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. http://i2i.org
Memorial Day Issue.
Table of Contents for this issue
1. US DOJ pushing to allow Secret Searches of homes and businesses.
2. New study by John Lott: Gun storage laws promote violent crime.
3. New Kopel articles: Memorial Day. Columbine. Police militarization. Gun "buybacks."
4. Real Video of Kopel speech at Cato, on Los Angeles police corruption scandal.
5. Misinformed "Moms" "March" report. The true crowd size. Rosie O'Donnell supports guns at pre-school. Armed Grandma foils robbery in Florida. Four good articles. Real Video of Second Amendment Sisters rally.
6. Op-ed Roundup, from the Jewish World Review.
7. With No Obligation to Educate, Schools Turn to Thought Control.
by Linda Gorman. Senior Fellow, Independence Institute. May 16.
1. ***Breaking News:
House Judiciary removes provision authorizing secret searches.
Hidden in the federal bankruptcy reform bill, and the House and Senate "meth" bills is a provision that would allow allfederal government searches to be conducted in secret, so that the person whose home or business was searched would not be notified until months afterward. For searches where no property is taken (e.g., the police copy a computer's entire hard drive), the search victim would neverbe notified. Dave Kopel broke this story on May 18 in his National Review Online column, Fourth Amendment Sneak Attack.
Since then, WorldNet Daily, the Conservative News Service, and About.com (which full cites to the bills, and full quotes of the relevant text) have all picked up the story.
On May 24, the House Judiciary Committee removed the secret searches provision from the House meth bill. Secret searches are still in the Senate meth bill (which has passed the full Senate), and the bankruptcy bill (which has passed both houses, and is expected to come out of the conference committee soon).
2. Major new study by John Lott.
Mandatory gun storage laws sharply increase violent crime,
by reducing the danger that a criminal will face effective resistance.
Whatever safety benefits are achieved by mandatory locks are
vastly outweighed by the increased death, crime, and injury that
are caused by mandatory storage laws.
3. New articles by Dave Kopel.
Analysis of the Columbine Report by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Forthcoming in the June 6 issue of The Weekly Standard.
Will be at the TWS website on or after May 29.
More Than Summer Fare: Some history about the 3-day weekend we should all remember.
National Review Online. May 26, 2000.
Who's Responsible For Columbine?National Review Online, May 25, 2000.
Smash-up Policing: When Law Enforcement Goes Military. National Review, print edition, May 22, 2000.
Fourth Amendment Sneak Attack: Reno's outrageous Secret Searches measure. National Review Online, May 18, 2000.
The Madness of Gun Buybacks. National Review Online, May 15, 2000.
4. Real Video. Dirty Cops and Wrongful Convictions.
May 17, 2000.
A Cato policy forum featuring Washington Police Chief Charles M. Ramsey, NYU Law Professor Jerome Skolnick, and David B. Kopel. The Los Angeles Police Department is currently engulfed in the worst corruption scandal in its history. Police corruption scandals have also erupted in Chicago, Cleveland, and New York. This forum was a discussion about the extent of this problem-and what might be done about it. Kopel is the third of the three speakers.
Watch a replay of the event on RealVideo.
5. Follow-up on Misinformed "Moms" "March"
a. The crowd didn't even meet the organizers' last-minute promise
See the pictures for yourself.
Neal Knox reports that the Washington Metro subway system states that it had about 80,000 extra riders on the day of the MMM rally, compared to a typical Sunday.
Unless you believe that the Washington Metro subway officials are perpetrating a deliberate fraud to thwart gun control, the Metro data is totally incompatible with the MMM's (obviously fraudulent) claim to have attracted 815,000 people.
b. The MMM rally's emcee now supports gun carrying in pre-schools.
At least to protect her own child.
The Stamford (Conn.) Advocate (May 25) reports that "Rosie's bodyguard applies for gun permit." He'll get a permit, too, since Connecticut has "shall issue" licenses for gun carrying.
Excellent stories on O'Donnell's hypocrisy:
"Patsy Get Your Gun: Rosie Needs It. The sophistries of Rosie O'Donnell."
By M. Christine Klein, National Review Online.
c. What happens when ordinary people have the same rights as Rosie O'Donnell's bodyguard?
The so-called "Million" "Mom" "March" website opposes gun ownership for lawful protection. So does the MMM's parent organization, the Bell Campaign. (The Bell Campaign is a "grassroots" organization funded mostly by multi-billionaire George Soros.) Here's the kind of story that you'll never read in the newspaper, if Bell/MMM have their way:
"Shopper cuts holdup short." St. Petersburg Times. May 24, 2000.
d. Opinion pieces about the MMM:
Million Moms and
by Alan W. Bock
Million Mom Mush.
inflated numbers, and bogus stories from media-savvy moms.
by Edmund Walsh. The Weekly Standard.
A Daughter's Regret. Article on Suzanna Gratia Hupp.
Made to measure for the media. May 15, 2000
Mark Steyn, National Post (Canada).
The National Post is one of Canada two major nationwide newspapers.
e. Real mothers take responsibility for protecting children.
of the Second Amendment Sisters rally.
6. Op-ed Roundup. Jewish World Review.
Jewish World Review contains one of the best op-ed archive on the planet. The main website is
From there, you can access the archive for the many outstanding columnists who are featured on the website. Recent columns
on the so-called MMM or the Second Amendment or other Constitutional issues include:
Mona Charen. Moms yes, gun control no. May 17.
Ann Coulter. For womb the bell tolls. May 16.
Ann Coulter. It's sunny today, so we need gun control. April 24.
Larry Elder. Guns and Rosie. May 19. (Quotes from Kopel's Cato Institute monograph "Trust the People: The Case Against Gun Control.")
Don Feder. Sucker moms want your guns. May 8.
Suzanne Fields. Pistol packin' mamas. May 22.
Betsy Hart.To stop gun violence, keep families intact. May 9.
Nat Hentoff. The coverage of Reno's lawless raid. May 8.
David Horowitz. Racial Killings & Gun Control. March 8.
Arianna Huffington. Elian and the drug war. May 8.
Dr. Laura. Parents' neglect leaves too many kids out on a limb. May 12. (Quoting Kopel's article in National Review Online, about the link between fatherlessness and crime.)
David Limbaugh. Don't shoot Eddie Eagle. May 8.
Michelle Malkin. Focus on the real Waco. May 8.
Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder. Guns, hypocrisy and common sense. April 6.
Kathleen Parker. After this school shooting, no easy target for our contempt. March 8.
Debbie Schlussel. Hey, Million Ignorant Moms: Guns are #1 in Feminine Protection. May 12.
Tony Snow. Million Mother Myopia. May 12.
Thomas Sowell. The Million Lies March. May 17.
Jonathan Tobin.Embracing the rhetoric of compassion is not the same as defending Jewish interests. May 19.
Walter Williams. To keep and bear arms. March 29.
Cathy Young. Time to get real about guns. April 19.
7. With No Obligation to Educate, Schools Turn to Thought Control.
by Linda Gorman. Senior Fellow, Independence Institute. May 16.
In case you were ever in doubt, the Colorado Court of Appeals has just made it official. Colorado public schools have no legally enforceable obligation to educate children. According to the court, parents and students cannot sue school districts because they "are not private students enrolled in a private vocational school but, instead, consist of the general public. They have not individually bargained with the school district, nor individually paid for specific educational services. As a result, they cannot assert legal claims for the alleged failure to provide those unbargained-for services."
The Court found that "the contention that the quality of education provided by the school district is inadequate—is not a matter to be properly resolved by the courts." Had various courts not already found legal excuses for taking control of almost every other aspect of school operations, its restraint would be refreshing.
In other words, the state may require that children attend school and that everyone pay school taxes. In return, citizens get to vote for one of the slates of school board candidates offered by the teacher's union.
Though government entities are free to compel people to pay for lousy services over which they have little control, private entities are not. Private vocational schools failing to offer promised classes or hours of instruction can be sued.
Having mastered the art of pretending to educate those required to attend it and having been freed of any responsibility to do otherwise, the Denver Public School System (DPS) is apparently planning to expand into pretending to provide mental, medical, and behavioral health services. To this end, the Center for Human Investment Policy at the University of Colorado Denver was "asked to develop a health/behavioral health needs assessment survey to gather broader input" to determine if "principals, nurses, psychologists, social workers, teachers and parents are in agreement about these issues."
Judging from the loaded questions, DPS officials want the power to pass judgment on the physical, mental, emotional, and social health of individual children and to treat those problems as they see fit.
"What level of health and behavioral health care do you believe your school should provide?" asks question number 7. In addition to "Don't know," one may pick Basic Care, which includes referral for assessment and treatment, Intermediate Care, which adds counseling and care for chronic health problems, or Full Care which includes treatment for general medical and mental health problems and referral to specialists. There is no space for telling DPS elites to stay out of health care delivery until they have mastered the art of delivering reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Note also that mental health and behavioral problems are lumped with medical ones despite the fact that medicine has a scientific basis and most mental and behavioral "health" assessments consist of little more than someone's opinion. The potential for abuse, for drugging the rebels and brainwashing those who disagree, is huge and already beginning to be realized.
According to Jon E. Dougherty writing in WorldNetDaily, Derek Loutzenheiser, a 12-year-old student with an exemplary record in Holland, Michigan, was labeled a potential violence risk when he suggested, in a Social Studies class discussion, that one way to prevent school shootings would be to arm instructors. School officials told his parents that they would not have to involve Social Services if Derek was separated from other students and forced to enter the school's "Mentor" program so that an adult supervisor could monitor his thought processes. Recall that Social Service bureaucrats have the power to declare parents guilty of child abuse until proven innocent, and to take their child from them until parents prove their innocence.
School officials noted that Derek had violated the school's policy of non-violence by fighting back when attacked by three older students and had often spoken favorably about the First and Second Amendments. His parents noted that Derek had refused to sign a "Red Letter" vow of peace written by the principal that asked students to take an oath to turn in their friends for suspicious activity and to never defend themselves if attacked.
In short, Derek had refused to parrot the party line and was judged behaviorally unhealthy. The Soviets pioneered this model by declaring those who disagreed with the government mentally aberrant and imprisoning them in mental institutions until their thinking could be adjusted by psychological conditioning or drugs. As DPS puts it, "schools are where one finds children, so it [sic]is the best place to offer health/behavioral health services," "children need good health to learn, so health/behavioral health is a valid school concern, and "children with health/behavioral health challenges need medical attention in schools to reach their potential."
DPS has a point. Judging from his behavior, Derek has already assimilated the independence and respect for truth characteristic of outstanding Americans. Without medical attention, he never will realize his full potential as a good little citizen in the new world order.
Linda Gorman is a Senior Fellow at the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado. Citations for the sources used in this article are available at
That's all folks!