by protection of the freedom of the press, that is, by protection of the instrumentality by which one in fact exercises the individual right within society.
Since the right to life implies a right to the means to protect that life, the individual's right to his own life necessarily implies a right to keep and bear arms suitable for self-defense. In this place and time, that means a handgun, small enough to be carried at almost all times. The presumption, therefore, of a government that respects its citizens' right to life and self-defense must be that they are permitted to carry arms to protect themselves.
It is a matter for debate whether any licensing system adequately honors that presumption, since all licensing systems, by definition, are a prior restraint on the exercise of liberty, and a conditional right is not really a right at all but a privilege. However, the licensing system that most accords with this principle is a shall-issue system. Under such a system, the right is subject to reasonable restrictions designed to provide reasonable assurance to the public that those who are granted permits will not be a danger to others. Arguments may be made concerning just what those criteria are, but the fundamental point is that the presumption and reality must be that law-abiding adults have a right to protect themselves from lethal criminal assault with means effective for that purpose, when and where they need to do so, and not just in their homes.
Switzerland, through its militia system, distributes both pistols and fully automatic assault rifles to all adult males and requires them to store their weapons at home. Further, civilian long-gun purchases are essentially unregulated, and handguns are available to any adult without a criminal record or mental defect. Nevertheless, Switzerland suffers far less crime per capita than the United States and almost no gun crime.
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