Second Amendment Project Newsletter, April 3, 2000

About once a month, Dave Kopel produces a free e-mail Newsletter containing short summaries and links to important new research and writing involving the Second Amendment and firearms policy. The newsletter also reports on Kopel's latest writing.

The content of this newsletter is produced by the Second Amendment Project at the Independence Institute, a think tank in Golden, Colorado. The newsletter is electronically distributed by the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, Washington. Thus, the Second Amendment Foundation will be given your e-mail address.

Archive of past issues.

The Second Amendment Project is based at the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado.

Table of Contents for this issue

1. Four new articles by Kopel. Falsehoods from anti-gun advocates; dangers of gun locks (two articles); an open letter to the people of Japan.

2. Unanimous win in the Supreme Court: No "firearms exception" to the Fourth Amendment. Independence Institute & NRA amicus brief.

3. New on the web:
* Photo of Al Gore demonstrating gun safety.
* "Juvenile Murders: Guns the Least of It." From the Christian Science Monitor.
* Analysis of press release from Legal Community Against Gun Violence.

1. New Kopel articles.

"An Army of Gun Lies." Featured on the cover of the April 17 issue of National Review.
This article is on the NR website. The print version of the magazine features two other articles on guns. In one of the articles, John J. Miller details how the abusive government lawsuits have nearly destroyed Colt.

The National Review website, which is updated every weekday, carries one or two short commentaries on firearms topics by Kopel each week. The most recent commentaries are:

Are Gun Locks Like Aspirin Caps?

and, "Dangers of Mandatory Gun Locks."

The National Review site also has a new interview with John Lott.

The May 2000 issue of Liberty magazine includes two items by Kopel:
"An Open Letter to the People of Japan" urges the Japanese people to respect cultural difference--and to remember some lessons from Japanese history--when they think about imposing their values about firearms on the American people. 

Kopel has recently become a Contributing Editor of Liberty, and writes short items for the magazine's "Reflections" section. In the print version of the May issue, Kopel's "The English Eclipse" details how Tony Blair's government frightened the English into staying indoors during the spectacular total eclipse of the sun last August. Kopel suggests that if the English don't even know when it's safe to go outdoors, it should not be surprising that they consider themselves incapable of owning handguns safely.

Liberty magazine is available at high-quality newsstands. Subscription information is at:

2. Unanimous Supreme Court: no "firearms exception" to Fourth Amendment.
In the case of Florida v. J.L., a unanimous Supreme Court rejected the urging of the Florida Attorney General and the Clinton administration to create a "firearms exception" to the Fourth Amendment.

A variety of civil liberties and civil rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Rutherford Institute, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed amicus briefs in favor of the position which the unanimous Court eventually adopted.

Among these briefs was one filed jointly by the National Rifle Association and the Independence Institute. The brief pointed out that peacefully carrying a firearm (the basis for an anonymous tip in the J.L. case) was a common activity in the United States, was recognized as constitutionally protected in various state court decisions, and was not in itself a basis for suspecting criminal behavior.

The Supreme Court decision is at:

The NRA and Independence Institute amicus brief is at:

A Legal Times article quoting Kopel's reaction to the unanimous decision is at:

February article in Legal Times previewing the case, and reporting on the broad amicus coalition.

3. New on the Web

a. Must be seen to be believed:
For definitive proof that the Vice-President is superbly qualified to tell the rest of the nation all about gun safety, follow the link below to the algore2000 website. Observe the second picture on the page. (It looks best if you double-click on it to enlarge it.)
Note that the posting of this picture on the Gore campaign site shows that the Vice-President believes that the photograph enhances his reputation.

b. "Juvenile murders: Guns least of it."
Iain Murray (Statistical Assessment Service)
Christian Science Monitor, March 27, 2000.

c. The "Legal Community Against Violence," consisting of several dozen pro-control professors recently released a public statement. For an analysis of where the professors are right, and where they're wrong, see Ari Armstrong's exposition in his on-line Colorado Freedom Report.

As always, the Independence Institute website contains extensive information on:

Criminal Justice and the Second Amendment: 
The Columbine High School murders:  and
The Waco murders:
The Independence Institute's on-line bookstore. Start your browsing at the Second Amendment section:

That's all folks!

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