May 06, 2005

GUNS 'N' RKBA ROUND-UP

Hey folks; temporary Munuvian Matt Rustler here. Publicola was kind enough to ask me to come over and guest-blog while he's traveling. He hasn't left yet, but he did say we pinch-hitters could start anytime. So here's a little feature I've been doing about weekly lately -- a round-up of RKBA and gun-related news links, some esoteric, others headline news. Cross-posted at my blog, Stop the Bleating! (Please note: Unlike our gracious host, I do not believe the NRA is under the control of the anti-Christ. Occasionally, I may even mention it with approval. I know that's an unfamiliar practice in these here parts; I beg your indulgence.)

D'oh!  The Brady Bunch pays $12K in fines to the FEC for illegal corporate campaign contributions during the 2000 election.  Skeptical as I am about the First Amendment implications of most campaign finance law (and I admit that I haven't given a lot of thought to the particular case of corporate contributions), I'm also human.  Schadenfreude?  You bet.

Reason wades into gun control.  It's a little surprising to me how little Reason generally comments on gun issues, considering that it's a leading libertarian magazine.  But this month is different: Here's a debate on gun control among Don B. Kates, Michael Krauss, Wendy Kaminer and Abigail Kohn.  It's not really a debate as much as a series of suggestions by Kohn (anthropolgist and author of Shooters: Myths and Realities of America‚Äôs Gun Cultures) about how to "mov[e] the gun debate forward," to which Kates (a distinguished civil rights lawyer and gun rights advocate), Krauss (a strongly pro-gun lawprof at my alma mater), and Kaminer (an anti-gun journalist) respond.  Much worth reading.

More subtle than most. Here's a Seattle Post-Intelligencer critique of Florida's amendment to its self-defense statute by Marcela Sanchez of the WaPo.  It's unsurprisingly anti-gun, but Sanchez's arguments are more sophisticated than those of most anti-gunners.  I may write more on this later, if I get the chance.  In the meantime, see if you can spot the fallacies.

Repeat after me: Guns are useless . . . .  For self-defense, that is.

It's not really about preventing crime.  That was a point made by Don Kates vis-a-vis the agenda of gun controllers, in the Reason article I linked above.  And it's the point of this piece in the San Bernardino County Sun, which criticizes two California gun bills.  They're both right.

Dangerous.  S&W settles a suit by the family of a boy shot with a S&W handgun through the negligence of another.  S&W's corporate counsel: "Our insurance carrier made a business decision to settle this lawsuit."  They may regret it.

Scary happenings in Indy. The Indiana legislature has passed a bill that would, according to this article, "keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and give[] judges more authority to order searches of the homes of those believed to pose a threat."

"We should be able to seize weapons from people who are dangerous," he said Tuesday. "Whether they are dangerous may or may not have something to do with mental illness."

In the end, with cooperation from the bill's House and Senate sponsors, a "dangerous" person was defined more broadly.

The legislation includes anyone who presents an imminent risk of injury to himself or others, regardless of his mental status; or someone who poses a risk and has a mental illness that can be controlled through medication, but which the individual does not regularly take.

And what are the criteria for determining whether someone presents an "imminent risk of injury to himself or others," exactly?

No biggieHere's a balanced report by a Baton Rouge paper, looking back at 10 years of shall-issue concealed carry.  I must confess that I'm floored to hear the Louisiana state Police have only issued 20,000 permits in 10 years.  In fact, I was so skeptical that I looked it up.  It appears to be true (large .pdf) -- see page 3.

This is supposed to be news?Here's one from our local (D.C.) ABC station:

Annapois, Md. (AP) - A gun-control group says an important provision in Maryland's gun safety act has been gutted.

CeaseFire Maryland says it happened over the past year because of a state board that regulates the sale of handguns.

But a Maryland Handgun Roster Board official says it has followed the law and based its decisions on expert opinions.

Maryland became the first state to require manufacturers to move toward selling handguns with gun locks integrated into the design in order to prevent accidental deaths.

Gun-control advocates claim the roster board's decision-making over the past few years increasingly reflects a slant toward gun-rights interests that has effectively eroded the law through a relaxed interpretation.

That's news?  The only fact in this report is what CeaseFire Maryland says.  There's absolutely nothing here from which readers can draw their own conclusions about the claim.  Nor is there a single quote from an opposing viewpoint, other than a blanket denial by an unnamed source at the Maryland Handgun Roster Board.  Do these guys give NRA or GOA press releases similarly deferential treatment?  (Hint: No.)

He doesn't get it. Here's some rather inane commentary on the NRA Annual Meeting by one of those old farts who shot .22s at rabbits and got a lecture on gun safety from an NRA rep when he was a kid; thinks this makes him both pro-gun and an authority on criminology; but has never thought about the issues at all.

Much ado about nothing?  Here's a rather odd report about a bill in Rhode Island that will disarm people who're subject to restraining orders.  To be honest, I don't get it.  If this bill is about domestic violence restraining orders -- and it seems to be -- Federal law already has that ground covered.  18 U.S.C. s 922(g)(8).  I'm especially amused by this passage:

Another problem they found was that, while the bill allows that person to carry a gun used for the job, "personal" weapons must be turned in.

That's a pointless argument, since federal law contains no such exception; any cop or security guard who continues to possess a firearm while subject to a "domestic violence restraining order' will be in violation of federal law no matter what Rhode Island decides to do.  It probably also would be unlawful for his boss to issue him a company/department firearm for that purpose.  18 U.S.C. s 922(d)(8). 

Addendum: The registration process used by many online newspapers really pisses me off.  So much so that I usually don't have the patience to deal with it.  But if you're willing, here are a few articles that I didn't cover but that you might be interested in.

Senate debates protections for suburban gun clubs, St. Paul Pioneer Press.  I'm pretty sure I can guess that this one's about.  Encroachment by suburban sprawl is a serious threat to shooting ranges, and thereby to the future of gun owners in this country.  It's pretty hard to get kids interested in shooting if you can't take them to a range and let them shoot.  This is an issue that gun owners need to keep an eye on.

Top cop: 84% of killings by guns: Ties most firearm violence to drugs, Philadelphia Daily News.  [In reality, it should probably say, "ties most firearm violence to drug prohibition. -- Ed.]

Rizzo: Cop speed a key to cutting gun crime, Philadelphia Daily News.  No idea what that's about. 

Posted by Matt Rustler at May 6, 2005 07:36 PM
Comments

Hey Matt. How's life treating you?

You ever try to use BugMeNot.com to get around the registrations? I have a fictional person I do all my signing in as, but hate them enough to even do that. Give it a try if.

Posted by: gunner at May 6, 2005 08:30 PM

I never said the NRA was run by the anti-christ, I said they were run by the false prophet. ;) It was an ex-g/f of mine whom I thought was the anti-christ, but it turned out it was 665 tattoed on the back of her neck. :D

& the gent who became pro-gun & a criminoligist through rabbit hunting & one lecture - if he loves long guns so much why didn't he tell us more about the uber-rare WW1 Springfield in .30-03? I'd love to hear the details on that one. lol

But that sort of attitude wa snot uncommon amongst gun owners. It still isn't rare enough. Granted, that was well before the Cincinatti Revolt of 77 but methinks that sort of attitude is not as archaic as I'd like. Visit The Michael Bane Blog (it's on the blogroll) & check out his posts concerning the emphasis on hunting rather than target shooting as far as promoting the shooting sports are concerned.

Posted by: Publicola at May 7, 2005 12:58 AM
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