Second Amendment Newsletter. July 8, 2005

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 Newsletter. July 8, 2005.
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: Resisting Genocide, New McCarthyism
2. Blogging by Kopel: Extended exposition of new Florida self-defense law. Genocide in Zimbabwe. Court cases from Indiana, Florida, and West Virginia.
3. International: Canada; New Zealand; Papua, New Guinea; United Kingdom; Switzerland; Liberia; The Philippines; South Africa; NGO's
4. Terrorism: Weapons Immersion
5. Culture: Censoring Gun Ads; OWAA Board of Directors Apologizes; Ithaca Gun Forced to Close
6. Politics: House Votes to Repeal D.C. Gun Restriction; Gun Ownership Becomes Issue For Democrats; Wisconsin CCW
7. Law: Oregon v. Hirsch; Grunow vs. Valor Corporation, Orion Right-To-Hunt Case Decision
8. Research: Families Afield; Cost of Firearm Deaths

1. New by Kopel
"Is Resisting Genocide a Human Right?"
Dave Kopel, Paul Gallant, and Joanne D. Eisen
Working Paper, June 2005, in PDF Format.
(PDF format requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Dave here conducts an in-depth study of the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and also discussing other genocides, in this article detailing the inadequacy of many of the international community's response to genocides, such as "targeted sanctions" or international peacekeeping forces. Dave examines international legal authorities such as the Genocide Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Court of Justice. The article demonstrates that groups which are being subjected to genocide have a legal right of self-defense. International treaties, Security Council arms embargoes, or national gun control laws cannot lawfully be enforced in a manner which prevents self-defense resistance to a genocide in progress, because under international law, the prohibition against any form of complicity in genocide takes legal precedence over lesser laws.

"The New McCarthyism: Restricting Constitutional Rights Based on Mere Suspicion."
Dave Kopel
Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder, June 2005, in PDF Format
(PDF format requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Dave's analysis of proposals to use the "no-fly list" or other suspicion-based lists as a basis for prohibiting the exercise of Second Amendment rights.

2. Blogging by Kopel
Daves's blog entries can be accessed online off Kopel's Corner at:
Thoughts and Toasts for Undiminished Devotion on Independence Day
David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
July 1, 2005 at 11:34am

During this weekend, take some time to remind yourself, and perhaps to teach some younger people, about the blessings of liberty in the United States of America. The Battle of Gettysburg took place this weekend in 1863, so it is certainly appropriate to remember the many heroes of that battle, including Winfield Scott Hancock, whose bravery may have saved the Union during Pickett's charge.

I've long supported reviving the custom of offering 13 patriotic toasts at Independence Day parties. This article collects some of the historic toasts; I've enabled comments so that people can supply some modern toasts. And of course practicing the responsible use of firearms is an excellent way to honor the anniversary of our revolutionary independence, all the better if you can instruct or introduce someone else to responsible gun use. You may also choose to read, or re-read, the words of our Founders. Teaching your children about the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence will help them understand the meaning of the day, and the meaning of their nation.

A few days before Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826--the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence he could see that the revolution he had helped to spark was burning throughout the world. He wrote:

"All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are the grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them..."
Zimbabwe Tyranny Confiscates Guns
David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
June 30, 2005 at 10:49am

The ZWNews website reports that the Mugabe dictatorship has ordered a new round of gun confiscation:
"Police at the weekend said they were revoking licences for all automatic rifles and some types of pistols and said civilians owning such weapons had until today to surrender them....

"But sources at police headquarters in Harare said the move was just precautionary to ensure such weapons could not be used by civilians should tension gripping Zimbabwe in the wake of the government's clean-up exercise erupt into public violence. "The ban is targeted at all automatic weapons which the government fears could pose a security threat in the country should the civil strife in Zimbabwe turn violent," said a source, who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation. This is not the first time that the government has cancelled firearm licences. At the peak of its chaotic and often violent farm seizure programme in 2000, the government issued a decree compelling civilians to surrender their guns. The move was targeted at white commercial farmers who at that time held a number of assault guns for self-protection. Zimbabwe's security forces have been on high alert since the government launched a "clean-up" campaign last month that has left close to a million people without shelter after their shanty homes were demolished."

As I detailed in a 2001 article, Zimbabwe's dictatorship has a long practice of using gun controls, many of which were inherited from British colonial rule, to ensure that victims of its barbaric abuses of human rights are unable to resist. The International Association of Genocide Scholars, in a June 7 statement, warned that the Mugabe government was again on the path to mass murder.

Perhaps the most effective foreign aid which should be sent to the people of Zimbabwe would be millions of
rifles, so that the people would no longer be defenseless against the depredations of one of the most evil governments
in all of African history.

W.V. Court Vindicates Self-defense Right for Employees
David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
June 11, 2005 at 10:11am

In the 2001 case of Feliciano v. 7-Eleven, a masked woman with a gun attempted to rob the 7-Eleven where Feliciano worked. While the robber was distracted by another employee, Feliciano grabbed her gun, and held her captive until the police arrived. "Following this incident, 7-Eleven terminated Feliciano, who was an at will employee, for failure to comply with its company policy which prohibits employees from subduing or otherwise interfering with a store robbery."

The West Virginia Supreme Court cited numerous precedents showing that the right of self-defense is very well-established and substantial public policy. Accordingly:

"We hold that when an at will employee has been discharged from his/her employment based upon his/her exercise of self-defense in response to lethal imminent danger, such right of self-defense constitutes a substantial public policy exception to the at will employment doctrine and will sustain a cause of action for wrongful discharge. Consistent with our prior precedent, we hold further that an employer may rebut an employee's prima facie case of wrongful discharge resulting from the employee's use of self-defense in response to lethal imminent danger by demonstrating that it had a plausible and legitimate business reason to justify the discharge."

Zimbabwe Democide Facilitated by Victim Disarmament:
The Volokh Conspiracy
David Kopel
June 3, 2005 at 12:07pm

StrategyPage, the world's best public website for military analysis, warns that "Zimbabwe is about ready to explode in a nightmare mass murder." StrategyPage calls the killings "democide"a word invented by University of Hawaii political scientist R.J. Rummel for mass killings. ("Genocide," a word invented during World War II, more narrowly refers to mass killings aimed a particular ethnic or religious group. The Pol Pot killings in Cambodia would technically be "democide" rather than "genocide", since the Khmer Rouge killed Cambodians without regard to their ethnicity.)
As with many previous democides, the democide in Zimbabwe is being perpetrated with a government-induced famine, in which food aid is directed only to government loyalists, and the "black market" in food is suppressed.

StrategyPage explains why the Mugabe tyranny is able to perpetrate democide: "There hasn't been any revolution so far because the potential rebels cannot get guns. No one is willing to arm the dissatisfied majority... The government seems determined to starve its enemies to death, secure in the knowledge that the victims are unarmed, and the government forces have lots of guns."

Back in 2001, Paul Gallant, Joanne Eisen, and I warned that Zimbabwe was "ripe for genocide." We also detailed how the Mugabe tyranny has used gun licensing and registration laws, inherited from British colonial times, to disarm the people of Zimbabwe, leaving them helpless against government-controlled gangs of young thugs.

In a 2002 article in the Rocky Mountain News, I noted the American media's extremely inadequate coverage of Zimbabwe, including the failure to report on an explicit statement by the ruling party (Zanu-PF) about the advantage of getting rid of half of the country's population.

The international community's response to the highly visible democide in Zimbabwe has been even more ineffectual and tepid than the response to the highly visible genocide in Darfur, Sudan. One reason is that the Mugabe dictatorship retains the support of South African President Mbeki. Likewise, the dictators who run most of sub-Saharan Africa strongly oppose creating a precedent of international intervention against mass-murdering African tyrants.

But if the people of Zimbabwe had not been disarmed under the pretext of "gun safety", they would be able to help themselves. A revolution would not be guaranteed to succeed, but fighting to live is much better than helplessly starving to death.

After the Holocaust, the international community said "Never again." Yet in Zimbabwe, as in so many other nations in the last 60 years, the combination of citizen disarmament and international indifference has made democide a reality again and again and again.

An excellent daily news source about Zimbabwe is the ZWNews website, which also offers a free daily e-mail update. The courageous Zimbabwe Independent is still publishing a web edition.

Abusive Anti-gun Lawsuit Rejected by Florida Appeals Court:
David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
June 2, 2005 at 12:06pm

Yesterday the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's entry of a judgment against the plaintiff in Grunow v. Valor. The case involved a lawsuit against the wholesaler of a small, old handgun which was stolen by a 13-year-old and used to murder a public school teacher. The plaintiff (the teacher's widow) had argued that the wholesaler was liable because the gun was defective, although, as I detailed in a 2002 article, the plaintiff's theory would mean that almost all handguns are "defective." After a jury found the wholesaler 5% liable for the homicide, the trial court entered a judgment n.o.v., because the jury verdict was inconsistent. The intermediate court of appeals ruled that the verdict was not inconsistent, but that judgment against the plaintiff was proper, because well-established Florida precedent made it clear that there was no theory of negligence by which the wholesaler was liable. The manufacturer, Raven Arms, was not sued, because it is out of business.

Banning Kitchen Knives:
David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 27, 2005 at 10:19am

An editorial in the May 28 issue of the prestigious British Medical Journal calls for banning the sale of kitchen knives, in order to reduce fatal stabbings. My 1999 article "All the Way Down the Slippery Slope: Gun Prohibition in England and Some Lessons for Civil Liberties in America," details some of the U.K.'s prior knife controls, including the ban on carrying any bladed instrument of defensive purposes (such carrying makes the knife an "offensive weapon" under the law), and the criminal prison term imposed on a man who carried a small knife for his job cutting newspaper bundles.

UPDATE: This seems a good opportunity to tout Bernard Levine's excellent website on U.S. knife laws. He offers the full text of all state and federal laws, plus many articles on knife history and policy. The laws of many states are much more severe than many people realize, and include bans on the possession of some types of knives, as well as bans on carrying.

Gun Prohibition One Country at a Time
David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 25, 2005 at 4:12pm 

In 1924, after Lenin's death, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union introduced the concept of "socialism in one country." Recognizing that the hoped-for Communist revolutions elsewhere in Europe would not take place, the Soviet Communists set about building their version of "socialism," and then adding other nations to their "socialist" sphere of hegemony whenever possible. Today, many international gun prohibition advocates have recognized that, even though world-wide gun prohibition is not achievable in the near future, gun prohibition can be advanced in individual nations

Single-country (or single-region) gun prohibition is called "micro-disarmament." Success stories of micro-disarmament are a very important part of international gun prohibition advocacy. In "Microdisarmament: The Consequences for Public Safety and Human Rights," my co-authors Paul Gallant, Joanne Eisen, and I examine six case studies of microdisarmament. In three of those cases Albania, Bougainville, and Cambodia microdisarmament has seriously harmed human rights. Limited disarmament in rural Guatemala was followed by a crime wave, but it is not clear that the former caused the latter. In San Miguelito, Panamana, there was a successful program to convince youthful gangsters to surrender their guns, in exchange for participation in a government jobs program. In Mali, northern tribes rebelled against the corrupt central government which starved and oppressed them. After the central kleptocracy was replaced with a democratic government, the new government recognized that the northern rebellion could not be violently defeated; when the new government agreed to respect the rights of the northern tribes, the northern tribes laid down their arms. In Mali, disarmament was not the cause of peace, but rather the result of a successful war for indigenous self-determination.

The Microdisarmament article will appear in a forthcoming symposium on firearms policy in the UMKC Law Review. The PDF version available on the web at:  (PDF format requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Alphecca's Excellent News Round-up
David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 24, 2005 at 1:33pm

Alphecca, a self-described "gay gun nut in Vermont" compiles a weekly news collection of stories on firearms rights and media bias thereon.
Today's compilation is especially interesting. It includes:
* An Illinois bill, which may become law over the Governor's veto, that would close the so-called "gun show loophole" and abolish state police record-keeping on firearms transactions by law-abiding gun owners.
* The Stonewall Second Amendment Society, a Utah gay gun rights groups which is fighting some anti-diversity bigots who want to keep the group from marching in Salt Lake City's gay rights parade.
* The full text of Secretary Rice's recent explanation of her adamant support for the Second Amendment and NPR's analysis thereof. And there's much, much more. If you're interested in lively blogging on Second Amendment issues, Alphecca is an outstanding site at:

Florida's New Self-Defense Law
David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 19, 2005 at 11:24am

Florida Governor Jeb Bush recently signed Senate Bill 436, which expands and clarifies Floridians' self-defense rights against violent attackers. The bill was the creation of former NRA President Marion Hammer, who is also head of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, the state's major pro-gun group. The NRA has announced that it plans to take SB 436 national, and urge other states to adopt similar measures.

Previous Florida programs created by Marion Hammer have done very well in other states. In 1988, her lobbying led Florida to enact "Shall Issue" concealed handgun licensing legislation-so that any law-abiding adult with a clean record and who passes a safety training class may obtain a permit to carry a handgun for lawful protection. Before 1988, only a handful of states had Shall Issue laws; now, only a little more than a dozen states do not have such laws.

Similarly, Hammer invented the "Eddie Eagle" gun safety program, which trains elementary school-age children not to touch a gun unless they are being supervised by a responsible adult. Eddie Eagle has been taught to millions of children, has won an award from the National Safety Council, and has been lauded by state legislature and city councils all over America.

So Florida-style self-defense rights may be coming to your state soon. Opponents of the law have made dire predictions about turning Florida into "the Wild West." Similar predictions were made about the Shall Issue law, and those predictions did not come true. If you read the actual text of the Florida law, it becomes clear that the new law simply codifies common-sense principles of self-defense, including the principle that violent criminals, not innocent victims, should be the ones at risk during a violent crime.
Let's start with the Preamble:

WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that it is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families, and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others, and WHEREAS, the castle doctrine is a common-law doctrine of ancient origins which declares that a person's home is his or her castle, and WHEREAS, Section 8 of Article I of the State Constitution guarantees the right of the people to bear arms in defense of themselves, and WHEREAS, the persons residing in or visiting this state have a right to expect to remain unmolested within their homes or vehicles, and WHEREAS, no person or victim of crime should be required to surrender his or her personal safety to a criminal, nor should a person or victim be required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or attack, NOW, THEREFORE, Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Few people could disagree with the statements in the Preamble, which simply affirm existing rights, including the rights of innocent people not to be attacked.

The operative part of the law begins by setting forth the standard for use of deadly force against an attack in one's home or one's automobile:
Section 1. Section 776.013, Florida Statutes, is created to read:
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.

(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person's will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

In other words, a person may use deadly force against someone who unlawfully and forcefully enters a person's home or vehicle. A victim may also use deadly force against a criminal who attempts to force a person out of her vehicle or home. Thus, if someone kicks down your front door in the middle of the night, or attempts to carjack you, you can use firearm or other deadly weapon to protect yourself. You do not have to worry that a prosecutor might second-guess your decision, and claim that you should have used lesser force against the violent intruder.

The bill makes several exceptions. The right to use deadly force does not apply against someone who has a right to be in the home or car (unless the person is the subject of domestic violence restraining order or a no-contact order). The right does not apply in child custody dispute. Of course the right does not apply if the person trying to enter the home or automobile is an identified police officer acting within the scope of his duties. Similarly, persons who are using the automobile or dwelling to commit a crime are not covered:

(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or (b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or (d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.

Prior Florida law about self-defense allowed defensive deadly force only when the victim believed that no lesser force would suffice. The principle remains in effect in all self-defense situations in Florida, except when the attack takes place in the home or automobile; the legislative judgment was that attacks in a home or vehicle are so outrageous, and so threatening to the social order, that victims should be guaranteed that they will be protected from having their defensive decisions second-guessed in court.

Outside of the home or vehicle, a victim may only use deadly force when it is reasonably believed to be necessary. (So the victim continues to face a risk of prosecutorial second-guessing). However, the new law specifies that victims are not legally obliged to retreat anywhere:

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

So if a gang tries to mug you while you are walking down a dark street, and you draw a gun a shoot one of the gangsters, a prosecutor cannot argue that you should have tried to run away. The prosecutor still can, however, argue that use of deadly force was unnecessary, because the victim could have used lesser force in the particular situation.

The next section of the law makes explicit one of the presumptions of the law-that violent invaders of the home or automobile are presumed to be intending to commit violent crimes after they enter.

(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person's dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

The first section of Florida Act concludes by defining "dwelling" to include a porch which is attached to the dwelling, and to include temporary dwellings, such as camping tent:
(5) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Dwelling" means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
(b) "Residence" means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest. "Vehicle" means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.

The second and third sections of the bill amend existing statutes, to make explicit the absence of an obligation to retreat. (Italicized language is new; strike-through language has been repealed.):
Section 2. Section 776.012, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
776.012 Use of force in defense of person. A person is justified in using the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a the person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat only if:
(a) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or.
(b) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

Section 3. Section 776.031, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
776.031 Use of force in defense of others.A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the such other's trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

The final section of the bill prohibits tort lawsuits against persons who act in conformity with the law. A criminal who sues a crime victim will be liable for the victim's legal expenses. Police officers are not allowed to arrest a victim who defended herself, unless the officers have probable cause to believe the victim violated the laws:
Section 4. Section 776.032, Florida Statutes, is created to read:
776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s.776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

Principled opponents of the Florida law can object to the bill because it allows deadly force against home invaders and carjackers, because crime victims are not required to retreat, or because criminals may not sue crime victims. In the United Kingdom, such objections would carry the day. Earlier this year, the Blair government defeated a move in Parliament to ease Britain's severe restrictions on self-defense in the home, because, in the British government's view, criminals also have a right to be protected against violence. Likewise, the British courts have allowed burglars to sue victims who used force against them.

But in the United States, social attitudes tend to favor the victim's rights over those of the criminal. Most Americans would disagree with the idea that a mugging victim should be sent to prison because he didn't try to flee, or that violent predators ought to be able to sue victims who shoot them.

As the Florida bill is introduced in other states, victims-rights opponents will probably be successful in getting newspapers and television to describe the proposal in very frightening terms. But when legislators and their aides read the actual text of the bill, many legislators will-like their Florida counterparts-conclude that bill is nothing more than some common-sense protections for crime victims.

3. International

Liberals Trying To Export Their Firearm Follies Around The World
Garry Breitkreuz
MP, Conservative Firearms Critic
June 28, 2005


"The Liberals aren't happy just blowing two billion dollars on their failed gun control boondoggle in Canada. No, they won't be satisfied until they export their firearms follies around the world."

New Zealand
BOP dairy owners take up arms
New Zealand Press Association
July 4, 2005,2106,3334477a11,00.html

"Dairy owners are arming themselves with crowbars, baseball bats and machetes to protect themselves from criminals in the Western Bay of Plenty... Some say they are even prepared to have guns to deter intruders."

Papua, New Guinea
"Trouble in Paradise: Small Arms in the Pacific": A Brief Critique
Gary Mauser
Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies
1 June 2005

(PDF format requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
The author faults the reviewed study by noting that the study claimed to emphasize illegally-owned guns in their study, but focused instead on firearms in the possession of the law-abiding.

United Kingdom
Is that a gun on your T-shirt, or are you just alarming us?
Gareth Morgan
The Western Mail
May 27, 2005



A Welsh rock musician was detained at Heathrow for wearing a T-shirt that had a picture of a pistol embossed upon it.

Sinking Feeling over Firing of Cannons
Martin Wainwright
Guardian Unlimited
April 16, 2005,,1461016,00.html

"A flamboyant patriot has ended up with a criminal record and bill for court costs after firing a set of ornamental cannons to celebrate Lord Nelson's birthday."

Scotland in grip of weapons culture'
Michael Howie News
June 16, 2005

"Police want to reduce the availability of blades, citing murders where horrendous' hunting knives have been used... It is not always just knives and other bladed instruments; people are using bottles, glasses, anything they can get their hands on.' - Tom Buchan, the president of the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents."

Pellet Gun Ban Call after Boy Shot
Ashleigh Wallace
Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland)
June 27, 2005


"Following last night's incident, a local councillor said the use of pellet guns should be banned... Sinn Fein's Paul Maskey also urged parents to be more responsible after he revealed he has seen children as young as eight using them." A two year old boy was hit in the head with a pellet from an air pistol, treated, and released.

Swiss Shooters Target Schengen Accord
Thomas Stephens
May 12, 2005

The Swiss, traditionally an armed and free people, are bridling at proposed European Union restrictions upon their acquisition and ownership of firearms.

Battle Rages Against Small Arms
All Africa
The Analyst (Monrovia, Liberia)
June 1, 2005

"The fight against small arms and light weapons has intensified with the executive director of the Center for Peace Education and Democracy (COPEL), Mr. Robert G. Miller, calling on rural dwellers to expose all hidden weapons in their environment..."

The Philippines
GMA Wants Tougher Laws on Firearms Control, Gun Crimes Genalyn D. Kabiling Manila Bulletin (Philippines)
May 15, 2005

"President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday pushed for tougher laws on gun control and stiffer penalties on gun-related crimes as vital measures to stop the surge of violence in the country." President Arroyo is currently facing protesters claiming election fraud and malfeasance in office.

South Africa
Strict Gun Laws May Force Mass Court Action
Mbulelo Baloyi and Willem Steenkamp
Sunday Independent (South Africa)
May 15 2005

"There has been growing anger among gun owners and lobby groups who say new regulations make it virtually impossible for citizens to obtain gun licences..."

Women's Human Rights: The Impact Of Guns on Women's Lives
Amnesty International
Press Release

Amnesty International concludes that women will be safer against violence if small arms are restricted and global sensitivity training instituted.

No Relief: Surveying the Effects of Gun Violence on Humanitarian and Development Personnel
The Line of Fire Project
Press Release


The report concluded that international aid workers will be safer after global regulation of firearms under the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms. The report is available in English at

The study was part of the In the Line of Fire' project, a joint initiative by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and the Small Arms Survey, supported over 2004-5 by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). For more information on this project, visit

Interpol's Involvement in The Fight against International Terrorism
Fact Sheet

Interpol describes its on activities involving terrorism, firearms and explosives, attacks and threats against civil aviation, maritime piracy, and weapons of mass destruction.

4. Terrorism

Weapons Immersion: Army Wants Soldiers to Get Used to Guns
Chuck Crumbo
TheState.Com, South Carolina's Home Page
May. 31, 2005

Fort Jackson recruits now are given guns much earlier in basic training and carry them almost 24/7 in order to increase their familiarity with weapons in time of war. The same purpose was exactly the raison d'etre for the founding of the National Rifle Association by former Union Generals after the American Civil War.

5. Culture

Anti-gun Lobby Censoring Gun Ads
Carl Limbacher and Staff
Thursday, June 9, 2005

Eight daily newspapers in the Midwest have joined the growing list of papers that will no longer accept classified ads for firearms from unlicensed sellers. Anti-firearms groups call those The newspaper loophole.'

OWAA Board of Directors Apologizes to Membership
Press Release
June 28, 2005

The Outdoor Writers Association of America's (OWAA) board of directors apologized June 17 to its members for the upheaval caused by sending a letter last July to former National Rifle Association President Kayne Robinson. The board has also offered members who either resigned or did not renew their 2005 memberships the opportunity to reinstate their memberships without application, late charges, or reinstatement fees through August 31, 2005. The offer extends to all former members in good standing in 2004, including life, individual and supporting members.

Ithaca Gun Forced to Close Its Doors: Company Owes Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars In Debt.
The Post Standard/Herald-Journal (NY)
June 22, 2005


"Mired in debt and struggling to compete, the Ithaca Gun Co. has ended production after more than a century in business."

6. Politics

House Votes to Repeal D.C. Gun Restriction; Measure Would Curb
Law That Requires Arms Kept at Home to Be Nonoperating
Spencer S. Hsu
The Washington Post
July 1, 2005

"The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly yesterday to repeal one of the District's gun restrictions, prohibiting the city from spending funds to enforce a law that requires any firearms kept at home to be unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock."

Gun Ownership Becomes Issue For Democrats
June 24, 2005

"A group of rural Democrats is hoping state Democrats will agree to add more explicit support of the right to bear arms to the official party platform..."

Concealed-gun bill back on the table: Senator proposes revisions of plan vetoed Patrick Marley
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) News
June 21, 2005

"A renewed push to allow Wisconsin residents to carry concealed guns would have private companies and law enforcement organizations issue permits instead of county sheriffs."

7. Law

Oregon v. Hirsch
Oregon Supreme Court
June 23, 2005

The court unanimously found Oregon's felon-in-possession law not to be unconstitutionally vague. The court also affirmed that the Oregon Constitution guarantees an individual right to defensive arms.
The opinion cites Kopel, and many other 2d Amendment scholars.

Barry Grunow vs. Valor Corporation of Florida
Florida 4th District Court of Appeal
January Term, 2005 (PDF format requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Here is the Florida 4th District Court of Appeal's opinion in the Pamela Grunow, widow of school teacher Barry Grunow vs. Valor Corporation of Florida case.
Barry Grunow was shot by student Nathan Brazill. Grunow's widow has sued the firearms distributor and lost. She appealed. The 4th DCA just ruled against her in the appeal.
The court said: "We certainly sympathize with Grunow and recognize the tragedy of the events that transpired. However, it was Brazill, his grandfather, and perhaps the school that were liable, not Valor."

The Orion Right-To-Hunt Case Decision
James A. Swan
ESPN Outdoors


"Many states are passing right to hunt constitutional amendments. The first court decision on the amendment shows that this is the beginning of a long legal process to determine just what this law means."

8. Research

Families Afield
Press Release
National Shooting Sports Foundation

"Families Afield, an outreach initiative developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation and the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, is based on a shared and strong conviction that parents, not politics, should decide when their children are mature enough for hunting."

Insurance, Life Expectancy and the Cost of Firearm Deaths in the U.S.
Wharton Department of Insurance and Risk Management
June 15, 2005

While the U.S. operates the most expensive health care system in the world, its citizens are neither healthier nor live longer than citizens in other countries. Jean Lemaire, professor of insurance and actuarial science at Wharton, argues that the elimination of firearms deaths in the United States would add more to overall male life expectancy than the elimination of prostate cancer. Lemaire is uncertain as to what to do with his data.

This newsletter is compiled with help from Dr. Rob S. Rice. Dr. Rice, who teaches on the street at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, is also a poet, writer and factotum of matters electronic to Dave Kopel.

Al Qaeda delenda est!
Our sympathies to the British people. If Hitler couldn't subdue London, the likes of Al Qaeda can't do it.

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