Final update (Jan. 25, 2009):
Gun Enthusiasts Take Aim at City Ordinance
Meadows reported that some of the callers referenced the the value of carrying permitted guns after the Columbine High School incident several years ago. In a measured tone Meadows said, “The city remembers Columbine and the city is fully funding the School Resource Officers in both county high schools as an aid to the Board of Education.”
Meadows added he felt that there should not be personal guns in schools, but professionally trained officers should be there. He added that there is always an armed officer at the city council meetings as well as uniformed and armed officers at the recreational facilities during tournaments and large events.
The bold in the second paragraph is mine. This is the very definition of a "police state". If we post armed guards at every sporting event, every church meeting, and every city council meeting, then we have voted ourselves into a political and legal system identical to Nazi Germany. If we sell ourselves into slavery, then when the master turns cruel, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. The danger of a police state is not when the benevolent are in charge. The danger is when the sadist rises to power and sooner or later, they will!
When a man refuses to defend his own self-interest, he becomes a slave to whoever will protect him.
And yes, you can quote me on that.
Late breaking update:
Some people think I've gotten a little weird over the past ten months or so. I've been told by online correspondents and my own family that America is still the land of the free and nothing will change that. Well, here is one example of what Fox News, MSNBC News, and even CNN have not been reporting:
Orange County Sherriff Uses Deputies to Spy on Opponents
In Orange County a woman named Sandra Hutchens has recently become the County Sherriff. Instead of dealing with overcrowded jails and corrupt management, her top priority is revoking Concealed Carry Weapon permits for everyone who does not regularly carry large amounts of cash or valuables. In other words, only the richest of the rich can be trusted to carry a concealed weapon. Their briefcases full of cash, jewels, antiques, and so on, are extremely valuable and well worth protecting while the children of law abiding taxpayers are not.
This is real. This is happening right now. The rights and freedoms of hardworking, taxpaying Americans are being ignored while the superrich pay for their friends to be appointed into positions of power. Once they gain those positions, they employ humiliation, illegal search and seizure, and pure intimidation to silence their political opponents and ignore the Constitution of the United States of America.
America's worst enemies are NOT foreign terrorists. Here and now, our worst enemies are people in positions of power who believe they and their friends are more important, more intelligent, and more worthy of life than the rest of us. We are under assault from within and unless more people get motivated, get informed, and demand these people be removed from office and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law our government will soon become indistinguishable from the People's Republic of China, the now-defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Hitler's Third Reich. The worst criminals in America are not trying to steal your money, your possessions, or your life. They are trying to steal your freedom.
Original post is below (Jan. 25, 2009):
Science is a wonderful thing. I love all three CSI programs, but my personal favorite of the three is CSI:Miami. Keep in mind, however, that CSI is a fictional series.
One thing employed in nearly every other episode is a ballistics database. You know, one of them recovers a brass shell casing or a bullet and then they compare the marks to their database and come up with the owner of the gun. Presto! Instant conviction. Unfortunately, as revealed in an article at Reason.com, after spending millions of taxpayer dollars over seven years setting up and maintaining two such databases in the high-crime states of New York and Maryland the databases have helped in a grand total of ONE conviction.
It's quite simple really. Gun owners who buy their guns at gun stores don't generally commit crimes. Criminals, especially the hardcore repeat offenders, buy illegally imported, stolen, or home-manufactured guns off the street. They'd never buy a gun at a gun store because their prior convictions mean the gun stores cannot sell them guns.
Getting guns out of the hands of criminals is important. A recent shooting in Miami is a perfect example of what happens when guns are used in crime. In this case, an AK-47 (according to the news report) was used to gun down nine people, killing two and wounding seven.
The AK-47 is not the problem. The real problem is the criminal who used it. Confiscating automatic weapons from the millions of Americans who use them at target ranges, bringing back the Assault Weapons Ban, and other restrictive gun legislations will not help, even as they would not have helped in Miami. The AK series is the most common automatic rifle in the world. It is also one of the simplest. It can be made from raw steel and cheap wood in a garage-based shop using tools and machines readily available at Sears and Roebuck. The vast majority of AK series weapons circulating around the world are from China, a nation that ships over a million of these guns overseas every single year. In the United States it is already illegal to manufacture, sell, trade, or transport these weapons across state lines. Once the shooter is found, and I have no doubt he will be found, the gun he used will probably turn out to be an illegal weapon that the shooter obtained through the black market. If this criminal had no regard for existing laws, what makes us imagine that future criminals will be any more considerate?
My father spent his life in law enforcement. Every single firearm-based crime he encountered was solved, and the criminal convicted. The current laws are already sufficient to convict anyone who uses a firearm in a crime and forensic science is well up to the task of identifying the weapon used and connecting the weapon to the criminal who used it. Punishing, restricting, or harboring prejudices against law-abiding, responsible gun owners will not lessen crime one bit. The only thing additional gun control will accomplish is providing criminals with more targets by making it easier for them to victimize the rest of us.
To my mind the solution is simple: train and arm every law-abiding, mature, emotionally stable citizen who is willing to own and maintain a firearm. In this way we can make sure there are always more good people with guns than bad ones. Additionally, we should punish severely anyone who uses a gun in a crime, especially if they are a repeat offender.