Second Amendment Newsletter. May 27, 2003

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.

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

Delivery of this newsletter comes courtesy of the Second Amendment Foundation, in Bellevue, Washington

Please visit Dave Kopel's website, containing articles on the Second Amendment and other freedom topics.

Table of Contents for this issue

1. New by Kopel: Ballistic imaging monograph. Articles on Nazi gun control and on junk lawsuits. Chapter on guns as burglary deterrent in new book.

2. Kopel's Corner: U.K. gun crime "growing like a cancer." British police tells crime victims not to resist. NAACP junk lawsuit jury verdict. Case Western murders and CCW. Guns and women's liberation in Uganda.

3. Reference: DOJ summary of state insta-check laws. New data on BATFE.

4. Politics: Schumer has bodyguard. MMM fires blanks.

5. International: UN endangers Second Amendment. Australia guns bans. Canadian gun registry. Poll shows Britons support armed home defense and CCW; government does not.

6. Terrorism. Lautenberg's claims that terrorists exploit U.S. gun laws.

7. CCW/Self-defense. Licensed carry passes in Minn., faces veto in Missouri. Conn. S. Ct. to rule on guns in cabs. More.

8. "Assault weapon" ban. President's comments, CNN fakery, more.

9. Law: Ninth Circuit splits on 2d Amendment. New scholarship and debate on 2d A. Clayton Cramer shows early militia statutes in R.I. requiring gun ownership, and in Georgia trying to disarm French Catholic immigrants. NJ outlaws gun ownership for some old misdemeanor convictions.

10. Junk Lawsuits. Analysis of NAACP case.

11. Culture and Media. Disney drops Michael Moore's new movie. Media coverage of gun accidents.


1. New by Kopel

Ballistic Imaging: Not Ready for Prime Time.

National Center for Policy Analysis. Policy backgrounder.

With Sterling Burnett.

Hitler's Control.

The gun control lessons of Nazi history.

National Review Online. May 22, 2003.

With Richard Griffiths

Ban lawsuits that hurt legal gun industry

Philadelphia Inquirer

May 19, 2003

The British Gun Closet.

The National Review Online

Slowly, the country is learning the hard way.

Chapter on "Guns and Burglars" in

Guns, Crime, and Punishment in America.

Bernard Harcourt, editor. (NYU Press).

2. Kopel's Corner

From the National Review Online weblog

GUNS IN THE U.K. [Dave Kopel]
Gun crime in England is "growing like a cancer", according to a BBC report  on the annual meeting of the Association of Chief Police Officers. England

is discovering that when you destroy the culture of law-abiding gun ownership, the result may not be pacifist utopia, but rather a burgeoning criminal gun culture.


A reader of my article about British government hostility toward the right of self-defense offers some details about how bad things have gotten:

"I'm an alumna of Pepperdine University, a school which proudly owns a house/campus on Exhibition Road, literally across the street from the Imperial University, in the middle of South Kensington, right near Harrods, Hyde Park, the Albert Hall. Within two days of arriving for our first semester in London, our relatively small [American] class (37 students, 10 men, 27 women) was visited by a local police officer to instruct us on living in London. Her first question was to the women, 'How many of you brought mace?' Three girls raised their hands. She told us we couldn't use it, shouldn't even carry it, it was illegal.

"Had any of us brought any other type of weapon, such as a knife? Several of the men in our group indicated that they carried pocket knives. She told us to leave them at home too.

"Then she instructed us on how to properly be a victim. If we were attacked, we were to assume a defensive posture, such as raising our hands to block an attack. The reason was (and she spelled it out in no uncertain terms) that if a witness saw the incident and we were to attempt to defend ourselves by fighting back, the witness would be unable to tell who the aggressor was. However, if we rolled up in a ball, it would be quite clear who the victim was.

"The feeling I got was, in London, it is not permissible to defend oneself. I also understood that this police officer thought Americans were more likely to be aggressive and/or cause more damage to a potential attacker. She was warning us for our own good. I have to admit, she did not make me feel particularly safe."


The jury has reached a verdict in the NAACP suit against the firearms industry. The plaintiffs have failed on every count. Thirty-eight of the industry defendants were unanimously found not liable by the 12-person jury. Seven other defendants were found not liable by 10 or 11 members of the jury. For 23 other defendants, the jury could not reach a verdict. The jury is an "advisory jury," and Brooklyn federal judge Jack Weinstein is free to accept or reject any of the jury's findings within the next 30 days.

In the Seton Hall Legislative Journal,

I argued that the Second Amendment should be protected from abusive lawsuits just as the First Amendment is protected from libel lawsuits which might interfere with a free press.


Last Friday, a man who was an advocate of severe gun control and was also an opponent of the war in Iraq perpetrated a mass shooting at Case Western University, in Ohio. Below are some thoughts about this crime from Keith J. Barton, who is director of information and technology at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His words are excerpted from a private discussion group on firearms law and policy.

Mr. Barton gave me permission to post these on The Corner:

"I hope you will indulge me in a little discussion of an emotional issue. You see, I was just affected by a mass public shooting. Although I was  not in the building with the shooter, I was in the Law School, which is the closest building and literally just a few feet away from the Peter B. Lewis building where a shooting took place Friday. Consequently, I was at first restricted to certain areas of the building, and then later evacuated (certainly not as affected as those in the Peter B. Lewis building).

"The first things I thought of (being completely open and honest here - in temporal order) as I learned of the events unfolding next door was

1) to be angry that Ohioans are not allowed to carry concealed firearms,

2) I was grateful the shooter did not choose the Law School, and

3) I was saddened that someone was emotionally disturbed enough to do this.

I am not suggesting a non-law enforcement person with a concealed firearm should have searched the building to stop the shooter in this situation. I cannot accurately say what I would have done had I been in the building next door instead of where I was. But I can say I believe the shooter would not have been at large for 7 hours had one or more persons been carrying a concealed firearm and had known how to use it. Many will say, and have said already, in response to this incident that this is the best argument for more restrictive firearm regulations.

I realize not everyone is comfortable around firearms. I also realize my experience may be a little different than the average person: I was a primary marksmanship instructor in the Marine Corps.

I personally believe this is an argument for allowing concealed carry. I would feel much safer knowing I have the tools with which to protect myself and those immediately around me should I ever have the need to do so."


The Financial Times reports on the connection between firearms and equal rights in Uganda:

"Women who carry guns and fight for their country do not voluntarily head back to the kitchen, says a leading member of Uganda's administration. This is one explanation for the change in female fortunes since the National Resistance Army seized power in 1986 with the help of women fighting and collaborating in other vital ways to military victory. Since then, women have achieved a status in Uganda unrivalled in much of Africa."

William Wallis, "Freedom Fighters Win Political Clout, Financial Times, 15 April 2003.

3. Reference

Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of State Procedures Related to Firearm Sales

U.S. Department Of Justice

Access to downloadable copies of an overview of firearm check procedures in each State and State interaction with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) operated by the FBI.


Trak's Public ATF Web Site


This is an independent group providing data the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

4. Politics

Gun Controller Schumer Has Armed Bodyguard

By Carl Limbaucher and the NewsMax Com Staff


Wednesday, May 14, 2003

A New Political Climate for Guns

By Jo-Ann Moriarty

Newhouse News Service

The Million Mom March has not realized its objectives.


5. International

"The United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons - An Encroachment on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?"

Daniel B. Pickard

The Federalist Society

The UN's interest in controlling international trade in arms endangers a fundamental U.S. civil right.

Laws crack down on handguns

The Sunday Mail

13 may 03,5936,6428866%5E421,00.hml

The government of the Australian state of Queensland abrogates the ability of Australians to defend themselves with firearms. Police use espionage for enforcement.

Australian Institute of Criminology

National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP)

Annual Report 2001-2002

Only a small portion of Australia's firearms-related homicides involved legally-owned firearms.

Liberals shut down debate on firearms registry

The Globe and Mail


The governing Liberal party in Canada's parliament has invoked 'arcane and convoluted' measures to prevent reform of the over-budget and Canadian firearms registry.

Lobbyist predicts end to Canadian gun registry

By John Campbell

April 2003

The Independent On-Line

Even Liberal members of Canada's parliament doubt that the National Gun Registry will persist in its current form.

This is an advocacy press release.

The Uncovered Poll

The Observer

April 27, 2003,13260,942118,00.html

The attitudes of British subjects toward crime and firearms continue to shift as the amount of lawlessness in Great Britain steadily increases in the aftermath of firearms confiscation.

Countryside Uprising

James Swan

ESPN Outdoors

May 2003

The destruction of British recreational shooting traditions.

A Free Country

By Stephen Robinson

The Daily Telegraph

May 5, 2003

Columnist doubts the efficacy of a recent firearms turn-in amnesty promoted by Her Majesty's Home Office.

Government lawyers say burglars 'need protection'

By Robert Verkaik

The Independent

05 May 2003

Government lawyers trying to keep the Norfolk farmer Tony Martin behind bars informed a British High Court judge that burglars are members of the public who must be protected from violent householders.

Uk Man Spared Jail For Shooting Burglar

By Paul Stokes

The Daily Telegraph

May 2, 2003

British judge rules that such is the climate of fear in rural Briton that a homeowner who injured a drunken teenager with an air rifle should be spared hard jail time.


6. Terrorism

'Hail Mary' anti-gun report 'misleading'

By Jon Dougherty

World Net Daily

May 22, 2003

Senator Frank Lautenberg's charge that international terrorists take advantage of U.S. Constitutional liberties is drawing heavy fire as a political canard.


7. Concealed Carry/Self-Defense

Taking up arms

By Lisa Donovan

Pioneer Press

May. 18, 2003

A reporter undergoes a day of the training required by Minnesota's Concealed Carry legislation.

Smoking gun is eye-opener for novice shooter

By Lisa Donovan

Pioneer Press/

May. 18, 2003

Ms. Donovan's personal reaction to the mores and mechanics of personal defense with a firearm.

Alaska: Big Lake Pastor Kills 2 Men Robbing Chapel, Troopers Say

By Zaz Hollander

Anchorage Daily News

April 25, 2003

A church pastor shot with a pistol and killed two men he caught burglarizing his small chapel in Big Lake, Alaska, to the locals' applause.

State court to rule on guns in cabs

By William Kaempffer

New Haven Register


Connecticut's State Supreme court has asserted jurisdiction on a case involving the carrying of weapons for self-defense by unlicensed (to carry) cab drivers.

Concealed weapons bill sent to anti-gun governor

By David A. Lieb

Jefferson City News Tribune/Associated Press


Missouri governor says he will veto a concealed-carry bill passed by the Missouri State Legislature.

There are no gun-free, safe zones

By John R. Lott Jr.

Cleveland Plain Dealer


People who desire to murder their fellow men do not scruple to violate 'Gun Free Zone' legislation in the vicinity of schools and other areas.


8. "Assault Weapon" Ban

President Bush's Position On Extending The Assault Weapons Ban

Remarks by Ari Fleischer

The White House

May 8, 2003

President's support for extending the ban is less positive than some accounts would indicate.

Assault Weapon Ban Enhancement Act of 2003 (Introduced in House)

The United States House of Representatives: 108th CONGRESS

Flagship bill to broaden gun ban.


The Media Research Council

May 22, 2003

CNN faked weapons demonstration.

CNN rapped over gun segment

By Robert Stacy McCain

Washington Times

May 20, 2003

A full news story on the 'shattering' scandal of the CNN report.

Ban Aid: The Real Point Of The "Assault Weapon" Law

Jacob Sullum



Analysis of the Violence Policy Center's true motives and methodology in advancing this legislation, now and a decade ago.


9. Law

Silviera vs. Lockyer,

Dissents by Judges Pregerson, Kozinski, Kleinfeld, and Gould

9th Circuit Court of Appeals

May 6, 2003

These are the four dissents by the Judges who disagreed with this court's refusal to re-hear this case challenging California's 'Assault Weapon' legislation. Kopel cited briefly in Kozinski dissent.

Dissents In Ninth Circuit Second Amendment Case

Eugene Volokh

The Volokh Conspiracy

May 10, 2003

UCLA law professor analyzes the dissents cited above.

Constitutional Structure And The Second Amendment:

A Defense Of The Individual Right To Keep And Bear Arms,

Christopher Chrisman

Arizona Law Review 43, No. 2 (2001)


Chrisman suggests that the belief that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right is more soundly rooted than critics might charge.

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

By H Richard Uviller & William G. Merkel

Hot Topics: History News Network


Authors argue that the 2nd Amendment is irrelevant to the ownership of firearms in the United States.

Right To Bear Arms

Ray Suarez, Professors Robert Cottrol; Jack Rakove; Saul Cornell

and Joyce Malcolm

NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcript

May 8, 2002

The text of a discussion between PBS Interviewer Ray Suarez and some professors upon the original intent of the 2nd Amendment.

The Real Threat to Second Amendment Values Isn't the Assault Weapon Ban:

It's Rumsfeld's Standing Army

By Michael C. Dorf

FindLaw's Legal Commentaries

Law professor Michael Dorf argues that the current emphasis on a professional military is the greatest contemporary threat to the Founders' concept of an armed citizen militia.

Rhode Island militia statutes of 1699 and 1718

Clayton C. Cramer

The debunker of Michael Bellesiles's 'Arming America' points out that both these statutes required gun ownership by just about all males from ages 16 to 60.

Georgia Statutes on the Acadians

Clayton C. Cramer

Cramer details laws passed to disarm and prevent French-Canadian  Catholics from practicing their religion in the colony.

NJ: Warning! McGreevey Has Signed A Retroactive Gun Law

Evan F. Nappen

Law Update Gun Book


The Governor of New Jersey has signed legislation requiring previously legal-gun owners to turn in their Firearms Purchaser Cards within four days of his signature.


10. Junk Lawsuits

Jury: Gun Industry Not Cause of Violence

By Tom Hays

Associated Press

May 14, 2003


A federal jury found forty-five firearms manufacturers and distributors not guilty in a suit brought by the NAACP alleging that they were the cause of violence in minority communities. The Judge in the suit will have the final say in the case.

No Smoking Gun

By Katherine Mangu-Ward

The Weekly Standard

May 8, 2003


Analysis of the decision covered above and the NAACP's efforts against the lawful manufacture and sale of firearms.


11. Culture and Media

'Guns & Mothers' Premieres on PBS

By Ari Armstrong

The Colorado Freedom Report

May 5, 2003

PBS presents here a fairly balanced accounts of two women involved on opposite sides of the current debate over the right to keep and bear arms.

Disney reportedly drops Moore's anti-Bush project

May 14, 2003

John Alvarez of Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood (PABAAH), has reported to Hollywood Halfwits ( ) that Disney has dropped its interest in the Michael Moore project titled 'Fahrenheit 911.'

Denver Post Pushes Agenda of Anti-Gun Lobby

By Ari Armstrong

May 12, 2003

Colorado Freedom Report
Mr. Armstrong analyzes some advocacy by Jim Spencer, the Denver Post's new left-of-center opinion columnist, of safe storage laws, in light of some recent sad events. Mr. Armstrong points out that laws with the effects Mr. Spencer claims to desire are currently in force.

I am a Subject, Not a Citizen (But You Should See Me With a Gun)

By Marni Soupcoff

American Enterprise Online


A Canadian in the United States describes her experiences during a visit to a shooting range.

This newsletter was laid out by Dr. Rob S. Rice, no relation to Quarterback.

Dr. Rich is a historian, writer and factotum of matters electronic to David Kopel.

Al Qaeda delenda est!

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