Feb. 26, 2001, Second Amendment newsletter

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. Feb. 26, 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 columns: The anti-gun lobbies' plans. Disarmament and genocide

in Zimbabwe. The fallacy of the "43 to 1" factoid.

2. Massachusetts ban on concealed carry helped the Wakefield murderer.

3. Soaring British Crime. By Lorne Gunter.

4. Links.

1. New Kopel columns

Gunning for Hysteria
In the anti-gun lobby's utopia, the world would be a scary place.

National Review Online. Feb. 23, 2001.


Ripe for Genocide. Zimbabwe.

National Review Online. Feb. 13, 2001.

With Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen.


The Fallacy of "43 to 1".

The all-time favorite statistic of the gun-prohibition lobby.

National Review Online. Jan. 31, 2001.


2. Massachusetts ban on concealed carry helped the Wakefield murderer.

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Boston Herald on Jan. 11.

Louis Javelle, and employee at Edgewater's New Hampshire facility, was one of the seven victims killed at Wakefield.

When Guns Are Outlawed...

Louis "Sandy" Javelle was my friend. On Dec. 26 in Wakefield, he was killed by a madman. Sandy held both a federal firearms license and a permit to carry a handgun in New Hampshire. Ironically, the gun laws in Massachusetts prevented him from carrying a concealed handgun. But these same laws did not prevent Michael McDermott from obtaining illegal firearms. When the rampage started, Sandy told co-workers to lock the door behind him and barricade it.

He then confronted McDermott and became the third victim. If Sandy had been permitted to carry a pistol, he could have stopped McDermott. That meant that five other people could possibly have survived this tragedy. But Sandy did not have that option.

David Berquist, Temple, NH

3. Edmonton Journal

17 February 2001

By Lorne Gunter.

Which country is the source of these headlines, all of which have run in newspapers there since the New Year?

"Panic over gun crime.'' "Police move to tackle huge rise in gun crime.'' "Handgun crime soars.'' "New government figures reveal a number of crime hotspots.''

Sorry, you lose points for guessing the United States. Too predictable, not to mention wrong.

Violent crime in general and firearms crime in particular is on the decline in the U.S., from between four to 11 per cent over the past three years, depending on which figures one uses.

I would have given a point for South Africa, although it is not the correct answer, either. The R.S.A is in the grips of a horrendous wave of firearms crime.

No, the correct answer to my question is Great Britain, where armed robberies and muggings are now more common than they are in the United States.

The inner cities of England and Wales are as violent and crime-ridden as the ghettos of New Orleans, Atlanta, Miami, St. Louis, Washington and south central Los Angeles. (New York City neighbourhoods do not make it on this list because they are no longer remarkably violent places. The American cities I list are all more violent than N.Y.C.) Central Newcastle, in the north of England, may actually be the most dangerous place in the industrialized world. The Home Office in Britain reports that "incidents of violence against the person,'' which includes common assault, right up to and including murder, are the highest there:  236.5 per 1,000 residents.

That rate -- nearly 24 per cent of residents suffering a violent crime in one year -- is greater than all but a handful of other districts in developed nations, and is surpassed by none. It is three times the rate of violent victimization for Britain as a whole, and four times greater than the Canadian and American national rates. (That's right, the violent crime rate in all of Britain is higher than it is in all of the United States, and just as high in Canada as it is south of
the line.)

Home burglaries and car thefts are more than 50 per cent more frequent in Britain than in the U.S. And there are nearly three-quarters as many total rapes in Britain as there are in the entire U.S., even though Britain has only about one-quarter the population.

It is true that American murder rates remain much higher than elsewhere in the developed world (three to 10 times higher). However, this has been true for more than 100 years, gun laws or no gun laws, in good times and in bad. Yet, even that gap is closing as the American murder rate edges downward, and many others edge upward.

But this all speaks to total violent crime, whether committed with a firearm or not. So what of firearms crime in particular in Britain?

More than three years ago, the British government banned all private handgun ownership, and spent hundreds of millions of pounds buying back the civilian arsenal. So, of course, handgun violence disappeared, or at least dropped dramatically, right? After all, high-minded civilized thinkers all know that gun owners are just a bunch of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging kooks when they say, ``If you make owning a gun a crime, only criminals will have guns.''

Good liberals know that if you make owning a gun a crime, you will make crime go away. So after the 1997 ban, handgun crime vanished, or nearly so, right?

Just from March 1999 to March 2000, there was a one-third rise in handgun crime in Britain -- one-third! -- even though there technically ought not to be any handguns in Britain that are not in the hands of the police and military.

It was the same in Australia after its buyback in 1997. The following year, gun crimes went way up there and have remained elevated. It was the same in Britain after stringent earlier controls were introduced in 1988: Gun ownership fell dramatically, while gun crime continued to increase unabated.

And that pattern could easily repeat itself in Canada in response to our new gun law. Criminals take a reduction in the number of civilians owning firearms as a signal that going about their business will carry less risk of retaliation or arrest. So as the number of private firearms declines, the number of violent crimes increases. Criminals know there is less chance of getting shot in their line of work if citizens can be counted on not to be armed, so they step-up their criminal  activity.

Nothing puzzling about that. It's standard common sense. Which is probably why anti-gunners can't figure it out.

Lorne Gunter, Columnist
The Edmonton Journal &
Host, Essential Talk Network
Tune in to 'Lorne Gunter Live' exclusively on the Internet at
www.essentialtalk.com, Monday thru Friday, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern,
1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Mountain.

4. Links

a. Gun Show "Loophole:" More Gun Control Disguised as Crime Control

Friday, February 23, 2001

by H. Sterling Burnett

Senior Policy Analyst with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

http://www.ncpa.org/ba/ba349/ba349.htmlby H. Sterling Burnett

Senior Policy Analyst with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

b. Kentucky Coalition to Carry Concealed.

Good website, with frequent updates on Kentucky and national issues –including current efforts to take away the civil rights of people with

imperfect vision.


c. What can be done to stop hate crimes?
By John R. Lott Jr.
February 23, 2001

San Diego Union-Tribune


d. Eleanor Roosevelt's CCW license application

e. The Florida Court of Appeal  for the Third District upheld the dismissal of the Miami-Dade County lawsuit against 26 firearms manufacturers and others.
Penelas v. Arms Technology, Inc., 2001 WL 120529 (Fla.App. 3 Dist.).  The decision was issued 14 Feb., St. Valentine's Day. 

f. A quarter of English are victims of crime

By Sean O'Neill




g. "Turning a Win into a Draw"

by Mark Penn

The New Democrat Online

Gore/Bush vote for voters who cared a lot about "Juvenile violence/school shootings": 51/49.

For voters who cared a lot about "Gun laws/gun control": 16/73.


h. Million Mom activist convicted in shooting


Feb. 5, 2001

By Jon Dougherty


i. Modesto Police Fail to Find Reason for  Shooting 11-Year-Old in Drug Raid, More Investigations Pending


j. Physician Group Slams Handgun Report Claim That Women Not Safer Carrying Handguns

WorldNet Daily

Feb. 8, 2001

By Jon Dougherty
"A prominent member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has refuted key details of a study published recently by the Violence Policy Center, in which researchers concluded that women were not safer if they used a handgun for self-defense."

k. Restricting Gun Ownership Is Misguided
by William Heinrichs
January 30, 2001

Yankee Instiute


l. Clayton Cramer's continuing expose of the false statements in Michael Bellesiles' "Arming America."

Now up to 240 pages.

m. "Mother cries foul in chicken-finger-as-gun suspension"

Dallas Morning News
February 1, 2001

First grader points chicken finger from his lunch, gets suspended for weapons violation.


n. Kidnapped delivery man pulls gun on two captors.

Baton Rouge Advocate

By Kevin Blanchard

Feb. 2, 2001

OPELOUSAS -- A kidnapped pizza delivery man had an unnerving surprise for his captors Wednesday, an Opelousas Police spokesman said.

The Domino's delivery man was taking a pizza to a house on Planters Street early Wednesday, Maj. Ronnie Trahan said.


"Quemadmoeum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
("A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer's hands.")

Lucius Annaeus, Seneca "the Younger" (ca. 4 BC-65 AD)

That's all folks!

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