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Does the UK want a "Tony Martin" law?

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
I wonder if there is any distinction in British law between Burglary and Home Invasion? Based on what I'm hearing, I'm not sure if there is any recognition of Home Invasion as the violent crime (a felony in fact) that it is classified as in the States.
Phil Chuang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 251
I believe a lot of this hullabaloo stems from some misconceptions. The Brits believe Americans want the right to brandish firearms wherever they go - private, public, restaurants, etc. - and while it was certainly within our rights to do so in the past century, I doubt that is what Americans see as the crucial issue. We Americans see it as an issue of defending the castle. The issue is not, then, one of personal armament - it is one of deterrence.
Let's consider a few scenarios:
1) England
Possible negative outcomes of being caught Burglaring:
-light jail sentence
-minimal chance of death or injury
-if injured, then a high chance of compensation by the court
2) America
Possible negative outcomes of being caught Burglaring:
-light jail sentence
-death or injury
Can you see why America has a much lower victimization rate? Even for households without guns, the effect of deterrence is still there - why risk life and limb over a petty object? There is a very real chance of an American house being defended by a gun and as a result, people are less inclined to rob each other whether or not there actually is a gun! However, in England, where there is little to no chance of a house having a gun, that's all the encouragement a criminal could need to commit robbery. Even better, if the owner has a gun, and you don't die in the act of burglary, then you could sue the home owner and take even more of his money!
Of course, the true effects of deterrence are nearly impossible to measure. There is no easy scientific way to collect data on how many people have decided not to rob a house based on the fact that the owner could be packing. But I say let the victimization rates (in a previous post) speak for themselves. America, with its allowing of homeowners to defend themselves with firearms ranks 12th in the world for victimization. England, with its banning of homeowner firearms, ranks 2nd in victimization.
When the opposing side (the homeowner) has the capability of sudden and overwhelming force, then the prospect of invasion/burglary/attack becomes much less attractive.
On the global scale, the effects of deterrence are much more obvious. Consider WW2 in the Pacific Theatre. The application of sudden and overwhelming force at Hiroshima & Nagasaki broke the Japanese will to fight. While regrettable in the loss of human life, many have predicted that a prolonged war would have been even more catastrophic. Of course, being postulation, it is impossible to truly know; but it is reasonably inferred by the majority of people. On a very simple level, Pearl Harbor was our backdoor and the atom bomb was our firearm. Then there was the cold war, where the MAD doctrine also proved to be an effective deterrent. If nations are homes, then nuclear bombs are the firearms on that scale.
Whatever happened to the phrase, "A man's home is his castle"? We don't even have proper castles over here in the states yet we understand it to be of great importance to defend. Having uninvited guests over in broad daylight is one thing, but to have someone sneak over the wall in the dead of the night warrants a strong response.
Isn't the extension of one's country an extension of the home? On one extreme, the Earth is all of humanity's home. Wouldn't we all band together to fight off an alien invasion? As movie-ish as it sounds, I do believe we would. To a lesser extent, wouldn't all Britains band together to defend the UK? How about WWII? And to the least extent, wouldn't members of a household have the right to defend the house?
I suppose if Hitler had calmly marched his troops and tanks into the heart of London, the citizens and government would have stood idly by and let him, as long as he wasn't directly threatening?
As cliche as it sounds, the phrase "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" comes to mind. Those who have made a conscious decision to involve themselves in criminal activities will most likely acquire handguns to protect themselves. Where does that leave the common law-abiding citizen then? Defenseless.
For the criminal elements over there, it must be like fish in a barrel. Ducks in a row. Every single person indefensible and unable to resist a show of force.
So, if a burglar is threatening, that could cost you your life. If a burglar is merely robbing, then it will cost you your stuff. But that's YOUR stuff. Stuff that you or someone close to you had to pay for. Whether it be in money, blood, sweat or tears, it was paid for. And everything that was paid represents some investment of a person's life in minutes or in hours or days. So we shouldn't be able to defend these little parts of life?
Let's consider what happens for the homeowner when a robbery goes smoothly. Even if the homeowner is 100% insured, then he still has to pay the deductible. If a window or door was broken from the entry, then that has to be fixed. He still has to wait for the insurance check to come in, and then he has to go replace what was stolen. In the event that item stolen was irreplacable (such as a family heirloom) then in that case, the homeowner will probably never recover the item and doubtfully receive due compensation. To tell the homeowner that he cannot defend his property shows that they don't hold the law-abiding homeowner in higher regard than the law-breaking criminal.
You call this Tony Martin a "nutter" - and I'm sure he probably was to the point of insanity, having been robbed 20 times. One definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. In this case, I'm sure he thought that the police would protect him time and time again, but they proved him wrong.
All these people claiming they themselves don't need nor want guns (and by extrapolation none of their fellow citizens also) can offer no valid reasons why other than the "feeling" they get about guns, or meaningless and trite anecdotes about cultural differences. The facts, however, pesky things that they are, point to a different conclusion - that even the mere right of ownership can be enough of a deterrent - whereas the lack of the right seems to be an encouragement.
Of course, this is merely a lot of conjecture, and, I suspect, a waste of time and kilobytes. However, one thing can be clearly ascertained: You can take away my right to defend my own house with my own gun when you can pry it from my own cold, dead, hands.
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Here's an interesting case of punishment not fitting the crime.
Producer Nathan Powell killed director Jawed Wassel and stuffed his severed head in a freezer. They had recently completed work on an acclaimed story of a 20 year old Afghan American artist orphaned during the Soviet invasion who comes to New York in the Eighties.
A business disagreement between Powell and Wassel appears to have sparked Powel's "fatal frenzy" in which he struck the director over the head with a pool cue before grabbing a knife and stabbing him repeatedly in the back. The head was later discovered in Powell's freezer.
Powell pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges and may be released within 5 years. Can murder be committed as a means of resolving an arguement ?
Shoot House Invaders and Top Off The BOSS.
Phil Chuang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 251
If you're trying to compare a business disagreement to breaking & entering, and repeated vicious stabbings to self-defense, then I think you're failing.
On the other hand, if you're trying to prove that there are vicious people out there who shouldn't own anything more dangerous than a plastic spork, then I think you may have a point.
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
I grant you the victim may have met a cleaner end if the offender had access to a gun.
Presuming these cases set precedents, next time someone has an altercation with the boss they may find themselves thinking 5 years in the slammer may be worth this one action.
After being burgled 22 times Tony Martin may have go to a similar state of mind. Obviously he felt the victim and decided to take the law into his own hands by reaching for the gun.
Here, we would only see such conclusions to disagreements in drug culture land.
What about daylight robbery by plumbers, fitters ? 5 times this year at the last count....
Would being in possession of a gun make one feel less of a victim ?
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Phil Chuang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 251
So you're equating a business disagreement with breaking the law?
It looks like you're postulating a "slippery slope" argument, but we're not even talking about the same hill here.
A business disagreement, however heated, is not inherently unlawful. Discussions can usually be resolved by more discussions - and they do not usually require police involvement. Now, robbery or breaking & entering, that's a completely different hill of beans - in this case, there is a high probability of imminent danger, your actual rights are being violated, etc etc.
There a distinction, if however tenuous, between unlawful acts and acts that should be unlawful - such as the gouging I'm sure everybody feels whenever a plumber, electrician, or mechanic is hired - but that's capitalism, not lawlessness.
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Eloquently spoken.... "take away my right to defend my own house with my own gun when you can pry it from my own cold, dead, hands." -- Damn, Charleston Heston kick *sss; to bad he no longer leads the NRA :-(
-Eleison
Originally posted by Phil Chuang:
I believe a lot of this hullabaloo stems from some misconceptions. The Brits believe Americans want the right to brandish firearms wherever they go - private, public, restaurants, etc. - and while it was certainly within our rights to do so in the past century, I doubt that is what Americans see as the crucial issue. We Americans see it as an issue of defending the castle. The issue is not, then, one of personal armament - it is one of deterrence.
Let's consider a few scenarios:
1) England
Possible negative outcomes of being caught Burglaring:
-light jail sentence
-minimal chance of death or injury
-if injured, then a high chance of compensation by the court
2) America
Possible negative outcomes of being caught Burglaring:
-light jail sentence
-death or injury
Can you see why America has a much lower victimization rate? Even for households without guns, the effect of deterrence is still there - why risk life and limb over a petty object? There is a very real chance of an American house being defended by a gun and as a result, people are less inclined to rob each other whether or not there actually is a gun! However, in England, where there is little to no chance of a house having a gun, that's all the encouragement a criminal could need to commit robbery. Even better, if the owner has a gun, and you don't die in the act of burglary, then you could sue the home owner and take even more of his money!
Of course, the true effects of deterrence are nearly impossible to measure. There is no easy scientific way to collect data on how many people have decided not to rob a house based on the fact that the owner could be packing. But I say let the victimization rates (in a previous post) speak for themselves. America, with its allowing of homeowners to defend themselves with firearms ranks 12th in the world for victimization. England, with its banning of homeowner firearms, ranks 2nd in victimization.
When the opposing side (the homeowner) has the capability of sudden and overwhelming force, then the prospect of invasion/burglary/attack becomes much less attractive.
On the global scale, the effects of deterrence are much more obvious. Consider WW2 in the Pacific Theatre. The application of sudden and overwhelming force at Hiroshima & Nagasaki broke the Japanese will to fight. While regrettable in the loss of human life, many have predicted that a prolonged war would have been even more catastrophic. Of course, being postulation, it is impossible to truly know; but it is reasonably inferred by the majority of people. On a very simple level, Pearl Harbor was our backdoor and the atom bomb was our firearm. Then there was the cold war, where the MAD doctrine also proved to be an effective deterrent. If nations are homes, then nuclear bombs are the firearms on that scale.
Whatever happened to the phrase, "A man's home is his castle"? We don't even have proper castles over here in the states yet we understand it to be of great importance to defend. Having uninvited guests over in broad daylight is one thing, but to have someone sneak over the wall in the dead of the night warrants a strong response.
Isn't the extension of one's country an extension of the home? On one extreme, the Earth is all of humanity's home. Wouldn't we all band together to fight off an alien invasion? As movie-ish as it sounds, I do believe we would. To a lesser extent, wouldn't all Britains band together to defend the UK? How about WWII? And to the least extent, wouldn't members of a household have the right to defend the house?
I suppose if Hitler had calmly marched his troops and tanks into the heart of London, the citizens and government would have stood idly by and let him, as long as he wasn't directly threatening?
As cliche as it sounds, the phrase "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" comes to mind. Those who have made a conscious decision to involve themselves in criminal activities will most likely acquire handguns to protect themselves. Where does that leave the common law-abiding citizen then? Defenseless.
For the criminal elements over there, it must be like fish in a barrel. Ducks in a row. Every single person indefensible and unable to resist a show of force.
So, if a burglar is threatening, that could cost you your life. If a burglar is merely robbing, then it will cost you your stuff. But that's YOUR stuff. Stuff that you or someone close to you had to pay for. Whether it be in money, blood, sweat or tears, it was paid for. And everything that was paid represents some investment of a person's life in minutes or in hours or days. So we shouldn't be able to defend these little parts of life?
Let's consider what happens for the homeowner when a robbery goes smoothly. Even if the homeowner is 100% insured, then he still has to pay the deductible. If a window or door was broken from the entry, then that has to be fixed. He still has to wait for the insurance check to come in, and then he has to go replace what was stolen. In the event that item stolen was irreplacable (such as a family heirloom) then in that case, the homeowner will probably never recover the item and doubtfully receive due compensation. To tell the homeowner that he cannot defend his property shows that they don't hold the law-abiding homeowner in higher regard than the law-breaking criminal.
You call this Tony Martin a "nutter" - and I'm sure he probably was to the point of insanity, having been robbed 20 times. One definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. In this case, I'm sure he thought that the police would protect him time and time again, but they proved him wrong.
All these people claiming they themselves don't need nor want guns (and by extrapolation none of their fellow citizens also) can offer no valid reasons why other than the "feeling" they get about guns, or meaningless and trite anecdotes about cultural differences. The facts, however, pesky things that they are, point to a different conclusion - that even the mere right of ownership can be enough of a deterrent - whereas the lack of the right seems to be an encouragement.
Of course, this is merely a lot of conjecture, and, I suspect, a waste of time and kilobytes. However, one thing can be clearly ascertained: You can take away my right to defend my own house with my own gun when you can pry it from my own cold, dead, hands.
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1390
Phil Chuang: There a distinction, if however tenuous, between unlawful acts and acts that should be unlawful - such as the gouging I'm sure everybody feels whenever a plumber, electrician, or mechanic is hired - but that's capitalism, not lawlessness.

With respect to a plumber, electrician or mechanic, our transaction infringes no one's freedom because our exchange is by mutual agreement. If the tradesman commits fraud, I have a civil claim against him and courts to resolve it if I can, but as he does not threaten my life or liberty, I have no justification for a violent response.
As a free man the tradesman has no obligation to offer me his services whatever the price, nor am I as a free man obligated to employ him. If he refuses to make me an offer I find reasonable, that is his perogative; I am free to refrain from doing business with him. That's not merely "capitalism" -- it is the general way free, peaceful people voluntarily cooperate (or not).
To the extent that freedom is lost, e.g. to the extent that a system is socialist, interactions occur in a coercive atmosphere, rather than through peaceful, voluntary cooperation.
There's a huge difference between using violence (or the threat thereof) to make others fulfil your desires, versus using violence (or the threat thereof) to stop them from doing that to you.
Of course, there may be borderline situations for which people might disagree as to which is the case. Thus, the need for laws.
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
Well, I suppose there was nothing inherently wrong in 1933 with the Nazi government requiring all Jews to register with the police. Registration is only a minor inconvenience. - I don't recall ever reading about a Jewish man being grabbed in the heat of an argument and used to batter someone over the head, or of a robber wielding a Rabbi at a bank and then taking hostages with him. Nor do I see how registering guns is the first step on a slippery road to fascism or "big scary" government.
The American objection to registration is that it makes confiscation more feasible. - People have been registering cars for decades and licensing their use. Cars require a certain level of responsibility to operate otherwise they can be lethal. If a car happens to be involved in causing a death, the fact that its registered gives those charged with upholding the law and dealing in justice a better chance of finding the culprit or getting the facts. If someone has proved themselves irresponsible and is seen to be a danger to the public while using a car, then their right to drive is removed, making the roads a bit safer. I think the same principle can be applied to gun-ownership without freaking too many people. It already does to some extent anyway, though some would say not nearly enough.
If you want a credit card you have to register with a bank, if you want to use the internet you need to register with an ISP or go to a cybercafe. When your wife gives birth you have to register the fact. Not many people make a fuss about these inconveniences, they just get on with their lives. Why are guns so special that anyone who proposes to control them is seen as the anti-christ? What would law abiding gun owners really have to fear from properly enforced licensing of guns and ammo?
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
Why are guns so special that anyone who proposes to control them is seen as the anti-christ?

Anything that would infringe on any of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights is to be viewed with the utmost suspiscion (some might say disdain). This doesn't just apply to our right to bear arms, but that right is one of our Constitutional freedoms that is most often attacked.
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
No Guns for Batterers !
Do women- the weaker sex - see a compelling need for possessing guns ? Their only voice seems to be that batterers shouldn't be allowed to possess guns.
As women will probably collectively never agree to any great extent that firearms shouldn't be controlled ,the US will be unlikely to have a Woman President in the near future. Maybe only when gun controls are accepted.
The US has too many Beauty Queen Pageants IMO as it is.The Constitution could do with some amendemnts there.What kinds of guns are we talking about ? Not only the ones that make use of gun powder technology - the market in guns has just about exploded.
GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION:
VALID AND NECESSARY
written around the time of JFKs death has many arguments against no gun controls that are still compelling.
"The testimony of Attorney General Lynch before a California legislative committee, November 5, 1965, is frightening:
The same means of propulsion that gives us the capacity to put men into space are now being used to create weapons...We are faced now with a revolution in weaponry. I can tell you that the potential for misuse by criminal elements is unlimited.....
A gun expert, writing about the rocket gun, recently stated that the age of gun powder as we know it today will soon be a thing of the past. "Today's high velocity rifles and pistols will be as obsolete as the flintlock and will become collector items," he observed.....
In my opinion, we should give careful consideration before making these new weapons readily accessible to any person. It is unthinkable that they be placed in the hands of the criminal, subversive or radical elements. We have been given warning of the weapons which are feasible. Forewarned, there can be no excuse for laxity in controls."
If the ban on guns is lifted the general populace needs to be trained in their effective use. In the US, University Rules do not allow women to operate guns even though guns may be the most effective means of stopping rape. Women students are not even educated in that research shows guns are effective in stopping rape. Which makes nonsense of such establishments claim that they "empower" women.
Current Gun Laws Restrict Women's Defense
These points should be taken into account when deciding whether the UK wants a Tony Martin law.
[ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Steve Wink
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 13, 2002
Posts: 223
Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
[QB]
Well, I suppose there was nothing inherently wrong in 1933 with the Nazi government requiring all Jews to register with the police. Registration is only a minor inconvenience. QB]

Surely you're not comparing the US government with Nazi Germany?
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Steve Wink:

Surely you're not comparing the US government with Nazi Germany?

You mean there's a difference?
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Do women- the weaker sex - see a compelling need for possessing guns ? Their only voice seems to be that batterers shouldn't be allowed to possess guns.
As women will probably collectively never agree to any great extent that firearms shouldn't be controlled ,the US will be unlikely to have a Woman President in the near future.

Gun Control is only a single issue - and a relatively unimportant one at that. It may be true that Hillary Clinton (for example) would be pro gun control, and that could hurt her in the Presidential election in 2008. I expect her to handle it in much the same manner as GW Bush handled the abortion issue which blew up in Bob Dole's face in 1996. Bush basically ignored it, saying that he's against it but he's not making abortion a priority. Hillary could take the curse off of the gun control issue by doing the same.
In my opinion the single most likely person to take the oath of office in January 2009 is Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Howard Dean is a relatively strong possibility as it looks like he'll get the Democratic nod this time around. If Dean wins in the fall he's the incumbent and democratic nominee in 2008. He's unlikely to win this year but cannot be counted out. At this point it's very difficult to pinpoint the strongest Republican contenders for 2008. Jeb Bush, Condi Rice, and perhaps Dick Cheney look possible, but all three have major drawbacks and haven't expressed any interest. But for the first time in memory the Republicans don't have a clear favorite for the next election at this point, which means that there are a group of Republicans each with a smallish probability.
Joe King
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2003
Posts: 820
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Anything that would infringe on any of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights is to be viewed with the utmost suspiscion (some might say disdain).
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]

Then how come there's so many ammendments?
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Joe King:
Then how come there's so many ammendments?

Have you ever read the US Constitution and its Amendments?
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1390
Richard Hawkes: (I don't understand the objection to gun control)
me: Well, I suppose there was nothing inherently wrong in 1933 with the Nazi government requiring all Jews to register with the police. Registration is only a minor inconvenience.
Richard Hawkes: I don't recall ever reading about a Jewish man being grabbed in the heat of an argument and used to batter someone over the head, or of a robber wielding a Rabbi at a bank and then taking hostages with him.
On the other hand, a rabbi in your hand is unlikely to be a useful weapon against a rapist, burglar, mad pit bull or armed robber in the street.
Many nations have registered their citizens' religious affiliations. What the Nazi registration of Jews had in common with today's advocates of handgun registration is the combination of registration with a campaign to create public hostility towards the subjects of registration. While there are a few marginal anti-automobile activists, they are not represented in the constituencies for automobile registration.
Steve Wink: Surely you're not comparing the US government with Nazi Germany?
There were a great many people in the last administration whose attitude towards handguns carried by private citizens was not too different from the Nazi attitude towards Jews. Clinton himself said, "If it were up to me, I'd outlaw them; but the country's not ready for that yet." (Emphasis added.)
You may argue that it's obscene to compare objects with human beings; and you'd be right. But the call for registration is nevertheless an ominous development for people who don't want further restrictions on legal ownership and use.
Richard Hawkes: What would law abiding gun owners really have to fear from properly enforced licensing of guns and ammo?
We fear that it would lead to the kind of handgun ownership restrictions that eventually followed registration in places like England, Canada and Australia. This is no vain fear; the American advocates of registration openly admire the gun control policies of those countries.
I just don't want England's "submission to robbery culture" to spread to America. In some troubled English neighborhoods far too many people carry stolen items such as cell phones -- as though carrying stolen property were some kind of fashion statement.
That said, I would be greatly in favor of a registration and licensing system for handguns that is analogous in all respects to the one we have for automobiles:
  • Licensing and registration only needed for use in public places.
  • No licensing or registration needed for ownership and operation on private property.
  • Moderate requirements for licensing and registration that can be met by the overwhelming majority of citizens. (No requirement to convince a bureaucrat of one's "need".)
  • Reciprocity agreements with other governments for the sake of international travelers.
  • Handgun analogs to high school Driver Education. (Yeah, our high schools teach driving! Isn't that sooo typically American?)


  • What could be more reasonable?
    [ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
    HS Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 3404
    Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:

  • Handgun analogs to high school Driver Education. (Yeah, our high schools teach driving! Isn't that sooo typically American?)


  • What could be more reasonable?

    Universities/ Adult Ed Schools could teach how to use guns and the effects and advantages ? Actually Adult Ed Schools would be more community minded.
    I'd rule out Universities in this case.
    Pass a few exams and some psychological tests before allowed to possess a gune, like in target practices where they have terrorists, hoods, women and children popping up randomly and supposedly be able to work out the logic.* I think the police use this kind of training. And I am sure they repeat the training regularly enough.
    If anyone wants to possess a firearm they would have to train regularly and be examined every so often.
    That would be reasonable.
    Guns and automobiles are two different things. Most children deaths are in traffic accidents. The least children die of gunshot wounds.

    I wouldn't expect British law to change that much if Britain adopted such a scheme. Famous last words...
    * Logic of who is a threat and whom to shoot.
    [ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
    Phil Chuang
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Feb 15, 2003
    Posts: 251
    Originally posted by HS Thomas:
    No Guns for Batterers !
    Do women- the weaker sex - see a compelling need for possessing guns ? Their only voice seems to be that batterers shouldn't be allowed to possess guns.

    IMO, women should be some of the main proponents of handgun ownership. They are naturally at a size and strength disadvantage (I say naturally please don't give me singular examples of where this is not the case) and the gun is the quickest and most effective means of evening the odds. This stops anybody from having an advantage due to strength and size. The gun is the great equalizer. From the hands of a child to an elderly grandmother, nothing else comes close in the stopping power and overwhelming force of a gun. Do you know of a better way to ensure the safety of an otherwise self-indefensible person?
    NOW, before you start theorizing that I want to put a gun in the hands of every single man, woman, and child, let me clarify. Guns, when used properly, don't even have to be used. They are a deterrent of crime. Statistical studies have shown (take my word for it) that the mere brandishing of a gun has been enough to dissuade attackers. In most cases of repelling attacks they don't have to be used. Let me also follow up by saying proper training and mentality in the usage of a gun should also be required of people.

    GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION:
    VALID AND NECESSARY
    written around the time of JFKs death has many arguments against no gun controls that are still compelling.
    "The testimony of Attorney General Lynch before a California legislative committee, November 5, 1965, is frightening:
    The same means of propulsion that gives us the capacity to put men into space are now being used to create weapons...We are faced now with a revolution in weaponry. I can tell you that the potential for misuse by criminal elements is unlimited.....
    A gun expert, writing about the rocket gun, recently stated that the age of gun powder as we know it today will soon be a thing of the past. "Today's high velocity rifles and pistols will be as obsolete as the flintlock and will become collector items," he observed.....

    Let me get this straight: you're using a 40 year old document as a basis for an argument against gun control today? Have you even read it? It talks about freaking rocket guns and makes bold assertions such as "the age of gun powder as we know it today will soon be a thing of the past". What makes you think the people of 40 years ago could postulate about the future with any veracity? That's like saying Bill Gates has been right all along about his assertion in the mid-80s that "no one needs more than 640K of memory", etc. etc. That's like pointing back to some old dry parchment of the early 1400s and saying that the world is flat. I'm sorry, but using an article from the past where the main premise is now known to be false is no way to go about supporting an argument.
    HS Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 3404
    I don't follow innovation in guns but I do know the flintlock is redundant.
    Projectile bullets in guns sound plausible these days.
    What about the inevitability of more children dying if use of guns was more acceptable to a larger strata of society ? Remember our societies aren't exactly like Switzerland's. What if it is your child dying of a gunshot wound because someone didn't know how to use it responsibly.
    Jason Menard
    Sheriff

    Joined: Nov 09, 2000
    Posts: 6450
    Originally posted by HS Thomas:
    What about the inevitability of more children dying if use of guns was more acceptable to a larger strata of society ? Remember our societies aren't exactly like Switzerland's. What if it is your child dying of a gunshot wound because someone didn't know how to use it responsibly.

    And what if your child walks out into the street and gets hit by a bus?
    Steve Wink
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 13, 2002
    Posts: 223
    Originally posted by Phil Chuang:

    That's like saying Bill Gates has been right all along about his assertion in the mid-80s that "no one needs more than 640K of memory", etc. etc.

    I thought Bill Gates actually said "no one needs more than 640K of free memory", which explains a lot about windows software...
    Tony Collins
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 03, 2003
    Posts: 435
    I wouldn't like my wife to own a gun !!
    Tony
    HS Thomas
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    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 3404
    Originally posted by Jason Menard:

    And what if your child walks out into the street and gets hit by a bus?

    People ensure that until they are old enough , they either walk their children or drive them to school. In general there are far fewer accidents by being hit by a bus. The traffic accidents are more likely to involve cars driven by irresponsible drivers.
    Frank Silbermann
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 06, 2002
    Posts: 1390
    me: "I would be greatly in favor of a registration and licensing system for handguns that is analogous in all respects to the one we have for automobiles:
  • Licensing and registration only needed for use in public places.
  • No licensing or registration needed for ownership and operation on private property.
  • Moderate requirements for licensing and registration that can be met by the overwhelming majority of citizens. (No requirement to convince a bureaucrat of one's "need".)
  • Reciprocity agreements with other governments for the sake of international travelers.
  • Handgun analogs to high school Driver Education.

  • HS Thomas: "Guns and automobiles are two different things."
    Well then, let's have no more silly references to the registration of automobiles when discussing gun control.

    HS Thomas: What about the inevitability of more children dying if use of guns was more acceptable to a larger strata of society? Remember our societies aren't exactly like Switzerland's.
    Perhaps not, but it's hard to think of a country that wouldn't be improved by becoming more like Switzerland. Switzerland is a country that:
  • Has practiced democratic self-government continuously for about 700 years -- far longer than any other society.
  • Has deterred or thwarted the aggressive ambitions of foreigners throughout all those years.
  • Has cultivated a peace-loving, self-reliant, tolerant, industrious and community-minded character in its people.


  • So instead of increasing the restrictions, people should try to reduce the abuse of firearms by reducing the ways in which their countries are not like Switzerland. Those countries which already have tight restrictions can ease them gradually as these changes in national character occur.
    HS Thomas: What if it is your child dying of a gunshot wound because someone didn't know how to use it responsibly.
    I guess it would be same as if it were my child dying of an automobile accident become someone didn't know how to drive a car properly, or dying in a fire because some smoker didn't know how to be safe with matches, or if it were my child drowned because a neighbor didn't know how to secure his backyard swimming pool. Or if it were my daughter raped because her date didn't know how to use a gun to defend her from a gang of delinquents.
    Frank Silbermann
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    Joined: Jun 06, 2002
    Posts: 1390
    Tony Collins: "I wouldn't like my wife to own a gun !!"
    Buying your wife a gun is like saying, "I'll never abuse you." But if her PMS is that bad, maybe a doctor could help!
    Jason Menard
    Sheriff

    Joined: Nov 09, 2000
    Posts: 6450
    Originally posted by HS Thomas:
    In general there are far fewer accidents by being hit by a bus. The traffic accidents are more likely to involve cars driven by irresponsible drivers.

    I could have easily said "car" instead of "bus". It was just an example to get the point across that there are a million different things in the world that can happen to children, some of them far more likely than others. But since you mention how rare bus accidents are, just for the sake of argument I thought I'd mention that I've personally known at least two children in my lifetime who've been hit by busses (one fatally), yet have not personally known any child who's been shot with a firearm.
    HS Thomas
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    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 3404
    Contrary to the impression created by sensationalist media, fatal firearms accidents involving children are far from common. In the United States, about half of all homes contain guns; the total gun supply is about 240 million, and there are tens of millions of children in the country. Yet according to the National Safety Council, in 1995 there were about 30 fatal gun deaths of kids aged 0 to 4 and fewer than 40 of kids aged 5 to 9. This shows that, even without legislation from Washington, the overwhelming majority of families with firearms already knows how to act responsibly.
    Loaded Guns Can Be Good For Kids
    President Clinton -- and Liddy Dole at a recent speech at Yale -- compare gun locks to "child-proof" safety caps on medicine bottles. It's a good comparison, because the safety caps increased accidental deaths, and gun locks would do the same.

    Deciding who owns the Right to Bear Arms
    The Bush Justice Department's May 6 decision to support an individual's right to own guns independent of a militia is a reversal of previous administrations' positions. But the author argues that there is ample evidence to show that the individual right to own guns was well-accepted in the 1700s and 1800s. He lays out his evidence in the chronology below, and also shows how opinions shifted in the 1900s, when the first major federal gun-control laws were passed.
    [ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
    Phil Chuang
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    Joined: Feb 15, 2003
    Posts: 251
    An interesting thought just hit me:
    For those of you who believe in the theory of evolution, and natural selection (that is, survival of the fittest) then why do you care if children die because they don't know how to handle guns correctly?
    On the pro-gun, why then would it matter if humankind preys on the weaker beings who can't defend themselves with fireams?
    I'm not trying to belittle one's progeny nor ancestry, but if natural selection is well, natural, then why oppose it?
    I believe this is one of the main failures in the theory - that is, it assumes we are all dumb animals and have no capacity for reason and intelligent thought, higher emotions and relationships, poetry/art/etc - it makes us no better than animals. And it seems that the PETA crowd would even hold animal life in higher regard than human life!
    Anyway, back to the topic: Guns, when used properly, aren't a problem. Cars, when used properly, aren't a problem. Medicine, when used properly, is not a problem. I could go on for hours. The point is this: proper education, rather than irrational fears, will do far more than the outright banning of every single item that could potentially prove a possible threat.
    HS Thomas
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    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 3404
    Primatology - the study of primates especially other than recent humans (Homo sapiens)
    Unthinking anthropomorphism
    "But last spring the simian star, known for his violent outbursts, found himself on the other side of the thin strand of DNA that separates human law from instinct."
    [ January 08, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
    Phil Chuang
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Feb 15, 2003
    Posts: 251
    Uh oh, it's happening here now...

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=36542

    Homeowner charged after shooting intruder
    Family protected but suburban town prohibits possession of handguns
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Posted: January 10, 2004
    1:00 a.m. Eastern
    � 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
    A Chicago-area homeowner protected his family by shooting an intruder but was charged with violating a local ordinance banning possession of handguns.
    Wilmette, Ill., Police Chief George Carpenter believes charges against Hale DeMar, 54, underscore the suburban village's serious concerns about the shooting, the Chicago Tribune reported.
    "The outcome of the matter in this case was very fortunate for the homeowner," he said. "We much prefer, for the safety of the home, that a resident who finds himself in this situation immediately lock the door of the room he's in and dial 911."
    DeMar also is charged with violating state law by failing to renew his Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification Card after it expired in 1988, the Tribune said.
    Morio Billings, 31, is accused of entering the DeMar home twice within 24 hours. He allegedly crawled through a dog door in the garage then returned with a stolen house key.
    Prosecutors say Billings crashed through the home's front window after he was shot then drove himself to the hospital in the family's SUV, which he had stolen the night before.
    Billings, convicted last year of a similar home burglary in an affluent Minneapolis suburb, is now in the Cook County Jail with bail set at $3 million.
    Police said DeMar shot Billings in the shoulder and calf at about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 29 in the kitchen of his home.
    DeMar, a restaurant owner, faces up to a year in jail, a $2,500 fine or court supervision or probation if convicted on the charge of owning a handgun without a valid firearms card. The village's handgun ordinance carries a separate fine of up to $750.
    He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 6 to face both charges.
    The Tribune said the case has prompted dozens of people from out-of-state to contact village officials with complaints about DeMar's treatment.
    Chief Carpenter insists local residents have responded favorably, however.
    "Wilmette residents are much safer without a handgun in their homes," he told the Tribune. "We see handguns stolen, used in domestic arguments or suicides. Those are far more likely outcomes than when you would actually need a handgun to defend yourself."
    Carpenter said he regrets "the intrusion on this family's privacy."
    "He strikes us as being a good man with a good heart who did something that apparently came naturally to him," he said of DeMar. 'That's why it's important the Wilmette police speak out now."
    The Tribune noted the city of Chicago and a number of other municipalities in the area also ban possession of handguns.
    Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, told the Tribune he believes handgun bans are outrageous.
    "The right to self-defense is the right that all creatures on this Earth have, including Wilmette," he said. "What they do is they make the citizens in these villages and towns fair game."
    Richard Hawkes
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 1340
    Originally posted by Phil Chuang:
    Uh oh, it's happening here now... - If he'd used a licenced shotgun would he have been arrested? The intruder would probably have wound up dead in that case.
    Originally posted by Jason Menard:
    I wonder if there is any distinction in British law between Burglary and Home Invasion? Based on what I'm hearing, I'm not sure if there is any recognition of Home Invasion as the violent crime (a felony in fact) that it is classified as in the States. - I don't think so, at least I haven't heard of one. The nearest would be a combination of trespass, hostage taking, kidnapping and robbery. People could be shot for trespass in the past but not now.
    Richard Hawkes
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    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 1340
    Originally posted by Phil Chuang:
    For those of you who believe in the theory of evolution, and natural selection ... why then would it matter if humankind preys on the weaker beings who can't defend themselves with fireams? - That would make access to education and firearms the determining factor, that isn't natural selection, unless you include the possession of steady hands, good sighting and strong index fingers. That might have an effect over time if everyone was required to own a gun or ten
    And it seems that the PETA crowd would even hold animal life in higher regard than human life! - And some people might think that some animals' lives are more worthy than certain specific people's lives. I might agree in some cases! If you had a choice of rescuing your cat or [some maniac despot] from a burning house, who would you choose? Logically however, I would have thought people more willing to put another species' survival before their own probably won't last for long in the great gene-pool shake-up.
    Guns, ... Cars, ... Medicine, when used properly, [are] not a problem. ... proper education, rather than irrational fears, will do far more than the outright banning of every single item that could potentially prove a possible threat. - I agree, but cars and medicine also have varying restrictions in use and require some registration of sorts. These forms of control haven't discontinued the use of cars or medicine, just legitimised certain uses and allows the law to punish those that abuse them.
    Why don't the pro-gun lobbyists champion a form of gun control that is solely about registration and not about banning guns or having to prove "need"? Maybe they couldn't win back the right to own machine guns etc, but it might go a long way in bringing fence-sitters around to their way of thinking. A lot of people think that gun-lobbyist's use of the constitution is cynical, that its just a convenient tool, like hate speech proponents abusing "free speech" guarantees. Having to register a car and train to operate it before you can use it could arguably be seen as a restriction to personal liberty in that it limits an individuals ability to move around the country, yet people accept it and it doesn't seem to affect many people's actual liberty.
    Is there an accepted definition of the "right to bear arms" part btw? It seems to change - is it in terms of personal use or within an "organised militia"?
    [ January 12, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
    Richard Hawkes
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    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 1340
    Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
    That said, I would be greatly in favor of a registration and licensing system for handguns that is analogous in all respects to the one we have for automobiles:
  • Licensing and registration only needed for use in public places.
  • No licensing or registration needed for ownership and operation on private property.
  • Moderate requirements for licensing and registration that can be met by the overwhelming majority of citizens. (No requirement to convince a bureaucrat of one's "need".)
  • Reciprocity agreements with other governments for the sake of international travelers.
  • Handgun analogs to high school Driver Education. (Yeah, our high schools teach driving! Isn't that sooo typically American?)


  • What could be more reasonable?
    Sounds very reasonable. The pro-gunners should lobby for it!
    I wouldn't agree with the private property bit though. That would just mean more invisible guns.
    The international clause too would probably be unworkable.
    We need to add the ammo clause (analogousto registering pertol for cars) but again, in the case of guns why not? Again, if registration was the goal, not banning, what would the law-abiding people have to fear?
    [ January 12, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
    HS Thomas
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: May 15, 2002
    Posts: 3404
    In addition to all the above, perhaps some system of Heavy fines for balatant advertising of gun ownership (leaving it lying around on a milk crate in the house- in New York $105 dollars is the handsome sum fined if found sitting on a milk crate) , blatant brandishing of the offensive weapon ($400). In New York they call it a "quality of life crackdown".
    In fact would-be criminals and burglars could be the enforcers to their rights to quality of life.
    Contact for the rights to scripting the Movie.Mayor Michael Bloomberg may already have the scripting rights.
    [ January 12, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
    John Dunn
    slicker
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    Joined: Jan 30, 2003
    Posts: 1108
    HS: In New York they call it a "quality of life crackdown".
    Hey easy there killer... That stuff really did work. I don't know anyone in NYC who is unhappy with the drop in crime and I've been living here for about 17 years. I do remember thinking it was stupid to waste time on the jay-walkers and loiterers, but when crime started going down I forgot to question what was going on.
    IMHO, that whole milk-crate debacle can be summed up pretty easily with this:
    :roll: :roll:
    (It passed with a flash here in NYC - well, at least in all my circles)
    My guess is the idiot on the carton was being an idiot and was probably given a ticket for being an idiot. She was probably trespassing or loitering. I seriously doubt you'd be happy if a bunch of stray winos decided that your front porch was there new home.
    The crackdown on the "quality-of-life" crimes is well documented in this book:
    The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
    It goes over many tipping points and the one that focuses on NYC crimes was this, in a JohnDunn-nutshell:
    What studies found is that the small crimes committed in some neighborhoods were being committed by first-time offenders even though other neighborhoods had the same types of social-economic & racial makeup. Okay, so what was the difference?? The high crime areas were dirtier, had more litter, & more graffiti, more petty crimes. This general downslide in the neighborhood was felt to be responsible for making ordinarily law-abiding citizens to do things that they typically wouldn't do in a nicer neighborhood --> and would cause ordinarily petty criminals to commit bigger crimes. Tipping Point??
    So, some brave soul proposed a study where the effects of getting rid of bad crime was done by getting rid of the small issues, and just doing a basic cleaning of the neighborhood. In NYC, the crime was so bad that folks would try anything --> And yes, it worked!!
    ---------------
    I know someone who was caught in one of those "quality-of-life" crack-downs. The up and coming neighborhood for yuppies back in 98-01 was the LES
    with its tons of new bars, etc, etc. After becoming party central, the locals started to complain about the bar patrons loitering, making noise, smoking weed, etc, etc. So after years of not doing much they had a huge crackdown and my buddy gets picked up for smoking a joint on the corner. The woman they were with was told to get lost and the dudes all spent the weekend in the clinker. Then they were sent home on there merry way with a warning that if they got busted again in the next six months, they'd get arrested and if not, then nothing. They were told explicitly that they were just out to bust-balls. (Thanks for being part of the solution dudes, now go home.) Now that buddy smokes his weed in his apartment.


    "No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
    Bela Bardak
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    Joined: Jan 02, 2004
    Posts: 179
    Homeowner charged after shooting intruder
    Family protected but suburban town prohibits possession of handguns

    Phil, remember that this goes before a US jury before you panic. They may go after the guy on the charges of letting his gun registration lapse or violating an ordinance. If the jury doesn't acquit, which the very well might.
    I remember a case in Durham, NC while I was living there in which a homeowner killed an intruder, one of five who had kicked his door down in broad daylight while he was staying home with a sick child. The authorities brought him up on murder charges because the dead man (17 years old) was shot in the back). The jury acquitted him.
    Frank Silbermann
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 06, 2002
    Posts: 1390
    With respect for the guy in the suburb near Chicago who may be charged with possessing a handgun (in a neighborhood that banned them) after shooting a burglar:
    Richard Hawkes: If he'd used a licenced shotgun would he have been arrested? The intruder would probably have wound up dead in that case.

    I don't know whether Illinois requires registration of shotguns, but he could easily have legally owned a pump or semi-automatic shotgun with 18" barrel for home defense. Yes, the intruder would have probably would up dead in that case. A single handgun wound to the chest in America kills about 20% of the time; a similarly placed wound from a shotgun or hunting rifle kills about 80% of the time. One blast of buckshot at short range is the equivalent of six to twelve pistol wounds.
    Europeans sometimes shudder that when American police knowingly confront an armed criminal, they holster their handguns and break out the shotguns (which Europeans consider brutal).
    American anti-handgun activists argue that we don't need handguns because shotguns are adequate for home defense. They seem to prefer the use of sporting arms. (Actually, I think you give the burglar a much more sporting chance when you use a handgun; but then a shotgun or rifle gives you a much better chance of a clean quick kill, which hunters consider more humane than letting a wounded prey escape.)
    I disagree that shotguns suffice for home defense; sometimes you need to keep one hand free. Also, shotguns and rifles don't have internal safeties to prevent them from firing if dropped; modern handguns do. Handguns are also easier to keep from kids while still immediately ready for use. I think the anti-handgun crowd prefers sporting arms because they hope eventually to outlaw the use of _any_ firearm in self-defense, as has already happened in the Commonwealth nations.
    Bela Bardak: I remember a case in Durham, NC while I was living there in which a homeowner killed an intruder, one of five who had kicked his door down in broad daylight while he was staying home with a sick child. The authorities brought him up on murder charges because the dead man (17 years old) was shot in the back). The jury acquitted him.

    The father ran out his door with his rifle and shot at the home invaders as they fled towards the nearby woods, hitting one in the back and killing him.
    The authorities probably felt they had to charge him because his behavior was definitely pushing the envelope. Even in a situation that justifies lethal force you cannot count on being vindicated if you continue to use force even when your attackers are fleeing.
    But I think the jury did the right thing; with his door knocked down he couldn't consider himslef "safe" knowing that the entire gang was still on the loose. What was he going to do, sleep with one eye open and his rifle on his lap? He had to bring down at least one of them to give the police enough information to begin arresting the remainder of the gang.
    Bela Bardak
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 02, 2004
    Posts: 179
    The father ran out his door with his rifle and shot at the home invaders as they fled towards the nearby woods, hitting one in the back and killing him.
    The authorities probably felt they had to charge him because his behavior was definitely pushing the envelope. Even in a situation that justifies lethal force you cannot count on being vindicated if you continue to use force even when your attackers are fleeing.
    But I think the jury did the right thing; with his door knocked down he couldn't consider himslef "safe" knowing that the entire gang was still on the loose. What was he going to do, sleep with one eye open and his rifle on his lap? He had to bring down at least one of them to give the police enough information to begin arresting the remainder of the gang.

    I agree, though the facts as you lay them out make me shudder. Many Brits would ask why the man pursued the criminals and shot them while they were fleeing. The assumption here is that a 'reasonable person' assumes they are fleeing, never to return.
    Possibly. They could have intended to return at some point, perhaps when his guard was down or he was away. These men weren't too bright. I don't think kicking a door down in the middle of the day is reasonable behavior, so how could the victim assume that flight was their purpose?
    Five men is a full-blown gang. Without preparation one man stands no chance against a gang of five, particularly if they return at night or well-armed.
    [ January 12, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
    Frank Silbermann
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 06, 2002
    Posts: 1390
    me: I would be greatly in favor of a registration and licensing system for handguns that is analogous in all respects to the one we have for automobiles:
  • Licensing and registration only needed for use in public places.
  • No licensing or registration needed for ownership and operation on private property.
  • Moderate requirements for licensing and registration that can be met by the overwhelming majority of citizens. (No requirement to convince a bureaucrat of one's "need".)
  • Reciprocity agreements with other governments for the sake of international travelers.
  • Handgun analogs to high school Driver Education. (Yeah, our high schools teach driving! Isn't that sooo typically American?)


  • What could be more reasonable?
    Richard Hawkes: Sounds very reasonable. The pro-gunners should lobby for it!

    We do! We just got a concealed carry licensing provision passed in Ohio!

    Richard Hawkes: I wouldn't agree with the private property bit though. That would just mean more invisible guns.

    But massive numbers of legally owned unregististered handguns are of the utmost political importance -- to keep Commonwealth-style handgun prohibitions, restrictions and buy-backs off the table.

    We need to add the ammo clause (analogous to registering petrol for cars) but again, in the case of guns why not?

    It's very difficult to put serial numbers on little cartridges. Also, I'd rather let England pioneer handgun ammo registration to see whether it's effective in keeping bullets from drug lords. If not, then there's no reason for America to add all that bureacracy -- which would dry up vital funds which could have been used for helping the poor. (You _do_ care about the poor, don't you? )

    Again, if registration was the goal, not banning, what would the law-abiding people have to fear?

    That's what the British, the Canadians, and the Australian governments argued when handgun registration was first enacted. Later governments changed their minds and used the registration lists in enforcing additional restrictions and bans.
    So before I would agree to registration, you would first have to convince me not only that the right to ownership and use of handguns for self-defense will continue to be permitted in the near future, but indeed for all eternity. You would have to put into the hands of the pro-gun people the power and legal authority to veto further restrictions, regardless of U.N. goals and American majority sentiment. Until you do, I will continue to oppose handgun registration.
    [ January 12, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Does the UK want a "Tony Martin" law?