Friday, April 3, 2009

Was Binghamton Massacre Aided By Current Gun Laws?

At a 3 April news conference, New York Governor David Paterson said that 12 or 13 people had been killed, after a gunman opened fire in a civic center where immigrants were taking a citizenship exam.

The shooter has been identified as 41-year-old Jiverly Wong or Voong of nearby Johnson City, NY—recently laid off from his job at Shop-Vac. Wearing a bulletproof vest, Voong barricaded the rear door of the building with his car, entered through the front door and began shooting.

With no way out of the building—no way to escape the sudden, savage horror taking place—over 40 people sought whatever hasty refuge they could find—however inadequate. Dozens of defenseless men and women huddled shaking, terrified, behind machinery, under desks, in dark closets: They listened to the deafening gunshots and to the blood-curdling screams of the wounded and of the dying and of those doomed souls with no escape and awaited their turns to die—like menial prisoners in a Nazi death camp.

Reports indicate that—of the over 50 people in the building—Wong was the ONLY one in the building with a firearm!

Trapped with an enraged madman, not one of the innocent people in the civic center had the capability of self-defense. The police arrived only after all the murders had been committed—as, indeed, is almost always the case.

Only the criminal had weapons: The law-abiding citizens were completely unarmed—made defenseless—as a direct result of the vile, outrageous, unconstitutional and sinister laws passed by the lunatic fringe in the United States government and championed by the lunatic fringe in Hollywood and the media.

Had just ONE of those citizens been carrying a firearm, the death toll would likely have been considerably less. Had many of them been armed, that would have been a certainty—one, well-placed head-shot would have ended the massacre.

The following are the partial results of a comprehensive study released in 1999; the full report with footnotes and references may be viewed here. I submit that, likely, nothing has changed proportionally since this report was released. Please note that emphasis is mine:

Guns save more lives than they take; prevent more injuries than they inflict

  • Law-abiding citizens use guns to defend themselves against criminals as many as 2.5 million times every year—or about 6,850 times a day. This means that each year, firearms are used more than 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives. Of the 2.5 million self-defense cases, as many as 200,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse.
  • Citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606). And readers of Newsweek learned in 1993 that "only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The "error rate" for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high."
  • Of the 2.5 million times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, the overwhelming majority merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8% of the time, a citizen will kill or wound his or her attacker.
  • Handguns are the weapon of choice for self-defense. Citizens use handguns to protect themselves over 1.9 million times a year. Many of these self-defense handguns could be labeled as "Saturday Night Specials."

Concealed carry laws help reduce crime

  • One-half million self-defense uses: Every year, as many as one-half million citizens defend themselves with a firearm away from home.
  • Florida: In the ten years following the passage of Florida's concealed carry law in 1987, there were 478,248 people who received permits to carry firearms. FBI reports show that the homicide rate in Florida, which in 1987 was much higher than the national average, fell 39% during that 10-year period. The Florida rate is now far below the national average.
  • Do firearms carry laws result in chaos? No. Consider the case of Florida. A citizen in the Sunshine State is almost twice as likely to be attacked by an alligator than to be assaulted by a concealed carry holder. During the first ten years that the Florida law was in effect, alligator attacks outpaced the number of crimes committed by carry holders by a 146 to 88 margin.
  • Nationwide: A comprehensive national study determined in 1996 that violent crime fell after states made it legal to carry concealed firearms. The results of the study showed:
    • States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%; and
    • If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and over 11,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly.
  • Concealed Carry v. Waiting Period Laws: In 1976, both Georgia and Wisconsin tried two different approaches to fighting crime. Georgia enacted legislation making it easier for citizens to carry guns for self-defense, while Wisconsin passed a law requiring a 48 hour waiting period before the purchase of a handgun. What resulted during the ensuing years? Georgia's law served as a deterrent to criminals and helped drop its homicide rate by 21 percent. Wisconsin's murder rate, however, rose 33 percent during the same period.

Criminals avoid armed citizens

  • Kennesaw, GA: In 1982, this suburb of Atlanta passed a law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89% in Kennesaw, compared to the modest 10.4% drop in Georgia as a whole.
  • Ten years later (1991), the residential burglary rate in Kennesaw was still 72% lower than it had been in 1981, before the law was passed.
  • Nationwide: Statistical comparisons with other countries show that burglars in the United States are far less apt to enter an occupied home than their foreign counterparts who live in countries where fewer civilians own firearms. Consider the following rates showing how often a homeowner is present when a burglar strikes:
    • Homeowner occupancy rate in the gun control countries of Great Britain, Canada and Netherlands: 45% (average of the three countries); and,
    • Homeowner occupancy rate in the United States: 12.7%.

Rapes averted when women carry or use firearms for protection

  • Orlando, FL: In 1966-67, the media highly publicized a safety course which taught Orlando women how to use guns. The result: Orlando's rape rate dropped 88% in 1967, whereas the rape rate remained constant in the rest of Florida and the nation.
  • Nationwide: In 1979, the Carter Justice Department found that of more than 32,000 attempted rapes, 32% were actually committed. But when a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of the attempted rapes were actually successful.

Justice Department study:

  • 3/5 of felons polled agreed that "a criminal is not going to mess around with a victim he knows is armed with a gun."
  • 74% of felons polled agreed that "one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime."
  • 57% of felons polled agreed that "criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police."

Police cannot protect—and are not required to protect—every individual

  • The courts have consistently ruled that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. For example, in Warren v. D.C. the court stated "courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community."
  • Former Florida Attorney General Jim Smith told Florida legislators that police responded to only about 200,000 of 700,000 calls for help to Dade County authorities. Smith was asked why so many citizens in Dade County were buying guns and he said, "They damn well better, they've got to protect themselves."
  • The Department of Justice found that in 1989, there were 168,881 crimes of violence which were not responded to by police within 1 hour.
  • Currently, there are about 150,000 police officers on duty at any one time to protect a population of more than 250 million Americans—or almost 1,700 citizens per officer.

Poor track record

  • Washington, D.C. has, perhaps, the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, and yet it has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.
  • Objection: Critics claim criminals merely get their guns in Virginia where the laws are more relaxed. This, they argue, is why the D.C. gun ban is not working.
  • Answer: Perhaps criminals do get their guns in Virginia, but this overlooks one point: If the availability of guns in Virginia is the root of D.C.'s problems, why does Virginia not have the same murder and crime rate as the District? Virginia is awash in guns and yet the murder rate is much, much lower. This holds true even for Virginia's urban areas. The murder rates are:
City 1997 Murder rate
Washington, DC 56.9 per 100,000
Arlington, VA 1.6 per 100,000
(Arlington is just across the river from D.C.)
Total VA metro area rate: 7.9 per 100,000
  • Guns are not the problem: On the contrary, lax criminal penalties and laws that disarm the law-abiding are responsible for giving criminals a safer working environment.

Criminologists turning from anti-gun position

  • Dr. Gary Kleck: A criminologist at Florida State University, Kleck began his research as a firm believer in gun control. But in a speech delivered to the National Research Council, he said while he was once "a believer in the 'anti-gun' thesis," he has now moved "beyond even the skeptic position." Dr. Kleck now says the evidence "indicates that general gun availability does not measurably increase rates of homicide, suicide, robbery, assault, rape, or burglary in the US."
  • James Wright: Formerly a gun control advocate, Wright received a grant from President Carter's Justice Department to study the effectiveness of gun control laws. To his surprise, he found that waiting periods, background checks, and all other gun control laws were not effective in reducing violent crime.
    • Wright says at one time, "It seemed evident to me, we needed to mount a campaign to resolve the crisis of handgun proliferation." But he says, "I am now of the opinion that a compelling case for 'stricter gun control' cannot be made."
  • Every scholar who has "switched" has moved away from the anti-gun position. Dave Kopel, an expert in constitutional issues and firearms research, categorically states that, "Every scholar who has 'switched' has 'switched' to the side that is skeptical of controls. Indeed, most of the prominent academic voices who are gun control skeptics—including law professor Sanford Levinson and criminologists Gary Kleck and James Wright—are people who, when they began studying guns, were supporters of the gun control agenda."
    • Kopel continues: "I do not know of a single scholar who has published a pro-control article who started out as a skeptic of gun control. This suggests how heavily the weight of the evidence is distributed, once people begin studying the evidence."

Waiting periods threaten the safety of people in imminent danger

  • Bonnie Elmasri: She inquired about getting a gun to protect herself from a husband who had repeatedly threatened to kill her. She was told there was a 48 hour waiting period to buy a handgun. But unfortunately, Bonnie was never able to pick up a gun. She and her two sons were killed the next day by an abusive husband of whom the police were well aware.
  • Marine Cpl. Rayna Ross: She bought a gun (in a non-waiting period state) and used it to kill an attacker in self-defense two days later. Had a 5-day waiting period been in effect, Ms. Ross would have been defenseless against the man who was stalking her.
  • Los Angeles riots: USA Today reported that many of the people rushing to gun stores during the 1992 riots were "lifelong gun-control advocates, running to buy an item they thought they'd never need." Ironically, they were outraged to discover they had to wait 15 days to buy a gun for self-defense.

Background checks do not disarm the violent criminal population

  • A Justice Department survey of felons showed that 93% of handgun predators had obtained their most recent guns "off-the-record."
  • Press reports show that the few criminals who get their guns from retail outlets—most do not—can easily get fake IDs or use surrogate buyers, known as "straw purchasers," to buy their guns.

Prior restraints on rights are unconstitutional

1. Second Amendment protects an individual right

Report by the US Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution (1982):

  • "The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."
  • Supreme Court admits "the people" in the Second Amendment are the same "people" as in the rest of the Bill of Rights—In US. v. Verdugo-Urquidez the Court stated that "'the people" seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution… [and] it suggests that "the people" protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community."

2. Courts agree that rights should be free from prior restraints

  • Near v. Minnesota: In this case, the Supreme Court stated that government officials should punish the abuse of a right and not place prior restraints on the exercise of the right.
  • What about yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater?: The courts have stated that one cannot use his "freedom of speech" to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater. And yet, no one argues that officials should gag everyone who goes into the theater, thus placing a prior restraint on movie-goers. The proper response is to punish the person who does yell "Fire." Likewise, citizens should not be "gagged" before exercising their Second Amendment rights, rather they should be punished if they abuse that right.

The Brady registration law is NOT working

General Accounting Office Study:

  • The Brady Law has failed to result in the incarceration of dangerous criminals. After the first year and a half, there were only seven successful prosecutions for making false statements on Brady handgun purchase forms—and only three of them were actually incarcerated. With only three criminals sent to jail, one can hardly argue that the law is working to keep violent criminals from getting handguns on the street.
  • The Brady Law has ERRONEOUSLY denied firearms to thousands of applicants. Over fifty percent of denials under the Brady Law are for administrative snafus, traffic violations, or reasons other than felony convictions.
  • Gun control advocates admit the Brady Law is not a panacea. According to a January, 1996 report by the General Accounting Office, "Proponents [of gun control] acknowledge that criminal records checks alone will not prevent felons from obtaining firearms."
  • Criminals can easily evade the background checks by using straw purchasers: "Opponents of gun control note that criminals can easily circumvent the law by purchasing handguns on the secondary market or by having friends or spouses without a criminal record make the purchases from dealers."

Licensing or registration can lead to confiscation of firearms

  • Step One: Registration. In the mid-1960's officials in New York City began registering long guns [rifles and shotguns]. They promised they would never use such lists to take away firearms from honest citizens. But in 1991, the city banned (and soon began confiscating) many of those very guns.
  • Step Two: Confiscation. In 1992, a New York City paper reported that, "Police raided the home of a Staten Island man who refused to comply with the city's tough ban on assault weapons, and seized an arsenal of firearms… Spot checks are planned [for other homes]."
  • Registration and Confiscation in California: The Golden State passed a ban on certain semi-automatic firearms in 1989. Banned guns could be legally possessed if they were registered prior to the ban. In the Spring of 1995, one man who wished to move to California asked the Attorney General whether his SKS Sporter rifle would be legal in the state. The citizen was assured the rifle was legal, and based on that information, he subsequently moved into the state. But in 1998, California officials reversed course and confiscated the firearm.
  • Foreign Countries: Gun registration has led to confiscation in several countries, including Greece, Ireland, Jamaica and Bermuda. And in an exhaustive study on this subject, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership has researched and translated several gun control laws from foreign countries. Their publication, Lethal Laws: "Gun Control" is the Key to Genocide documents how gun control (and confiscation) has preceded the slaughter and genocide of millions of people in Turkey, the Soviet Union, Germany, China, Cambodia and others.

People in imminent danger can die waiting for a firearms license

  • In 1983, Igor Hutorsky was murdered by two burglars who broke into his Brooklyn furniture store. The tragedy is that some time before the murder, his business partner had applied for permission to keep a handgun at the store. Even four months after the murder, the former partner had still not heard from the police about the status of his gun permit.

The power to license a right is the power to destroy a right

  • Arbitrary Delays: While New Jersey law requires applications to be responded to within thirty days, delays of ninety days are routine; sometimes, applications are delayed for several years for no readily apparent reason.
  • Arbitrary Denials: Officials in New York City routinely deny gun permits for ordinary citizens and store owners because—as the courts have ruled—they have no greater need for protection than anyone else in the city. In fact, the authorities have even refused to issue permits when the courts have ordered them to do so.
  • Arbitrary Fee Increases: In 1994, the Clinton administration pushed for a license fee increase of almost 1,000 percent on gun dealers. According to US News & World Report, the administration was seeking the license fee increase "in hopes of driving many of America's 258,000 licensed gun dealers out of business."

Officials cannot license or register a constitutional right

  • The Supreme Court held in Lamont v. Postmaster General (1965) that the First Amendment prevents the government from registering purchasers of magazines and newspapers—even if such material is "communist political propaganda."

Definition of real "assault weapons"

  • According to one of the preeminent experts in the field of firearms, Dr. Edward Ezell, a key characteristic of a true assault weapon is that it must have the capability of "full automatic fire." Similarly, the US Defense Department defines real assault weapons as "selective-fire weapons"—meaning that these guns can fire both automatically or semi-automatically.
  • Anti-gun loonies in recent years have managed to define "assault weapons" as semi-automatic firearms which only externally resemble a military firearm. Dr. Edward Ezell notes that true assault weapons "were designed to produce roughly aimed bursts of full automatic fire"—something which a semi-automatic firearm does not do.

Semi-automatic "assault rifles" are no different than many hunting rifles

  • Officer William McGrath: "These [semi-automatic assault rifles] are little different than the semi-automatic hunting rifles that have been on the market since before World War II. The main difference between an assault rifle and a semi-automatic hunting rifle is that the assault rifle looks more 'military.'"
    • "The term 'assault' rifle is really a misnomer as a true assault rifle is a selective fire weapon capable of switching from fully automatic to semi automatic and back with the flip of a lever."
    • "The charge that the assault rifle holds more rounds than a 'legitimate' hunting rifle shows either a lack of knowledge or a deliberate twisting of the facts, as 10, 20 and 30 round magazines for 'legitimate' hunting rifles have been on the market for decades without the world coming to an end."

So-called assault weapons have never been the "weapon of choice" for criminals

(All of the following figures pre-date the "assault weapons" ban passed by Congress in 1994)

  • Police View: Over 100,000 police officers delivered a message to Congress in 1990 stating that only 2% to 3% of crimes are committed using a so-called "assault weapon."
  • New Jersey: The New York Times reported that, "Although New Jersey's pioneering ban on military-style assault rifles was sold to the state as a crime-fighting measure, its impact on violence in the state… has been negligible, both sides agree." Moreover, New Jersey police statistics show that only .026 of 1 percent of all crimes involve "assault rifles."
  • Nationwide: The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 1993 that violent criminals only carry or use a "military-type gun" in about 1 percent of the crimes nationwide.
  • Knives more deadly: According to the FBI, people have a much greater chance of being killed by a knife or a blunt object than by any kind of rifle, including an "assault rifle." In Chicago, the chance is 67 times greater. That is, a person is 67 times more likely to be stabbed or beaten to death in Chicago than to be murdered by an "assault rifle." [Let’s ban cutlery!]
  • Cops' own guns more deadly: So-called assault weapons are not menacing police officers nationwide. The FBI reports show that before the 1994 ban on semi-automatic "assault weapons," no more than three officers were killed in any one year by such guns. In Contrast, police officers were more than three times as likely to be killed by their own guns than by "assault weapons."
  • It would seem one can't have it both ways. If Congress wants to ban weapons that are dangerous to police, then it should begin by pushing for a ban on police officers' own weapons, since these guns kill far more often than "assault weapons." The same is true with knives and blunt objects. These instruments kill policemen more often than semi-automatic "assault weapons."
  • Sarah Brady's own figures show that so-called assault weapons are not the criminal's "weapon of choice." A study published by Handgun Control, Inc. in November of 1995 shows that the overwhelming majority of guns used to murder police officers are not "assault weapons." The irony is that HCI uses a very inflated definition [a lie] of "assault weapon" and still can not demonstrate that they are used in over 50% of the crimes.
  • Does tracing of crime guns show that "assault weapons" are the weapons of choice for criminals? No. Gun control advocates will often make the claim that so-called assault weapons are frequently used in crime. To justify this claim, such advocates will cite as "evidence" the fact that law-enforcement run a high percentage of traces on these types of firearms. But this is a classic example of circular reasoning: law enforcement arbitrarily run a high percentage of trace requests on "assault weapons," and then this figure is used to justify the "fact" that these guns are frequently used in crime. Consider the following:
    • Tracing requests are not representative of all guns used in crime. The Congressional Research Service states that, "Firearms selected for tracing do not constitute a random sample and cannot be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals." Moreover, BATF agents themselves have stated that, "ATF does not always know if a firearm being traced has been used in a crime."
    • Tracing requests are not random samples. CRS notes that "ATF tracing data could be potentially biased because of screening conducted by local ATF agents prior to the submission of the tracing from." This means that police could, if they wanted, only trace so-called assault weapons. Would this mean that they are the only guns used in crime? No, it would just mean that law enforcement have a particular interest in tracing "assault weapons" over other guns.
    • Tracing in L.A: That tracing is an unreliable measure of a gun's use in crime is clear. For example, in 1989 in Los Angeles, "assault rifles" represented approximately only 3% of guns seized, but 19% of gun traces.

Semi-automatic "assault weapons" are excellent for self-defense

Police Capt. Massad Ayoob:

  • "The likelihood of multiple opponents who move fast, often wear body armor, know how to take cover, and tend to ingest chemicals that make them resistant to pain and shock, are all good reasons for carrying guns that throw a whole lot more bullets than six-shooters do."
  • "All four of these factors make it likely that more of the Good Guys' bullets will be expended before the Bad Guys are neutralized. All of these factors, therefore, militate for a higher capacity handgun in the hands of the lawful defenders."

1. Drugs and alcohol can make criminals resistant to pain

  • Arkansas: A drunk opened fire on an officer, who responded by firing 29 shots—15 of them striking the criminal. It was only the last—the 15th—bullet which finally killed the drunk and effectively stopped him from shooting.
  • Illinois: Police shot a drug-induced criminal 33 times before the junkie finally dropped and was unable to shoot any longer.

2. Hi-capacity semi-autos can help decent people to defend themselves

  • Los Angeles riots: Many of the guns targeted by so-called assault weapons bans are the very guns with which the Korean merchants used to defend themselves during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Those firearms proved to be extremely useful to the Koreans. Their stores were left standing while other stores around them were burned to the ground.
  • The Korean merchants would probably agree with Capt. Massad Ayoob. When one is facing mob violence and the police are nowhere to be found, one needs a gun that shoots more than just six bullets. A ban on large capacity semi-automatic firearms will only harm one's ability to defend himself and his family.

The Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own military rifles and handguns

Report by the US. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution (1982):

  • "In the Militia Act of 1792, the second Congress defined 'militia of the United States' to include almost every free adult male in the United States. These persons were obligated by law to possess a [military-style] firearm and a minimum supply of ammunition and military equipment… There can be little doubt from this that when the Congress and the people spoke of the/a 'militia,' they had reference to the traditional concept of the entire populace capable of bearing arms, and not to any formal group such as what is today called the National Guard."
  • The Supreme Court: In US. v. Miller, the Court stated that, "The Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense… [and that] when called for service, these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."

There is more—so much more: Download the PDF and read it. Google the appropriate keywords and phrases and you will find literally mountains of data showing that gun laws are the cause of the problem, not the cure.

The bottom line here is:

The police cannot protect you. It is your duty to you and your family to protect them and yourself.

Join and support the NRA.

Vote the anti-gun, anti-self-defense lunatic fringe out of office and keep them out.

Buy a high-capacity handgun and learn how and when to use it.

And if you have to use it, use it fast—without hesitation—and keep shooting the bastard until he stops wiggling.

It’s literally his funeral or yours: Which family do you want gathered around the casket?

No more Binghamtons, no more Virginia Techs.

1 comment:

  1. How many know or remember that Hitler disarmed the population of Germany during his rise to power.

    Only the government had firearms. The populace was powerless.