Saturday, May 19, 2007

Parker v. D.C.

As most of you know, The Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently struck down the District of Columbia's complete ban on handguns. In more recent news, the Court declined to hear the case en banc, meaning that the next step of appeal is the United States Supreme Court, should the District of Columbia choose to appeal again.

The Brady Campaign, which repeatedly stresses that they do not want to disarm America, but only to enact "sensible gun laws," is livid over this judicial decision; they have used their website to attack the Federal Appeals Court. If it is true that the Brady Campaign only wants to enact "sensible" gun laws, it is a wonder why they are so concerned about precedent that merely says law abiding citizens have the right to own handguns.

Perhaps the Brady Campaign has been disengenous as to their true motives.

PS - I have been unable to update the sites for several weeks because I have recently graduated law school and I am in the process of moving. I am, however, working on something very big, which I should hopefully have up within the next few weeks.

Monday, April 16, 2007

How Long?

With a shooting today at Virginia Tech, I wonder how long it will be before the Brady Campaign manipulates this tragedy for the benefit of their political agenda. My guess is it will depend on how much coverage there is in the national media, but probably not longer than three days.

It would be interesting to know if Virginia Tech is a gun-free zone. If it is, the Brady Campaign will surely fail to point that out.

Less than 6 hours after the first shot was fired the Brady Campaign has issued a statement blamming the availability of guns for today's tragic events, how utterly tastelss:

"Details are still forthcoming about what motivated the shooter in this case to act, and how he was able to arm himself. It is well known, however, how easy it is for an individual to get powerful weapons in our country....we've done nothing as a country to end gun violence in our schools and communities. If anything, we've made it easier to access powerful weapons.

We have now seen another horrible tragedy that will never be forgotten. It is long overdue for us to take some common-sense actions to prevent tragedies like this from continuing to occur."

There is a lot I would like to say, but I think we can all agree that now is not the time. Please pray for the victims and their families.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

A Lesson In Deception

In its fact sheet on children and guns, the Brady Campaign reports that one "young person" is killed with a gun every three hours; this is based on 2,893 deaths in 2002. [FN1]. Even though these statistics are in a "fact sheet" purporting to address children, 66% of these deaths were 17, 18, and 19 year olds. [FN2]. The Brady Campaign inflates their numbers by including these incidents, many of which are related to gang violence, and also include police intervention and self-defense shootings.

In 2002, 419 children under 14 were killed with guns; thats 1.1 per day. Only 60 were accidents; thats about 1 every 6 days. For comparison 113 died from falls, 156 were poisoned, 583 burned to death, 1,214 suffocated, and 2,352 were killed in car accidents. [FN3].

1 Brady Campaign, Children & Guns: A Lethal Combination.

2 Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

3 Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monday, March 26, 2007

What kind of man is anti-gun?

What kind of man is anti-gun? I have often wondered this. Well, now I have an answer.

Mr. Darren Seiber writes for "The East Tennessean." It appears that in between taking pictures of himself (see the picture above the article), and polishing his lip ring, Mr. Seiber has formed some very strong opinions.

He recently authored an article entitled "Guns do not save or secure lives." In this article he calls guns "deadly, unethical creations." Like most anti's, the facts are not on his side, so he must distort them. He demonstrates a fundamental lack of insight, stating "for women, having a gun in the house increases the chances of being murdered by 172 percent." It is apparently lost on Mr. Seiber that people who are in danger of being murdered might purchase guns. An simple example of this would be a woman with a stalker or an abusive boyfriend.

Moreover, Seiber's title is facially flawed. Thirteen independent studies estimate that guns are used for protection and self defense between 800,000 and 2.5 million times per year, saving as many as 400,000 lives per year. See Kleck "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun," Table 1, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1995, Vol. 86 No. 1. For comparison, in 2004 there were only 30,136 gun-related deaths, of which 56% were suicides. National Center for Health Statistics mortality report, 2004.

While Mr. Seiber argues for laws banning guns, he says people who have a bias against pedophiles "allow fear-induced stupidity to take over." He argues against punishing pedophiles, arguing "The torture that these people already suffer is enough."

You can find his articles here:
Guns do not save or secure lives
Child Molestation is a Disease

Feel free to email him as well:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Brady on Parker v. DC

Brady on Parker v. DC

Considering the fact that the Brady Campaign repeatedly stresses that they are not "anti-gun" and that they only support "sensible" gun regulation, it is a wonder why they are rabid over the Parker v. DC decision.

This decision overturned a DC law that bans all handguns, even those kept in the homes of upstanding citizens. It also requires all shotguns and rifles to be disassembled or otherwise rendered inoperable. It seems the Brady Campaign thinks it is "sensible" to completely deny people the ability to defend themselves with a gun, even in their own home.

Moreover, the DC decision is criticized by the Brady Campaign as being "judicial activism at its worst." They explain that the decision is radical because it interpretes the Second Amendment as an individual right. You might ask yourself why an organization that claims not to be "anti-gun" is so interested in ensuring that individuals have no right to own a gun.

You can read about their outrage in two articles:
article 1
article 2

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Washington Post Article

Washington Post Article

The argument here is illogical and deceptive. They purport to address the DC handgun ban that was recently struck down, and then immediately change the topic to laws in Virginia and Maryland. The DC handgun ban dates back to 1976, and thus has nothing to do with a peak in juvenile murder in 1995.

What is worth noting is that violent crime in DC decreased in the five years prior to the 1976 handgun ban, and increased in the five years subsequent to the ban. DC has the most restrictive gun control in the nation, and is consequently the most dangerous city in America. The gun ban did criminals a favor by insuring that victims will be disarmed, even in their own homes. As seen in DC, criminals intent on committing murder, rape, assault, or burglary are unconcerned with secondary gun control regulations.

The peak in juvenile murder in 1995 is more likely related to a peak in total violent crime nationwide around that time. Since 1993 violent crime has nationwide has been decreasing, and is now at a 30-year-low. Crime in DC has decreased with the rest of the nation, but still remains much higher than most other places in the country because of the absolute inability of citizens to effectively protect themselves.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A little reminder

A little reminder to our representatives in Congress:

"The fights I fought... cost a lot --the fight for the assault-weapons ban cost 20 members their seats in Congress." --William Jefferson Clinton

Think about that when considering how to act on HR 1022

NY Times gets it wrong

NY Times gets it wrong

The gun-banning segments of the population seem to be more worked up about the Zumbo affair than the gun enthusiasts.

The New York Times incorporated its typical liberal slant into an article analyzing the Zumbo incident. If you don't know, Jim Zumbo recently recieved much criticism for calling AR15's "terrorist rifles." The NY Times starts off by saying:
"[Assault Rifles are] generally understood to be the kind of gun that soldiers use in wars and terrorists use on the evening news."

They then go on to opine: "You will find only a handful of postings suggesting cautiously that the overnight destruction of a man's career might not be the proudest moment for the advocates of gun rights. One or two say that instead of cementing their reputations for reflexively enshrining gun ownership above everything, they might have asked Mr. Zumbo what he was talking about. They might even have had a healthy debate. But they shot first."

The NY Times seems to be the recent epidome of irresponsible journalism. First of all, the term "assault rifle" refers to a semi-automatic rifle with certain non-functional features such as a bayonet lug. Military personel almost always carry fully-automatic weapons (machine guns). "Assault rifles" therefore are not "the kind of gun that soldiers use in wars."

Second of all, no one is responsible for the overnight destruction of Jim Zumbo's career except for Jim Zumbo. Is there any doubt that if Nadine Strossen, President of the ACLU, spoke out in favor of the Patriot Act that she would loose her job? Is there any doubt that if a figure head of the NAACP supported racial profiling, that they would be disowned?

Gun enthusiasts around the US are unanimous in their opposition to assault weapon bans in the same way that the NAACP is unanimously against racial profiling and the ACLU is unanimously against the Patriot Act.

Click here to read the article: New York Times article on Zumbo

Brady on Zumbo

click here for the Brady's article

"I particularly like how the NRA always accuses us of trying to destroy the Bill of Rights (mind you, we're not anti-gun), when they abridge the First and perhaps most important one."

Well, the Brady Campaign has demonstrated that they have a complete lack of understanding of the entire Bill of Rights, not just the Second Amendment.

The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, among other things. Accordingly, Jim Zumbo is free to say what he likes, and he has demonstrated this. However, the First Amendment in no way requires OUTDOOR LIFE to publish Zumbo's admittedly uninformed opinion. Nor does it require Zumbo's former sponsors to continue supporting him. If it were interpreted that way, it would abridge the Freedom of Association, which is also protected by the First Amendment.

Brady's Survey

Below are the questions from the survey questions and Brady's propaganda. Below each question are my criticisms. Please take the time to read this and take the survey.

click here for the survey

1. Since the expiration of the federal Assault Weapons Ban two years ago, there has been a significant rise in violent crime and homicides.

How strongly do you agree with this statement: Passing an assault weapons ban must be one of the top domestic safety priorities of the 110th Congress.

FBI statistics show that "assault weapons" are used in less than 2% of gun crimes; they simply are not the preferred gun of criminals. Criminals use what is readily available to them, they do not go out and spend $1000 on a gun that they can't conceal and probably don't know how to operate.

Ten months after the last Assault Weapon Ban lapsed in 2004, violent crime had dropped 3.6%.

What the Brady Campaign is trying to do is ban guns based on arbitrary criteria. "Assault Weapons" are no more powerful, deadly, or dangerous than other guns. Previously, they were defined by non-functional features such as a pistol grip, a folding stock, or a bayonet lug. When was the last time you read about someone being killed with a bayonet?

2. Four in ten guns are sold by unlicensed dealers with absolutely no background check, most at thousands of gun shows held across the country.

How strongly do you agree with this statement: A Brady background check must be conducted on every gun sold in this country, no exceptions.

There is no such thing as an "unlicensed dealer." If you aren't licensed, you aren't a dealer. What the Brady Campaign is seeking to do is prevent transactions between private citizens.

Currently, there are criminal and civil penalties for providing firearms to felons, or to anyone underage. Beacuse criminal records are public documents that are easily accessible over the internet, all private citizens can easily comply. If they don't, they are breaking the law. This additional regulation has nothing to do with added security, but rather is designed to be yet another impediment to gun enthusiasts.

3. States that prohibit multiple firearms sales have shown to lower the percentage of guns that are traced to violent crime.

How strongly do you agree with this statement: There is no legitimate reason for a responsible gun owner to buy 10, 20, even 100 guns at a time.

This is a direct misrepresentation. The Brady Campaign supports a "one gun per month" restriction, not a "less than 10 guns per transaction" restriction. While you may never be wealthy enough to purchase 10 guns at once, you may have 2 sons who both want a hunting rifle for Christmas. The Brady Campaign thinks that should be illegal.

4. Using crime gun trace data, law enforcement can identify the 1% of gun dealers who supply nearly 60% of crime guns. Even with hundreds of violations, most of these rogue gun dealers remain open for business because of restrictions Congress and the Bush Administration have placed on ATF's ability to inspect them and revoke their licenses.

How strongly do you agree with this statement: Congress must strengthen ATF and law enforcement's power to shut down corrupt gun dealers who supply the criminal gun market.

The Brady Campaign has repeatedly sought trace data for one reason: so that they can sue gun retailers into bankruptcy. Trace data is not evidence of a crime, it is evidence of a firearms transaction. Because the Brady Campaign's efforts in the legislature have failed, they are looking for a back door to ban guns in America.

Moreover, by making it easier to "inspect" gun retailers, what the Brady Campaign really means to do is revoke the constitutional rights of American citizens. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects you and I, and gun retailers, from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The Brady Campaign apparently doesn't think that is worth preserving.

Help Stop HR 1022

To help stop HR 1022, sign this petition

HR 1022 would renew the Assault Weapon Ban that existed from 1994 to 2004, but in a more restrictive form. You may remember there were many predictions of blood baths in the streets when the ban lapsed. Ten months after the ban lapsed, violent crime was down 3.6%, the most significant drop in two years. It makes sense that crime would not be affected by this sort of ban, as FBI statistics show that "assault weapons" were used in less than 2% of gun crimes before the ban was even instituted.

These sorts of archaic laws are not an effort at reducing crime, but rather an attempt by a limited few to force their way of life on others. Make no mistake, if this law passes the gun-banning movement will not be appeased, they will be emboldened to come after more common weapons. So much for fundamental concepts that this country was founded on, such as liberty and freedom.

I urge you to sign the petition and alert everyone you know.

Helmke on Bloomberg

Paul Helmke said, on February 13, 2007:

"The response by the Bush Administration's Justice Department to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking come across as an effort to silence the messenger rather than respond to the problem of a rise in violent crime,"

I am noticing a constant trend: there is at least one factual misrepresentation in each of the Brady Campaign's Statements. Mr. Helmke apparently isn't aware that violent crime has been on a downward trend since 1991, and is now at a 30-year-low.

Moreover, Helmke is supporting the recent efforts of Mayor Bloomberg. Bloomberg has gained notoriety for his recent publicity stunts aimed at forcing New-York-style gun control beyond his jurisdiction. Bloomberg seems to be unfamiliar with the concept of federalism, confusing his position with one in which he can force his views on the constituents of rural Virginia. In an abuse of the legal system, he sent "investigators" to gun retailers in other states to conduct purchases of handguns. While these purchasers were legal on the part of the seller, they were the basis of blackmail lawsuits against 28 retailers. Unfortunately, several of these stores were forced to settle the lawsuits because they didn't have the budget to litigate against the multi-millionaire Mayor.

Because the transactions were legal on the part of the seller, U.S. Justice Department's Michael A. Battle recently announced that no criminal charges would be brought against any of the 28 gun retailers. This is the "silence the messenger" action Helmke is referring to. Sorry Helmke, people in America generally aren't charged with crimes unless there is some reason to believe they have committed a crime.

Bloomberg's efforts are understandable at least, he is seeking a scapegoat for his failed policies. Criminals in New York have easy access to guns because criminals do not obey gun control laws, not because of retail gun dealers in other states. All Bloomberg has done by enacting policies that discourage gun ownership in New York is aided criminals by insuring their victims are defenseless.