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[COMMENT: The matter pretty much speaks for itself.
Government (which by nature is about coercion, and has almost a monopoly on coercive force)) should never be the only ones to own guns. 1. because the police cannot be everywhere at once; 2. because when government is the only one with guns, the rest of us will not be safe, we will be defenseless against both government and criminals, 3. nations almost always go to war when government gets too big for its britches, and almost always under a leader who has gotten control centralized and under his will, including the banning of guns.
Government has been, by a wide, wide margin, the greatest killer of human beings, probably in any era of history ( www.hawaii.edu/powerkills ). An armed citizenry is necessary for keeping government limited. One day, Americans will return to their Biblical foundations of limited government, but it will be safe only if the citizens are armed.
That is not in any sense anti-Christian.
The really surprising fact noted below is the level of responsibility showed by the gun owners, well above average. What a testimony!
See also below another email by John Lott on NYC and gun control.
And a comment by Larry Pratt on Dick Cheney's shotgun.
If the evidence is as clear as these writers indicate, then why are people pushing so hard to remove guns from the hands of responsible citizens?
It is either terminal ignorance, a belief that only government can be really responsible (a product of terminal ignorance), or a desire to control the population in every detail of our lives (and a belief that the people are terminally ignorant and can be persuaded to put up with it).
Read this article along with Chicago & Guns... E. Fox]
Texas' Concealed Handgun Law - 10 years later
By Jerry Patterson
AUSTIN - When the Texas Concealed Handgun Law took effect in 1996, pundits and naysayers predicted anarchy. Any minute, there surely would be mass violence as armed Texas citizens began roving the streets, settling arguments with gunfire. Certainly, several proclaimed, within a year there would be blood in the streets as Texas returned to the days of the Wild West.
Ten years later the facts paint a different picture. Texas under the Concealed Handgun Law isn't the Wild West, but the Mild West. No recurrent shootouts at four-way stops, no blood in the streets.
Quite the contrary, Texans are safer than before.
But why are we safer? Why did the fears of the naysayers fail to materialize?
One of the reasons I authored Senate Bill 60, the Concealed Handgun Law, was because I trust my fellow Texans. Contrary to opinions expressed on almost every editorial page across the state, I knew that when law-abiding Texans' constitutional right to keep and bear arms was restored with the passage of SB 60, they would exercise good judgment and behave responsibly.
Ten years later, and the statistics continue to prove the point.
Since the passage of the Concealed Handgun Law, the FBI Uniform Crime Report shows an 18-percent drop in handgun murders, down from 838 in 1995 to 688 in 2004; and a 13-percent drop in handgun murders per 100,000 population, down from 4.5 murders per 100,000 Texans in 1995 to 3.95 per 100,000 in 2004.
In 2000, on the fifth anniversary of the Concealed Handgun Law, the National Center for Policy Analysis issued a report that indicated Texans with concealed carry permits are far less likely to commit a serious crime than the average citizen.
According to the report, the more than 200,000 Texans licensed to carry a concealed firearm are much more law-abiding than the average person.
The report illustrated that Texans who exercise their right to carry firearms are 5.7 times less likely to be arrested for a violent offense. They are 14 times less likely to be arrested for a non-violent offense. And they are 1.4 times less likely to be arrested for murder.
H. Sterling Burnett, a senior policy analyst at the NCPA and the author of the report, concluded:
"Many predicted that minor incidents would escalate into bloody shootouts if Texas passed a concealed-carry law. That prediction was dead wrong," Burnett said.
With 247,345 concealed handgun licenses active in Texas as of December 2005, the number of law-abiding licensees has had a positive effect on the crime rate.
Texas Department of Public Safety Uniform Crime Report indicates the overall crime rate in Texas has continued to drop during the past 10 years. In 1997, DPS reported 5,478 crimes per 100,000 Texans, based on a population of 19,355,427 Texans. In 2004, with almost 3 million more Texans, the crime rate is 5,032 per 100,000.
The effect of the Concealed Handgun Law has been so positive, it has converted some of its most outspoken initial critics.
John Holmes, former Harris County district attorney, wrote to me several years after the passage of the law:
"As you know, I was very outspoken in my opposition to the passage of the Concealed Handgun Act. I did not feel that such legislation was in the public interest and presented a clear and present danger to law abiding citizens by placing more handguns on our streets," Holmes wrote. "Boy was I wrong. Our experience in Harris County, and indeed state-wide, has proven my initial fears absolutely groundless."
Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association, shared this view:
"I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict. That hasn't happened," White told the Dallas Morning News. "All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman. I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have permits. I'm a convert."
To the supporters of individual liberty and the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, this outcome is no surprise. However, the Concealed Handgun Law isn't just about personal safety. Perhaps even deeper than its roots in constitutional freedom, the Concealed Handgun Law is about trust.
And after 10 years, the Concealed Handgun Law is a shining example of what happens when elected officials have faith in their fellow Texans.
The legacy of Senate Bill 60 is grounded in the concept that our government should place its trust in us, not the other way around.
Jerry Patterson is the 27th Texas land commissioner and, as a state senator from Pasadena, was author of SB 60, the Concealed Handgun Law.
Questions or comments on this story? firstname.lastname@example.org
....New York City
Gun Control Lessons for Bloomberg
By JOHN R. LOTT JR.
January 9, 2006
Mayor Bloomberg wants to take New York City's gun control regulations nationwide. At his swearing in ceremony earlier this month, Mr. Bloomberg announced his top priority for the next four years: a nationwide fight across America for more gun control, from Washington, D.C., to individual statehouses.
The current push for more gun control stems from the tragic murders of two New York City police officers last year, following in the wake of two officers killed in 2003 and 2004. Mr. Bloomberg has long supported every gun regulation possible, even banning off-duty or retired police officers carrying guns near city hall. He is already pushing for tougher gun control in New York state, claiming that otherwise law-abiding New York gun-owners - who already pass all the local, state, and federal gun control regulations - are an important way his city's criminals obtain guns. Those same motivations are behind the program that he now wants to take nationwide.
Everyone wants to prevent criminals from getting guns. But the experience in other countries, even island nations that have gone so far as banning guns and where borders are relatively easy to monitor, should give Mr. Bloomberg and his supporters some pause. The regulations seem to have only kept law-abiding citizens from getting guns.
Not only didn't violent crime and homicide decline as promised, but they actually increased.
* The British government banned handguns in January 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the seven years from 1996 to 2003. Since 1996, the rate of serious violent crime has soared by 88%, armed robberies by 101%, rapes by 105% and homicide by 24%.
* Australia's 1996 gun-control regulations banned many types of guns and the immediate aftermath was similar. While murder rates remained unchanged, armed robbery rates averaged 59% higher in the eight years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2004) than in 1995.
* The Republic of Ireland banned and confiscated all handguns and all center-fire rifles in 1972, but murder rates rose five-fold by 1974 and in the 20 years after the ban has averaged 114% higher than the pre-ban rate (never falling below at least 31% higher).
* Jamaica banned all guns in 1974, but murder rates almost doubled from 11.5 per 100,000 in 1973 to 19.5 in 1977, and soared further to 41.7 in 1980.
The two police officer murders last year in New York City had something else in common: The murders involved drugs.
Drug gangs have a lot at stake and they can't simply call up the police when another gang encroaches on their turf, so they end up essentially setting up their own armies. (Nor can drug users call the police when someone steals their cache.) Just as gangs find ways to smuggle drugs in from Latin America and Asia, they will also find ways to smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.
Letting more law-abiding citizens own guns may actually save police lives. There are also a large number of peer-reviewed academic studies showing that letting private citizens own guns reduces violent crime, and some work finds that gun crime falls even faster than overall violent crime. Others have directly linked this reduction in crime to officer safety. Professor David Mustard in the Journal of Law and Economics specifically tested this and found that on average each additional year a state allows citizens to carry concealed handguns reduces the number of police murders by another 2%.
Even for politicians, hard facts must eventually matter. If they can't see that gun control laws have failed to deliver as promised, it's hard to know when facts will make a difference.
Mr. Lott, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "More Guns, Less Crime" (University of Chicago Press, 2000).
The following is from Larry Pratt, commenting on the ruckus over the gun accident with Dick Cheney. Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.
The stats he quotes are a reinforcement of the common sense right to self-defense. Even against government intrusion -- commonly called the right of rebellion -- given the correct circumstances.
Hunting accidents happen every year, although it is also true that fatal gun accidents of all kind are continuing to decline. Most recently there have been 770 accidental firearms deaths per year. This has occurred at the same time that the number of firearms owned by private citizens in this country has nearly tripled since 1967 a year that saw 2700 fatal firearms accidents.
To put these numbers into perspective, consider that there are about 40,000 deaths from automobile accidents each year. That means that using your car is about 57 times more likely to kill you than is Dick Cheney’s shotgun.
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Date Posted - 01/21/2013 - Date Last Edited - 02/21/2013