Tag Archives: Crime

Why do people favor legal private ownership and concealed carry of handguns?

The entire practical case for concealed carry is based on a comparison between the number of crimes that can be prevented by brandishing a weapon versus the number of incidents where firearms are misused. Basically, supporters of the 2nd amendment (the right to bear arms) argue that the number of successful defensive handgun uses is high, and the number of accidents is low.

Take a look at this defensive handgun usage story from WSB TV: (H/T John Lott, Michelle Malkin)

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — A group of college students said they are lucky to be alive and they’re thanking the quick-thinking of one of their own.

Police said a fellow student shot and killed one of two masked me who burst into an apartment.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Jones met with one of the students to talk about the incident.

“Apparently, his intent was to rape and murder us all,” said student Charles Bailey.

Bailey said he thought it was the end of his life and the lives of the 10 people inside his apartment for a birthday party after two masked men with guns burst in through a patio door.

“They just came in and separated the men from the women and said, ‘Give me your wallets and cell phones,’” said George Williams of the College Park Police Department.

Bailey said the gunmen started counting bullets. “The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough,” said Bailey.

That’s when one student grabbed a gun out of a backpack and shot at the invader who was watching the men. The gunman ran out of the apartment.

The student then ran to the room where the second gunman, identified by police as 23-year-old Calvin Lavant, was holding the women.

“Apparently the guy was getting ready to rape his girlfriend. So he told the girls to get down and he started shooting. The guy jumped out of the window,” said Bailey. . . . . .

If you are a supporter of gun control, how does a story like this fit into your worldview? What if the number of defensive handgun uses was 1 million per year, but the number of accidental incidents was less than a 100? Is that worth looking into, or is this an issue where facts must yield to emotions and intuitions?

RELATED: I found a story recently in Reason magazine in which the writer explains how the  banning of handguns in the UK in 1997 DOUBLED the violent crime rate in the next 4 years. The whole point of the case for permitting the concealed carry of legally owned handguns is that it dramatically reduces violent crime.

Excerpt:

The illusion that the English government had protected its citizens by disarming them seemed credible because few realized the country had an astonishingly low level of armed crime even before guns were restricted. A government study for the years 1890-92, for example, found only three handgun homicides, an average of one a year, in a population of 30 million. In 1904 there were only four armed robberies in London, then the largest city in the world. A hundred years and many gun laws later, the BBC reported that England’s firearms restrictions “seem to have had little impact in the criminal underworld.” Guns are virtually outlawed, and, as the old slogan predicted, only outlaws have guns. Worse, they are increasingly ready to use them.

Nearly five centuries of growing civility ended in 1954. Violent crime has been climbing ever since. Last December, London’s Evening Standard reported that armed crime, with banned handguns the weapon of choice, was “rocketing.” In the two years following the 1997 handgun ban, the use of handguns in crime rose by 40 percent, and the upward trend has continued. From April to November 2001, the number of people robbed at gunpoint in London rose 53 percent.

Gun crime is just part of an increasingly lawless environment. From 1991 to 1995, crimes against the person in England’s inner cities increased 91 percent. And in the four years from 1997 to 2001, the rate of violent crime more than doubled. Your chances of being mugged in London are now six times greater than in New York. England’s rates of assault, robbery, and burglary are far higher than America’s, and 53 percent of English burglaries occur while occupants are at home, compared with 13 percent in the U.S., where burglars admit to fearing armed homeowners more than the police. In a United Nations study of crime in 18 developed nations published in July, England and Wales led the Western world’s crime league, with nearly 55 crimes per 100 people.

This sea change in English crime followed a sea change in government policies. Gun regulations have been part of a more general disarmament based on the proposition that people don’t need to protect themselves because society will protect them. It also will protect their neighbors: Police advise those who witness a crime to “walk on by” and let the professionals handle it.

So, given this data regarding legal gun ownership and violent crime rates, what should our policy be?

Bill H.R. 1966 would make blogging a crime, punishable by up to two years in prison

UPDATE: Welcome readers from Small Dead Animals! Thanks for the link, Kate! Canadian readers, this post that I wrote is an index to most of my recent posts on your free speech troubles with the Human Rights Commissions. I hope and pray that you guys can get your civil liberties restored, and be the True North Strong and Free, again!

UPDATE: If you are looking for the story on the hate crime bill that adds pedophiles to the list of “protected” groups, see here.

Wow, check out this story from OpenMarket blog.

Excerpt:

Under a recently-introduced bill, H.R. 1966, bloggers would face up to two years in prison if they “harass” public figures by criticizing them in a “severe, repeated, and hostile” manner, and thereby cause them “substantial emotional distress.”

I guess fascism is coming along faster than I thought.

U.C.L.A. Law Professor Eugene Volokh, the author of a First Amendment treatise, has concluded that the bill is unconstitutional. I agree, as I explain here. As a federal appeals court noted in DeJohn v. Temple University (2008), “there is no harassment exception to the First Amendment’s free speech clause.” Speech that causes emotional distress can be protected,as the Supreme Court made clear in barring a lawsuit by Jerry Falwell over an offensive parody.

Wow, it’s like the left is doing everything they accused Bush of doing, which he never did. The fascist policies they imagined were all projections onto Bush of what they intended to do themselves! Now I get it. It wasn’t conservatives who were in favor of government control of private lives, it was the progressive left.

The bill is a telling example of how the American Left has turned against free speech and civil liberties. The bill’s sponsor, Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and nearly all of her 14 co-sponsors are liberals. All of them backed the federal hate-crimes bill passed by the House yesterday, which is designed to allow people who have been found innocent in state court to be reprosecuted in federal court. (That bill has been criticized by four members of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, including law professor Gail Heriot, and by civil libertarian Wendy Kaminer. Advocates of the federal hate-crimes bill once cited the defendants in the Duke Lacrosse case, who were innocent, as an example of people who should be prosecuted in federal court).

And don’t forget about the hate crimes bill: I wrote previously about the two ways in which that bill is unconstitutional.

Hate crimes bill H.R. 1913 destroys civil liberties and Constitutional protections

UPDATE: Welcome readers from Free Canuckistan! Thanks for the linky Mr. WebElf!

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from 4Simpsons!!! Thanks for the link, Neil. 4Simpsons is a daily read for me, and it should be for you, too!

Hans Bader of the Open Market blog of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has done a massive analysis of the Democrat’s hate crimes bill.

First, the news:

On April 23, the House Judiciary Committee voted 15-to-12 to approve a dramatic expansion of the federal hate-crimes law. The bill, H.R. 1913, would add gender, sexual orientation, and transgender characteristics to a law originally designed to protect racial minorities. It also greatly expands the law’s reach over local offenses typically handled by state prosecutors, by eliminating many jurisdictional limits.

The hate crimes bill violates federalism:

The bill would allow people who have been found innocent of a hate crime in state court to be reprosecuted in federal court…. Supporters of the hate crimes bill also see it as a way to prosecute people even in cases where the evidence is so weak that state prosecutors have decided not to prosecute. Attorney General Eric Holder has pushed for the hate crimes bill as a way to prosecute people whom state prosecutors refuse to prosecute because of a lack of evidence. To justify broadening federal hate-crimes law, he cited three examples where state prosecutors refused to prosecute, citing a lack of evidence. In each, a federal jury acquitted the accused, finding them not guilty.

But that’s not all, it also violates the principle of double jeopardy:

Civil libertarians like Wendy Kaminer have criticized the federal hate-crimes bill for taking advantage of a loophole in constitutional double-jeopardy protections. Law professor Gail Heriot, a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, has also criticized the bill for circumventing protections against double-jeopardy.

I wrote earlier about how the federal hate-crimes bill backed by Obama and Congressional leaders would violate constitutional federalism safeguards, such as the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Morrison (2000), and how it would allow people found innocent in state court to be retried in federal court.

One more point that caught my attention:

The ACLU long opposed the loophole in Constitutional double-jeopardy protections that the bill is designed to exploit. But it switched its longstanding position in order to back the federal hate crimes bill, apparently believing that civil-liberties must be sacrificed in order to fight hate.

Yes, when push comes to shove, leftists oppose all liberties, and end up supporting fascism.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has more on the hate crimes bill here.

UPDATE: Don’t forget about the bill that criminalizes blogging here.

I highly recommend this article!

John Lott debates gun control on Canadian radio show

John Lott is probably the best known academic researcher on gun laws and the effects of gun ownership on crime rates. He discussed the topic on a Canadian radio station CKNW, and did a great job of covering many of the important points in the debate. The commercial-free show is available here. If you are a Canadian, or if you have never heard the other side of the gun control debate, then you need to spend 18 minutes listening to the case against gun control. The case against gun control is something you may never hear about in the mainstream media.

Here is a summary of some of the points he touches on during the dialog.

  • Lott begins by noting that guns can be used in tragic ways, but that they can also be used to prevent crimes. The only way to decide whether gun ownership should be allowed is to compare the ratio between the tragic incidents against defensive gun usage incidents.
  • Lott also briefly discusses the media bias in reporting on firearms. The media selects stories that result in actual violence, so that the vast number of defensive gun uses go unreported. These defensive gun uses seldom involve injuries, or even firing a shot. Instead, a crime is prevented by merely displaying or brandishing the weapon, which scares off the assailant.
  • Lott notes that gun control laws are only obeyed by law abiding citizens, never by criminals. Thus, the only purpose gun control serves is to increase crime rates by disarming the potential victims of criminal activity. He also argues that gun bans actually increase violent crime and murder rates in countries where bans have been implemented.
  • Lott compares crime rates in the USA and Canada using official United Nations surveys. Lott notes that most of the crime in the USA is due to gang violence, and as such is isolated to small areas within a few counties.
  • Lott addresses Canada’s gun registries and gun laws specifically. He explains why gun registries are virtually useless for lowering crime rates. Lott also discusses concealed carry laws in the USA, and their effect on crime rates.
  • Lott also notes that concealed-carry permit holders commit fewer crimes than off-duty police officers. In other words, private gun ownership doesn’t cause crime, and gun owners are extremely law-abiding.

But there is hope for Canada. This press release, (dated February 9, 2009), states that:

Saskatchewan M.P. Garry Breitkreuz has introduced a Private Members’ Bill to scrap the decade-old Canadian long-gun registry (see link below to Bill C-301).

The long-gun registry was originally budgeted to cost Canadians $2 million, but the price tag spiraled out of control to an estimated $2 billion a decade later. Breitkreuz says it’s time to pull the plug on this useless money pit, because the registry has not saved one single life since it was introduced.

Finally, this video clip is a hilarious knock on gun control laws.