About once a month, Dave Kopel produces a free e-mail Newsletter containing short summaries and links to important new research and writing involving the Second Amendment and firearms policy. The newsletter also reports on Kopel's latest writing.
The content of this newsletter is produced by the Second Amendment Project at the Independence Institute, a think tank in Golden, Colorado. The newsletter is electronically distributed by the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, Washington. Thus, the Second Amendment Foundation will be given your e-mail address.
Archive of past issues.
Second Amendment Project Newsletter. Aug. 30, 2001.
The Second Amendment Project is based at the Independence
Institute, a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado.
Table of contents for this issue:
1. New Kopel articles: Andrea Yates child murders. FBI
abuses a journalist. Do guns cost society $100 billion annually?
UN and European Union get ready to tax the Internet.
2. Janet Reno's Trip Tik. Satire, by Jim Jorgensen,
National Association of Treasury Agents
3. The Fifth Auxiliary Right.
By Lorne Gunter
4. Bad stat of the Month: "Million" Mom March
still can't count.
1. New Kopel articles
a. Political Science. The National Academy of Sciences
gears up for a biased anti-gun "study."
National Review Online. Aug. 29, 2001
b. Bigotry of Low Expectations Double standards for parent murderers.
The Andrea Yates case.
National Review Online. Aug. 28, 2001
"Which organization is really pro-child: the National
Organization for Women, which supports women who kill
their children, or the National Rifle Association,
supports women who protect their children?
c. Redefining Justice. Free Vanessa Leggett.
Abusive FBI throws a journalist in jail.
National Review Online. Aug. 27, 2001.
With Paul Blackman
d. $100 Billion Mistake. Loose factoids sink books.
Review of Gun Violence: The Real Costs
By Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig
NRO Weekend, Aug. 25-26, 2001.
With Paul Blackman.
e. Globaltaxation.Gov.U.N. and EU gearing up to regulate the Internet.
National Review Online. Aug. 24, 2001. With Jennifer Holder
2. As I See It... by Jim Jorgensen NATA Dep. Exec. Dir. JANET'S TRIP TIK
Originally published in "The Agent," the
quarterly magazine of the National Association of
Treasury Agents, an independent organization
for law enforcement employees of Treasury agencies.
Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno's
brother-in-law, Jim Hurchalla, recently bought
her a used red Ford Ranger pickup truck to
cross-country tour she's long promised to take
upon leaving office. Rather than have Ms. Reno
waste time and money at AAA, we've prepared the
following Trip Tik for her:
Stop 1 - On your way out of Washington, D.C., stop
by the Secret Service HQ. Thank various bureaucrats
for their assistance in helping your valiant,
unsuccessful attempt at contriving a new executive
privilege for then-President Bill Clinton, who at
the time was scurrying to obstruct justice in a
civil rights suit in which he was the defendant
(Jones v. Clinton).
Stop 2 - After crossing the Potomac River into
Virginia, visit Fort Marcey National Park where
you authorized that crack investigative
the U.S. Park Police, to investigate the "suicide"
of Presidential counselor Vincent Foster.
Stop 3 - Continuing westbound, visit Clinton,
Mississippi, corporate HQ for Worldcom, Inc.,
which, until your DOJ trustbusters got into the
act, was a high tech company providing a real
product and service. Before your involvement
Worldcom traded at +$80. Today, it's at $13.
Stop 4 - Now, it's on to Arkansas. The sites
here are just too numerous to mention. Don't
miss the village of Hope where draft-dodger
Bill Clinton scammed both his Selective Service
Board and the Arkansas National Guard.
Another highlight is the undeveloped rural tract
known as "Whitewater." The exact location may be
hard to find, but you can ask directions of
convicted "Whitewater" felons you so desperately
tried to protect.
Stop 5 - Leaving the great state of Arkansas,
It's on to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Remember how
your minions hamstrung the FBI's stolen
secrets investigation? You probably won't want
to linger here too long!
Stop 6 - Next, check out the site of the former
Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Do you ever wonder whether the Waco decisions
made two years prior to the bombing were the right
ones? Think about all the innocent children and
Federal workers who died here.
Stop 7 - This stop will probably be the highlight
of your trip. Visit Waco, Texas. Please pause at
least a few moments to reflect on what you
didn't do) and all the innocent kids who perished here.
Stop 8 - Continuing to the West Coast, stop in
Los Angeles for a tour of the ATF offices. Ask
them to show you the spot where distraught
agent Nathaniel Medrano committed suicide. You
probably don't even remember him. He was the fifth
ATF Waco fatality.
Stop 9 - Traveling up the beautiful coast, spend
a couple days in San Francisco. Try to find the
Buddhist temple where defeated Presidential
candidate Al Gore didn't know he was having a
fund-raiser. See the exact spot where convicted
felon fund-raiser Maria Hsia greeted Al when
for the fund-raiser.
Stop 10 - Then, it's on to Seattle for a peek
at Microsoft, Inc. HQ. Remember when the NASDQ
was above 3000? Many attribute its current
level to your trustbusters who dragged Microsoft
through the mud. . . and the courts. Nice going!
Notice what's happening on appeal?
Stop 11 - It's time to start heading back. Go
just a bit eastbound and visit Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
Visit the Randy Weaver family which got more
$3 million from your DOJ. Not admitting any
government wrong-doing was a real nice touch.
Don't forget to stop by Vicki Weaver's grave
site. How old is that daughter she was holding
when the FBI sniper killed her?
Stop 12 - Still heading eastbound, don't miss
the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota.
See the spot where Leonard Peltier executed
two wounded FBI agents. Consider how your boss's
proposed pardon of this stone-cold killer affected
all of the living Federal agents you used to
Stop 13 - Well, it's back home to Florida. Two
stops here are important. First, visit Little
Havana to see the modest home where you authorized
SWAT team tactics so a little kid could be
returned to a life of slavery. You were afraid
you were going to lose in court. Weren't you?
Then, re-visit the offices of the Dade County
Prosecutor where you did some of your "finest" work.
Oh. . . .did we tell you? Those knee-jerk,
politically-correct child molester convictions
from which you got so much good press. . . .well
. . . . they've been overturned.
Hope you had a nice trip. We didn't!
Asked how non-agents could support NATA's work,
Jim Jorgensen replied:
The best thing non-agents can do is to "adopt"
a Federal agent. By that I mean seeking out
and really getting to know and
befriend an active duty
Federal officer. One of the greatest perils to
our continuing democracy is the increasing
parochialism and marginalization of law enforcement
They are under relentless attack and are prone
to "circle the wagons" at the least provocation.
This insular posture can lead
to real mischief and
tragedy. Law enforcement officers live all around
us, but rarely have friends outside law enforcement
circles. "Adopting" an officer
this. If approached sincerely and tactfully, both
the "adopted" officer and the "adoptee" will come
away with a new found respect
and understanding for
each other's concerns and problems. That would be
healthy for our continued freedoms!
The Fifth Auxiliary Right
An introduction of Dr. Gary Mauser
By Lorne Gunter
Columnist, The Edmonton Journal
Editorial Board Member, The National Post
On the occasion of Dr. Mauser's speech to the
Teaching Liberty series
The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Edmonton
Wednesday 15 August 2001
The right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms
for recreation and even for self-protection is
referred by some academics as "the fifth auxiliary
right." That doesn't sound too impressive, until
you consider what the first through forth auxiliary
The term refers to Sir William Blackstone's
18th-Century Commentaries on the Laws of England,
the closest thing the British have to a written
Blackstone identified three absolute rights:
The right to
personal liberty, including freedom
of movement, action and thought;
the right to personal security, which included an
undiluted right to self-defence, up to and including
the right to kill anyone (including an agent of the
King) discovered in your home or on your land after
dark, with or without a warrant; and
the right to own and enjoy property.
As Blackstone explained, to "protect and maintain"
these absolute rights, English law recognized five
limitations on the King's prerogative,
due process of law,
the right of petition to Parliament or the King, and
the right to bear arms.
When you consider the significance of the other four
auxiliary rights, it doesn't seem quite so insignificant
that the right to own firearms is the fifth auxiliary
right. That's actually pretty impressive company to keep.
In the defence of our liberty, our property and our
personal security, the right to own a fire arm ranks
right up there with the having a parliament, with
constitutional limits on the monarch and with due
process of law.
The right to bear arms is not some American creation.
Blackstone was identifying rights that he called ancient
because many of them had existed since long before
reliable accounts of the common law. These were rights
we as Canadians were meant to inherit because of our
Imagine the reaction if it were suggested that Canada
could still be free if we did away with freely elected
houses of assembly. Or if we reinstated the divine right
of kings to rule as absolute monarchs.
What would be the reaction if it were suggested that
governments should have the right to round up and
summarily execute anyone they wished -- no due process?
There would be an outcry, an entirely justifiable outcry,
that our democracy was at risk.
And what if the government tried to suspend Parliament
or cancel elections? Newspapers and magazines would be
full of articles about how we could no longer be guaranteed
our freedoms. Television newscasts would be crammed from
beginning to end with coverage of riots should our
leaders move to restore the absolute monarchy. Some
interviewee would surely call it a dictatorship –
and he would surely be right.
So where is the outrage at the federal governments
slow-burn to confiscation of law-abiding Canadians'
firearms? Whereas a proposal to eliminate any of the
other auxiliary rights would be met with howls and
derision, the threat to responsible firearms ownership
is met with applause. Yet the fifth auxiliary right is
the only auxiliary right facing a true, immediate threat.
That is upon us. It's not some airy-fairy hypothetical,
future-scare scenario. And it is encouraged by our elites,
rather than resisted, because in their ivory tower,
champagne and brie world, they cannot see the danger
to our freedom.
Just as the road to hell is paved with good intentions,
the road to serfdom is paved with inattention.
If we do march blindly into the dark night of tyranny,
don't blame our first guest. Dr. Gary Mauser has done
more than any other academic in the country, and near
as much as any other Canadian, with the exception of
our own Dave Tomlinson, to awaken Canadians to the
futility and ultimate destructiveness of crusades to
control the ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens.
He may not know this, but I credit him with helping
make me as smart as I am on this subject. (Now he may
not want to know this.) I will not claim to ever having
been a big supporter of gun control. But it was a subject
to which I had given little thought, so like most
Canadians, and nearly all Liberal cabinet ministers,
my opinions were ill-informed to the point of being
ignorant. And in my ill-informed ignorance, I thought,
"Okay, controlling the ownership and use of guns will
probably reduce crime. At least it couldn't hurt."
At a time when it would have been so easy for him personally
as well as professionally, to ignore the gun debate, Gary
Mauser jumped into instead -- up to his neck. His work in
the early 1990s helped convince me that civilian gun control,
like most other big-state ideas, has the exact opposite of
the desired effect. If the statists promised it would reduce
crime, it surely would increase it.
Prof. Mauser did some of the earliest empirical research
on the use of firearms in crimes in Canada. His work
helped debunk the myth that most criminal firearms were
originally sloppily stored legal firearms that were stolen
for use in hold-ups and murders.
He has worked with the American scholar and gun rights
advocate David Kopel on the influential essay "Sorry Wrong
Number: Why media polls on gun control are often unreliable."
He has written on armed self-defence from the
Canadian perspective, authored a 1995 Fraser Institute
paper that I still have on file, entitled "Gun Control
is not Crime Control."
He has testified before the Commons Justice and
Legal Affairs Committee on Bill C-68, done phenomenal
work with his friend and sociologist Taylor Buckner,
on the public's real attitudes towards gun control, in the 1997
Mackenzie Institute paper "Canadians Attitudes Toward
Gun Control: The real story."
And most recently, again for Fraser, he wrote
"Misfire: Firearm registration in Canada,"
a thorough critique of the Canadian Firearms Centre
and its mission.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming a
fine man and one of the staunchest defenders of the
fifth auxiliary right, Prof. Gary Mauser.
4. Bad Stat of the Month
"The gun lobby has been talking for 40 minutes.
During that time, 40 people have died from the
use of small arms and light weapons in this country."
(Mary Leigh Blek, Million Mom March, speaking at
the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade
in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, Jul. 17).
Really? One death per minute would result in a
whopping 525,600 deaths per year. The actual number of
deaths from firearm injuries (homicide, suicide and
accident) in 1998 was 30,708. Ms. Blek's figure is
off by about 1700 percent.
--Statistical Assessment Service
Concealed weapons law is praised
Associated Press, in The State
(South Carolina's largest newspaper)
"When the state's concealed weapons law was passed in 1996,
critics feared gunslingers would be strolling the streets of South
Carolina, but authorities say the program has worked effectively…."
Gun News You Never See
New York Post
Monday, August 6, 2001
Man in San Francisco wrests gun away from criminals planning
on murdering children.
Man is arrested for violating parole condition against
"S.F. loft intruders killed by own gun.
SoMa resident, friend shoot robbers"
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE. 16 August 2001. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/
article.cgi?file=/c/a/2001/08/16/MN41736.DTL "SoMa loft hero held on parole violation.
Taking intruder's gun broke rules"
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE. 17 August 2001. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/
A grandma with a pistol in her purse
Aug. 22, 2001
"Patrick Langan, a statistician for the Justice Department's
National Crime Victimization Study [sic, Survey], found that
defending against rape, robbery, or assault, guns help
65 percent of the time and make things worse about 9 percent of
the time." http://www.christiansciencemonitor.com/
b. Gun rights websites:
Website of Marylanders for the Preservation
of Firearms Ownership
Women Against Gun Control
Democrats for the Second Amendment
"There are now over 20 Pink Pistols chapters nationwide, and more are starting up every day. We are dedicated to the legal, safe, and responsible use of firearms for self-defense of the sexual-minority community."
Black Man With a Gun
Kenneth V. Blanchard's website
Gun prohibitionist Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy
applauds a gun-wielding Irish Republican Army terrorist who
was convicted of murder.
Are guns bad when used for home protection
in America, but not when used for political killing
August 17, 2001
Coming to Terms (or Not) with Waco
Alan Bock. WorldNet Daily. Aug. 24, 2001
New evidence that Danforth Commission tests were
a deliberate fraud.
Machine guns predate the Second Amendment.
The story of the Puckle Gun.
She shot a Nazi to save Jewish children"
US News and World Report
20 August 2001. By Samantha Levine
New Views of the Constitution of the United States
by John Taylor of Caroline
Taylor is considered a leading proponent of the strict
constructionist views of Jefferson and Madison.
Jurist: The Legal Education Network
"Gun Laws, Gun Control & Gun Rights" web "resource for individuals
on all sides in the ongoing controversy over the legal status of guns
in the United States."
Stephen Halbrook's response to
VPC's anti-Ashcroft article.
Gun suits seek to end private ownership
by Don Feder (8/15)
"The California Supreme Court deserves a 21-gun salute for its profound wisdom in throwing out a suit against gun-makers last week."
Judge orders city to pay NRA for legal fees in gun show case Arizona Daily Star. Tucson, Arizona Tuesday, 7 August 2001
United States v. Laskie, 9th Circuit.
Unanimous three-judge panel rules that a
restoration of civil rights under federal law
includes right to arms, unless "expressly" not
U.S. v. Osborne, 5th Circuit.
Same result as the Laskie case above.
The underlying "felony" was driving into Mexico with five
rounds of ammunition which the driver's friends forgotten to
remove from the car.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy tells a group of
students that lower courts are "just
beginning" 2d Amendment jurisprudence and it will be
"some years" before the Supreme Court gets involved.
Responding to a question about whether the 2d Amendment
is "obsolete," he warns against ignoring parts of the
The event was broadcast on C-Span on August 25.
You can listen in RealAudio.
Stillwell v. Stilwell, 2001 WL 862620
Tenn. App., July 30
"The second issue on appeal is the propriety of the Trial Court's prohibiting Father from carrying a weapon in the presence of the child and ordering
guns be locked up when Father is exercising visitation.
. . .
Additionally, we believe the constitutional rights under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as Article I, Section 26 of the Tennessee Constitution are worthy of the same protection as is the constitutional right to privacy discussed inHawk. Accordingly, the Trial Court could not restrict Father's otherwise lawful possession of a firearm absent a showing of risk of substantial harm to the child."
f. Politics. Check out Glenn Reynolds' new weblog, InstaPundit.com
The August 28 & 29 entries detail how the Atlanta Journal-
Constitution ran an on-line reader poll to see if .50
caliber rifles should be banned. When the poll results
were overwhelmingly pro-freedom, the AJC removed the poll,
with no acknowledgement that it had ever existed.
Some pages you may want to visit at the award-winning
Independence Institute website:
Criminal Justice and the Second Amendment:
Kopel short articles: http://davekopel.org
The Columbine High School murders:
The Waco murders: http://i2i.org/Waco.htm
The Independence Institute's on-line bookstore. Start your
browsing at the Second Amendment section:
That's all folks!