God Save American - There are to few Americans left that will.
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 Prolog  Commentary by Thomas Sowell (1)
 More truths about the Brady bill Lies.   NBC'S TV movie "The Long Island incident.
 Courage in the Face of Danger  
 
 A Synopsis of Florida State Gun Laws:
State Constitutional Provision;  Carrying; Caution; Possession and Purchase;    Antiques and Replicas; Machine Guns;    Miscellaneous;
   
Continued at gunfacts2  

  The words "shall not be infringed" in the Second Amendment requires a constitutional amendment to change, in any way. Yet over the years the Federal Congress has subverted many constitutional guarantees of states rights and the people rights. The constitution is clear that the federal Government is to keep its nose out of all things not enumerated to it in the constitution. Absolutely everything else is the domain of the states and the people. Therefore, the states must keep their nose out of all things that are in the federal domain. Therefore, since gun ownership is enumerated in the constitution, States have no authority to make laws concerning guns. Therefore, since the constitution forbids the Federal Government to infringe upon gun ownership, neither a State nor the Federal Government have the authority to regulate gun ownership.

It is therefore clear that the founding fathers intended that the people rule this nation. When the corruption of congress and the president become traitorous the people would have the means to replace the traitors by force.
All who would disarm the American people are traitors!
Any government official sworn to uphold, but working to subvert, the Constitution is a traitor!

Bob Graham of Florida is one-such individual!!  Your Florida Senator, Bob Graham has voted for all gun banning and gun control legislation that has come up for a vote before the Senate.  Check his voting record - its public information.


 The majority of information provided here is from the National Rifle Association (NRA-ILA, 11250 Waples Mill Road * Fairfax, VA 22030);  Phone: 1-800-392-8683 * Fax: 703-267-3918 * e-mail GROOTS@NRA.org and may be viewed on their web site at "www.nra.org", or by Gun Owners of America (GOA) and may be viewed at their site at "www.goa.org".

The exceptions are personal commentary, both mine and others.


A SYNOPSIS OF STATE LAWS ON PURCHASE, POSSESSION AND CARRYING OF FIREARMS.
 Compiled from: NRA Institute for Legislative Action, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030;  http//:www.nra.org; NS 01050 Rev. 7/97 5M (As of August, 1997)

PLEASE NOTE: In addition to state laws, the purchase sale and (in certain circumstances) the possession and interstate transportation of firearms is regulated by the Gun Control Act of 1968 as amended by the Firearms Owners' Protection Act. Also, cities and localities may have their own firearm ordinances in addition to federal and state laws. Details may be obtained by contacting local law enforcement authorities, and by consulting the State Laws and Published Ordinances—Firearms, available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

QUICK REFERENCE CHART

 Rifles and Shotguns  Handguns
 Permit to Purchase  No  No
 Registration of Firearms  No  No
 Licensing of Owners  No  No
  Permit to Carry  No  No*

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

"(a) The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law. (b) There shall be a mandatory period of three days, excluding weekends and legal holidays, between the purchase and delivery at retail of any handgun. For the purposes of this section, "purchase" means the transfer of money or other valuable consideration to the retailer, and "handgun" means a firearm capable of being carried and used by one hand, such as a pistol or revolver. Holders of a concealed weapon permit as prescribed in Florida law shall not be subject to the provisions of this paragraph. (c) Anyone violating the provisions of subsection (b) shall be guilty of a felony. (d) This restriction shall not apply to a trade in of another handgun." Article 1, Section 8. The legislature of the State of Florida, in a declaration of policy incorporated in its "Weapons and Firearms" statute, recognizes the lawful owner-ship, possession and use of firearms for the defense of "life, home and property" and for use in target practice, hunting and "other lawful purposes."

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POSSESSION AND PURCHASE

No state permit is required to possess or purchase a rifle, shotgun or handgun.

It is unlawful for any convicted felon to own, possess or control any firearm including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device unless his civil rights have been restored.

It is unlawful for the following persons to own, possess or use any firearm: drug addicts, alcoholics, mental incompetents, "vagrants" and "undesirables" and "persons in or about a place of nuisance."

It is unlawful to sell, give, lend or transfer a pistol or other arm or weapon "other than an ordinary pocketknife" to a minor under the age of 18 without his parent's permission, or to any person of unsound mind.

It is unlawful for any dealer to sell any "pistol, Springfield rifle or other repeating rifle" to a minor.

A minor under 18 years of age may not possess a firearm, other than an unloaded firearm at his home, unless engaged in lawful activities.

No licensed gun dealer, manufacturer or importer shall sell or deliver "any firearm to another person" until he has obtained a completed form from the potential buyer or transferee and received approval from the Department of Law Enforcement by means of a toll-free telephone call. The Department of Law Enforcement shall destroy records of approval and non-approval within 48 hours after its response. The fee for the instant check shall be $8.00. Exempt from the instant check are licensed dealers, manufacturers, importers, collectors, persons with a concealed carrying license, law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers.

There is a three-day delay, excluding weekends and legal holidays, between the purchase and delivery at retail of a handgun. Exempt from the waiting period are permit holders and those trading in another handgun.  

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 CARRYING

Unless covered under the exceptions, it is unlawful to openly carry on or about the person any firearm, or to "carry a concealed firearm on or about the person" without a license.

Exceptions:

1.Persons having firearms at their home or place of business.
2."Regularly enrolled members of any organization duly authorized to purchase or receive weapons from the United States or from this state, or regularly enrolled members of clubs organized for target, skeet, or trapshooting, while at, or going to or from shooting practice."
3.Members of clubs organized for collecting antique or modern firearms while at or going to or from exhibitions.
4.Persons engaged in fishing, camping or hunting and while going to or from such activity.
5.Persons engaged in target shooting "under safe conditions and in a safe place" or while going to or from such place.
6.Persons who are firing weapons for target practice in "a safe and secure indoor range."
7.Persons traveling by private conveyance if the weapon is securely encased, or in a public conveyance if the weapon is securely encased and not in person's manual possession.
8.Persons carrying a pistol unloaded and in a wrapper from place of purchase to their home or to a place of repair and back.
9.Persons engaged in the business of manufacturing, repairing or dealing in firearms.
10. Military, law enforcement personnel and private guards while so employed.
11. It is lawful to possess a concealed firearm for self-defense or other lawful purposes within the interior of a private conveyance, without a license, if the firearm is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing herein contained prohibits the carrying of a firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. The exemption shall not authorize the carrying of a firearm concealed on the person.

Securely encased is defined as encased in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; in a snapped holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access. Readily accessible for immediate use means that a firearm or other weapon is carried on the person or within such close proximity and in such a manner that it can be retrieved and used as easily and quickly as if carried on the person.

Application for a license to carry a handgun concealed is made to the Department of State. The license is valid for 3 years throughout the state. The application shall be completed, under oath, on a form promulgated by the Department of State and shall include the applicant's name, address, place and date of birth, race, and occupation. The initial license fee is not to exceed $85 plus the cost of processing the fingerprint card. Renewal fee is not to exceed $70 (fingerprint card is not required on renewal licenses). However, at the discretion of the Secretary of State, the fees may be lower than the statutory cap.

Fingerprinting must be conducted by a law enforcement agency of the state. The sheriff's office shall provide fingerprinting service to the applicant and may charge a fee of up to $5.

The Department of State shall issue a license if the applicant (a) is at least 21 and a resident of the United States; (b) does not suffer from a physical infirmity which prevents the safe handling of a firearm; (c) is not a convicted felon; (d) has not within a 3 year period preceding submission of the application been convicted of a crime of violence or committed for drug abuse or been convicted of a minor drug offense;
(e) has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person, unless he has waited 5 years from the date of his court-ordered restoration to capacity, or been committed to a mental institution, unless he possesses a psychiatrist's certificate that he has not suffered from the disability for five years; (f) is not a chronic or habitual drunkard; (g) demonstrates competence with a firearm by showing proof of completion of a state hunter safety course, or any NRA firearms safety or training course, completion of any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by the police or by instructors certified by NRA, Department of State, or Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission at a public or private school, completion of firearms safety or training course offered for security guards, investigators, or special deputies, completion of any firearm training or safety course or class conducted by a state or NRA certified firearms instructor, presents evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or military service, in Florida or in its counties and towns; and (h) states that he "desires a legal means to carry a concealed weapon or firearm for lawful self-defense."

A license shall not authorize any person to carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any place of nuisance, police station, detention facility, court-house, polling place, meeting of any state, county, municipal, or special district governing body, any school, any professional or school athletic event not related to firearms, portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, inside the sterile and passenger area of an airport, or any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law.

The Department of State must be notified within 30 days of changing a permanent address or losing a license. A duplicate license costs $15.00. A per-son must carry his license together with valid identification, such as a driver's license.

The licensing law "shall be liberally construed to carry out the Constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense."

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 ANTIQUES AND REPLICAS

Unless used in the commission of a crime, the term "firearm" shall not include an antique firearm. "Antique firearm" means any firearm manufactured in or before 1918 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar early type of ignition system) or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1918, and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1918, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

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MACHINE GUNS

The possession of a machine gun, defined as "any firearm which shoots or is designed to shoot, automatically or semiautomatically, more
than one shot without manually reloading, by a single function of the trigger" is prohibited unless lawfully owned and possessed under provisions of federal law.

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MISCELLANEOUS

Use of a firearm, BB gun, air or gas-operated guns, or electric weapons or devices by a minor under the age of 16 is prohibited unless the minor is under the supervision and in the presence of an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor's parent.

Florida has a three-year mandatory sentence for any serious felony committed with a firearm.* The penalty is 8 years if a machine gun or a semiautomatic firearm with magazine capacity of more than 20 centerfire cartridges is possessed during a serious felony or narcotics offense.

It is unlawful to knowingly discharge a firearm in "any public place, or on the right of way of any paved public road, highway or street" or over any road, highway, street or occupied building, except in defense of life or property, in performance of official duties or where expressly approved for hunting.

Except during the hunting season as established by law, it is unlawful to carry a firearm within the limits of a national forest area. Exempt are persons who have obtained a special permit by the county commissioners or persons traveling on state roads when the firearm is "securely locked within a vehicle."

It is unlawful to have or carry a firearm in the presence of one or more persons and exhibit the firearm "in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self defense."

The state legislature has preempted the regulation of firearms and ammunition.

It is unlawful to sell, deliver, or use to assist in the commission of a crime any bullet which has a steel inner core or core of equivalent hardness and truncated cone and which is designed for use in a handgun as an armor-piercing bullet or any exploding bullet, or dragon's breath shotgun shell, bolo shell, or flechette shell, or to possess such armor-piercing or exploding bullet with knowledge of its armor-piercing or exploding capabilities loaded in a handgun, or dragon's breath, bolo, or flechette shell with knowledge of its capabilities loaded in a firearm.

It is unlawful to store or leave a firearm in any place within reach or easy access of a person under 18 years of age. This provision does not apply to:

A. A firearm stored in a securely locked box or container, or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure, or securely locked with a trigger lock;
B. If a minor obtains a firearm by means of unlawful entry, by any person;
C. Injuries that result from target or sport shooting accidents or hunting accidents, or
D. To members of the armed forces, national guard, state militia, police or other law enforcement officers where possession by a minor occurs during or incidental to performance of official duties.

Appropriate warning with regard to this provision of law must be posted and delivered by commercial wholesale or retail firearm sellers or transferees. *A serious felony is one that entails a "high risk of death or harm," such as: murder, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, or robbery.

CITATION: Florida Statutes sec. 790.001 et seq. and chapter 784.05.

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CAUTION: State firearm laws are subject to frequent change. The above summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law. To determine the applicability of these laws to specific situations that you may encounter, you are strongly urged to consult a local attorney. 

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Vol. 5, No. 25 6/26/98

CLAIMS OF BRADY SUCCESS WARRANT CLOSE SCRUTINY

In a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) report, issued through their Bureau of Justice Statistics, the government claimed that 69,000 handgun sales were blocked in 1997, due to the Brady Act's background check. According to the report, these denials represent 2.7 % of the 2,574,000 applications for handgun purchases over the last year. But several recent news articles and editorials have exposed the fact that these numbers are overstated and misleading. The Indiana Star and News reported that, based on Indiana State Police records, only 82 handgun sales were blocked due to the background check, while the DOJ reported 1,085 denials for Indiana -- a 1,300 percent overstatement by DOJ. The numbers for Arizona were overstated by 30 percent. Also, in a June 25 Wall Street Journal column James Bovard pointed out that the DOJ numbers only account for initial denials, and fail to take into consideration the numerous instances where initial denials are later approved, due to errors in reporting criminal records. Bovard goes on to say that the Clinton/Gore Administration's classification of those who are denied the purchase of a handgun due to Brady as being "felons, fugitives and stalkers" is also inaccurate. DOJ statistics even verify that, besides errors in records, many denials are not based on criminal records, but often are a result of other factors, like dishonorable discharges from the armed forces and mental-health problems. It is also interesting to note that, while claims of the Brady Act's success continue to emanate from the current administration, convictions for violating federal law for making false statements on Brady forms and 4473s -- the forms that all prospective handgun purchasers fill out when purchasing from an FFL holder prior to being approved via Brady -- are on the decline. From the reported high point in 1994, when the Brady Act went into effect, to 1997, convictions have declined from 253 to 36! But if DOJ numbers are to be believed, this means that almost 70,000 "felons, fugitives and stalkers" have been left alone over the last year alone, even when they are known to have violated federal law. How effective is a law if it allows known criminals who are on record as continuing their illegal actions to roam free?

The numbers released by DOJ appear to coincide with recent efforts by the Administration to seek to keep the Brady Act's five-day waiting period in place -- based on the claim that it works as a "cooling off" period that prevents crimes of passion -- even though the law states that it is to be eliminated when the National Instant Check System (NICS) goes on-line in December of this year. Senior White House official Rahm Emanuel stated on NBC's Meet the Press on June 14 that "[w]e think the cooling off period is very, very important." Emanuel even went so far as to try to justify this position by saying, "Based on police research, 20% of the guns purchased that are used in murder are purchased within the week of the murder." This completely contradicts BATF reports, which actually over-represent newer guns, that guns traced in murder investigations are, on average, purchased over six years prior to the homicide. When NRA asked to what "research" Emanuel was referring, his office revealed that the information did not come from "police research," but came straight from Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI). HCI will not tell us what "research" they had in mind.

Even prior to the passage of the Brady Act, Sarah Brady, the law's original namesake, was quoted in the March 1991 issue of The Washingtonian magazine as saying that the Brady Act "is not a panacea. It's not going to stop crimes of passion or drug-related crime." And on September 30, 1993, during hearings of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice on H.R. 025, the Brady Bill (which had been, at that time, incorporated into H.R. 3131, the omnibus crime bill), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) asked Assistant Attorney General Acheson, representing the Department of Justice, "Do you have any figures or any documentation to give us an indication of what percentage of (persons killed with handguns) would have been avoided if the Brady bill had been in effect? You would have that figure if you knew how many crimes had been committed within a week, or a few days, after a purchase of a handgun." Acheson replied "I do not have any specific statistics." There is simply no substantiation for the claim that waiting periods do anything other than inconvenience law-abiding gun owners, and potentially delay the acquisition of a firearm by someone who needs one for personal protection. While there has yet to be any legislation introduced to keep the waiting period active, it is probably safe to assume that one of the administration's anti-Second amendment cronies in Congress will be more than happy to oblige. For details on the Brady Act's failures, please call the Grassroots Division of the NRA at 1-800-392-8683 and ask for the Fact Sheet called "The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act': Does It Live Up To Its Name?" For those on the Internet, you will also find this posted on our website (
http://www.nra.org), under the section called Fact Sheets. If you run across a news article in your state that tries to claim the Brady Act is a success, remember to write a response, and use the materials we have made available to bolster your arguments.  Since only 20 states are actually subject to the Brady Act currently, be sure to note if yours is one that is not. Only 1/3 of the reported Brady denials occurred in the 20 states subject to the Act. Other methods, like instant check systems, would appear to be far more effective in preventing the few criminals who actually attempt to purchase firearms from FFL holders from completing their act.
 

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NBC'S TV MOVIE "THE LONG ISLAND INCIDENT," about an insane murderer on a New York railroad, attacks members of the National Rifle Association and their beliefs, and asserts the absurd claim by former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger that the right to keep and bear arms is a "fraud." I've never played a Supreme Court justice. But I have been invited to portray Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, whose thoughtful intent was clearer than Burgerís interpretation: "The Constitution of the United States asserts that all power is inherent in the people
  • it is their right and duty to be at all times armed." THOMAS JEFFERSON
  • arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.  Horrid mischief would ensue were [the law-abiding] deprived of the use of them." THOMAS PAINE
  • To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike ... how to use them.   RICHARD HENRY LEE
  • "The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent ... peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." SAMUEL ADAMS

Warren Burger can be forgiven his misunderstanding of the Second Amendment, after all, the 82-year-old former judge also spoke of a "right to own and keep fishing rods and fishing equipment." The bigger issue is the movie's intent.  Executive producer Barbara Streisand reportedly "went out of her way" to push the film's anti-gun politics with NBC.  Which raises some interesting questions.  Were the movie's attacks on the NRA sincere and based on fact? Or just a predictable sweeps-week strategy of controversy to win ratings and sell ads?  I know what it looks like to me: profiteering on the back of a tragedy.  Made-for-TV, prime-time pathos. And Big-Issue posturing with Hollywood tears.  This isn't about Warren Burger, Barbara Streisand, the Founding Fathers or me or anyone else.  It's about our constitutional right to protect our liberty, our families and ourselves, and whether that freedom survives.

Barbara Streisand and I are both public figures.  If she truly believes the right to keep and bear arms is "a fraud," then I invite her onto the stage of her choosing to debate the facts with me, one-on-one, before the American people.  Until then, the media, the movie makers and the violent-programming profiteers should stop blaming the American people and the Bill of Rights for every criminal tragedy.  Our safety and our freedom are too sacrosanct to surrender to theatrics.

C H A R LT O N H E S T O N NRA First Vice President   © 1998 National Rifle Association of America    

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Courage in the Face of Danger

Opening Remarks on the Resolution that Right to Carry Saves Lives by Mrs. Tanya K. Metaksa, Executive Director, NRA Institute for Legislative Action at the YALE POLITICAL UNION October 20, 1997

A few years ago, in Richmond, Virginia, a frail, gentle woman testified before the General Assembly. She wanted to urge the legislature to pass Right to Carry. Under Right to Carry, law-abiding citizens can obtain a permit to keep a firearm on their persons to protect themselves and their loved ones.  She was just a sparrow of a person -- tiny and frail. She stood by the podium, shaking like a bird on a wire. But she did not fear public speaking. She was fearful, because she was going to relate -- and therefore re-live -- the darkest of human fears.  The fear of violent death.

Her name is Bruna Bizzotto. For Bruna, fear was not the sudden appearance of a masked man in a convenience store.  Fear was not unfurled in a dark alley by some gang member.  For Bruna, fear came on a bright, sunny day ... and it came by telephone.

The phone rang in her Northern Virginia home. She was startled to find a reporter on the line, a reporter from a newspaper in New Jersey. Odd, she thought.  She and her husband had just moved from New Jersey. The reporter wanted her reaction.  Her reaction to what?  To the news ... that someone was planning to kill her.  Another reporter called her.  How do you feel about the news that someone wants to take your life?  Still another reporter called.  Someone's taken a contract out on your life. Could I get a reaction?  When she caught her breath, she began making feverish phone calls back to New Jersey.  Finally, Bruna connected with a prosecutor who confirmed everything. "Yes," he told her. "It was all true..."

Out of jealousy, a woman had begun stalking her -- stalking her with intent to kill. The fact is, this woman had been plotting Bruna's murder for some time. And until the reporter called, Bruna had no clue whatsoever that her life was in danger.  Because she couldn't bring herself to do it, the stalker attempted to hire someone to do the job.  Bruna told the Virginia General Assembly: "It was pure luck that the individual she attempted to hire was an upstanding citizen [who] turned her into the police."

She continued.

"The fact that you have no knowledge of an imminent need [for an effective means of self-defense against deadly attack], as my experience shows, does not mean your life is not in danger."

Bruna Bizzotto was testifying in favor of Right to Carry in 1995 -- a "shall issue" permit system -- because she wanted the old law changed. The old law was a "may issue."  "And you can guess what "may issue" means...  "May issue" means "won't issue" ... if you're African-American. "May issue" means "won't issue" ... if you're a woman.  "May issue" means "absolutely won't issue" ... if you're anyone who lived in the politically correct suburbs of Northern Virginia.  And "may issue" most definitely meant "won't issue" to a stalking victim and murder target like Bruna Bizzotto.

"Won't issue" is the reason our opponents favor "may issue" -- the old system riddled with arbitrary decisions, regionalism and discrimination.  Americans believe they have a right to defend themselves inside their home -- and guess what? Americans don't believe that they leave that right at home when they exit the front door.  Bruna said she seldom left her home. She said she was "forced to remain vulnerable" ... the few times she ventured outside the home.  Imagine how you would feel. Imagine a member of your family being a prisoner whenever inside their home and being prey whenever outside their home.

Thanks to this American family, the NRA, Bruna Bizzotto will never have to be defenseless again.  She will never be hopeless again.  Right to Carry is one of the most successful public policies of this decade. It has swept this nation, because it has captured the heart and the support of crime victims, law enforcement and women -- especially women. Right to Carry has set gun ban advocates back on their heels, because they find themselves arguing against the very principles they CLAIM to favor.

Consider.

Our opponents say they don't oppose self-defense.  They say they just favor reasonable laws like background checks and training.  But Right to Carry is all THREE. Self-defense ... and background checks ... and training.

Right to Carry is successful public policy, because Right to Carry is associated with crime DECLINES.  A University of Chicago study found that Right to Carry is contributing to the crime decrease we are all enjoying in this country. When that University of Chicago study appeared, our opponents responded with a symposium to attack the research. After debating the Chicago researcher, our opponents could not dispute that Right to Carry was linked to crime decline. They are left to argue that it doesn't decrease crime by that much.

But for the American citizen who faces criminal attack outside the home, Right to Carry can represent the most meaningful crime decline on the face of the planet: an honest chance against criminal attack.

Our opponents argue that, with all this freedom, there can be no safety. Just the opposite is true.  Without freedom, there can be no safety.

Consider the words of the Court, in US versus Panter: "The right to defend oneself against deadly attack is FUNDAMENTAL."  Not optional. Not MAY issue.  Not on the condition of your being a political patron of the permit issuing authority.  Not on the condition of your whiteness, or your maleness.  The right to defend oneself against deadly attack is FUNDAMENTAL -- and it's a right that belongs to EVERY American. Finally, Right to Carry is successful public policy, because permit holders are out-performing their critics.

Let's review the numbers.

During the last decade, 22 states have adopted "shall issue" Right-to-Carry laws. Between 1995 and 1996 alone, 16 states adopted or ubstantially improved their right-to-carry laws.  Today, 31 states have Right-to-Carry. That is one-hundred-and-twenty-seven million Americans --- nearly half the U.S. population.  States with right-to-carry laws have LOWER overall violent crime rates, compared to states without right-to-carry laws. And violent crime is lower in all categories. Total violent crime is 18% lower. Homicide is 21% lower. Robbery is 32%
lower. Aggravated assault is 11% lower.  In their ground breaking study, Professor John Lott and other researchers with the University of Chicago found that Right to Carry saves lives. The researchers write:  "Allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths."  

If Right to Carry is a success, how are the states with NO right to carry? NO self-defense? NO chance for honest citizens?  Here's what the research says: "If those states which did not have right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders; 4,177 rapes; and over 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided yearly. . . . The estimated annual gain from allowing concealed handguns is at least $6.214 billion. . . . When state concealed handgun laws went into effect in a county, murders fell by 8.5 percent, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by 5 and 7 percent."

As I said, law-abiding permit holders are out-performing their critics. In fact, they are more law-abiding than many of their critics.  In Florida, only nineteen-one-thousandths of one percent of licenses issued through January 31, 1997 have been revoked for some infraction. In official correspondence to the governor and other state officials, Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement Commissioner James T. Moore stated that "From a law enforcement perspective, the licensing process has not resulted in problems in the community from people arming themselves..."

In Texas, only fifteen-one-thousandths of one percent of carry permits issued through Dec. 1996 have been revoked. The state's public safety director said, "it has impressed me how remarkably responsible the permit holders have been."  The figures are similar for every other Right to Carry state. Law-abiding permit holders out-perform their critics.

Opponents of self-defense claim that citizens are not capable of handling firearms safely and that right-to-carry lead to an increase in accidents. Indeed, they forecast a wild west mentality, a gun fight at every street corner. But all those dire predictions haven't come true in any of the 31 Right to Carry states. Florida's public safety director says, "no record of any accidents or incidents from a lack of training ... Florida's concealed weapon law has been very successful."

"All major law enforcement groups supported the original legislation and in the eight years the program has been in place, none of these groups has requested any changes. . . . [S]ome of the opponents of concealed weapon legislation in 1987 now admit the program has not created the problems many predicted."

Perhaps opponents of Right to Carry should use, as a test, the words of a prominent gun ban advocate in California. She says, "anything that reduces gun violence is a good thing."  The facts are in. and we win.  Right to Carry reduces gun violence.  Right to Carry is linked to reductions in total violent crime.  Right to Carry is associated with sharp declines in all categories of gun-related crime.  

The facts are in and we win.  When we look at violent crime from the safety of this room -- this campus -- we look at things from the perspective of debaters.  We contrast the strength of oratory. We compare numbers.  Not on the streets, my friends. Because, on the streets of America, all that matters is courage -- and the ability to get home safely.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Marty Killinger of Moses Lake, Washington. One night in February of this year, four young thugs burst into a home she shares with another grandmother.  The young toughs had cut the women's phone lines, and Marty was convinced they were about to be raped, tortured and killed. Marty held the four thugs at bay with a pair of sewing scissors. That bravery gave the other Grandmother, Dorothy Cunningham, an opportunity for another act of bravery.  She got her gun. The four fled the house and were later apprehended by the sheriff and his deputies.  All four home intruders had histories of violent crime.  A few days later, the sheriff held a special ceremony for Marty and Dorothy -- two women the sheriff himself dubbed "the pistol-packin' grandmoms." And the sheriff bestowed on them a plaque that carried these words: "For Courage in the Face of Danger."

For two decades, we allowed our criminal justice system to decay. We allowed the right of self-defense to be denied in a majority of states.

Today, we have strengthened the criminal justice system. We have supported the adoption of innovative police tactics.  And we have, through Right to Carry, restored the right of self-defense to a majority of states in the USA.  Like two grandmothers on a lonely night in February, we showed courage in the face of danger. We have instituted public policies like Right to Carry to protect them -- and to provide protection to those who, like Bruna Bizzotto, may not even know they are in danger.

Clearly, public policies like Right to Carry will transform our nation from a nation of cowards -- into a nation of courage.  The Second Amendment: 

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Gun control farce follows shootings - By Thomas Sowell

The shocking killings of school children in Colorado has once more illustrated Hegel's view that tragedy is often followed by farce. Immediately after the shootings, loudmouth talk show hosts and demagogic politicians have leaped front and center, proclaiming a need for more gun control.

Where do the gun controllers think the 200 million guns in this country are going to go if they pass more gun control laws. Will these vast numbers of firearms simply vanish into thin air somehow? Will criminals line up at police stations to turn in the tools of their trade?

Or does it matter what will actually happen? Is it enough for the gun controllers that they will have "made a statement" and taken a stand on the side of the angels - regardless of what the consequences might be?

The most likely consequence of stronger gun control laws is the same as the consequences of international disarmament agreements in the 1920s and 1930s: Those who are no threat to anybody will be disarmed, shifting the balance of power in favor of those who remain armed and dangerous. It took a second world war for us to learn that lesson internationally, but we have yet to learn it domestically - or even to, consider it as a possibility.

There is no excuse for the widespread ignorance and demagoguery on gun control that hold sway in politics and the media. A massive study by John Lott of the University of Chicago has shown convincingly that armed citizens deter violent criminals. His study, More Guns, less crime, shows that an increase in licensed gun ownership is almost invariably followed immediately by a decline in violent crime in the county where these licensing laws have been relaxed.

When an airplane crashes, costing hundreds of lives, does anyone suggest banning airplanes. When thousands die in automobile accidents, does anyone suggest banning cars? But let a fraction as many people die from guns and shrill cries for banning guns ring out across the land. No one asks about how many lives have been saved by guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens defending themselves and their families against the violent criminals that liberal gun controllers allow to walk the streets. Lott’s study is one of the few that even addresses the question.

The very phrase "gun control" is a farce. Laws controlling guns have been on the books for years. The only meaningful question is whether those laws are to be tightened, and how. What the so-called gun control advocates want is a sweeping ban on the legal possession of guns by law-abiding citizens.

Typical of this demagoguery on this issue is the phrase assault weapons - a term that nobody has been able to define legally with any precision. Instead, ugly-looking weapons have been banned by name, while equally deadly 'weapons that don't look so bad are still sold. All weapons are for assault. That is what makes them weapons, whether they are guns, bows and arrows or boomerangs. Because they are capable of assault, they are also capable of deterring assault, usually just by being pointed at a potential assailant. They are a lot better for protection than phoning 911 and waiting for the police to arrive after the crime has been committed and the criminal is long gone. In short, guns save lives and guns take lives. If the media were serious then they would want to talk about the facts on both sides. Instead of talking in terms of a political contest between the National Rifle Association and supporters of gun control laws After all, there are a quarter of a billion Americans who do not belong to either the NRA or the antigun lobby. It is these ordinary citizens interests that matter most.

The most tragic farce of all is that we continue to listen to shrinks who are spouting off, all across the media, on why the school shootings took place. But this is not the first school shooting where the young killers were given a clean bill of health by shrinks before they started slaughtering their classmates.

Why are shrinks so wise after the fact and so wrong beforehand? And why do we keep taking them seriously?

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