November 23, 2007

• Primer and FAQ’s on the Second Amendment

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 12:49 am by Rid

The following is information regarding support of the Second Amendment. The information was compiled by:

The Second Amendment Foundation Online

A Quick Primer on the Second Amendment

    • There are 129 million privately owned firearms in the United States according to the September, 1997 FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.
    • There are an estimated 65 million handguns in private circulation in the United States. (FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 9/1997)
    • The fastest growing group of gun owners is women, according to Gary Kleck in Targeting Guns.
    • Firearms are used defensively roughly 2.5 million times per year, more than four times as many as criminal uses. This amounts to 2,575 lives protected for every life lost to a gun (Targeting Guns).
    • The accidental firearm death rate is at it’s lowest point since records were started nearly 100 years ago according to Injury Facts 2000 from the national Safety Council.
    • Motor-vehicle accidents, drowning, suffocation, and fires each kill more children under the age of fifteen than do firearms.
    • Less than one handgun in 6,500 is ever used in a homicide.
  • The Second Amendment
    1. Is gun ownership a civil right?
    2. How did the 2nd Amendment come to be?
    3. What was the intent of the 2nd Amendment?

    How does the 2nd Amendment apply to modern-day?
    4. Who should have the “right to bear arms?”
    5. What is the militia?

    Facts and Statistics
    6. Refuting statistics
    7. How many gun laws are there?

    Gun Control
    8. What is a policy of “no interference?”
    9. What is the “Brady Law?”
    10. What is gun control like in other countries?
    11. How do movies/media influence attitudes?
    12. How big of a threat is gun control?
    13. How can people protect themselves from government intervention?
    14. Should guns be banned?

    About Guns
    15. What kind of illegal guns are being sold?
    16. Why do people sell guns?
    17. What are trigger locks?
    18. What are machine guns?
    19. Why do people want guns?
    20. What kind of guns are legal?
    21. What are “assault weapons?”
    22. What makes a gun automatic or semi-automatic?
    23. Are hunting rifles better?

    Gun Laws and Crime
    24. How can gun deaths be prevented?
    25. Who has the right to self-defense?
    26. Is it safe to have a gun in your house?
    27. Where can people have guns?
    28. What is self-defense?
    29. Should people be allowed to have “hidden guns?”
    30. What is the “gun-show loophole?”
    31. Has the U.S. Supreme Court ever ruled on the Second Amendment?
    32. What about children and guns?
    33. What do police officers think?

    34. Contact information for gun groups
    35. Web references
    36. Recommended Reading

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Is gun ownership a “civil right?”

    World Net, from Princeton University, defines a “Civil Right” as a right or rights belonging to a person by reason of citizenship including especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th amendments and subsequent acts of congress including the right to legal, social and economic equality. This makes gun ownership as much of a civil right as freedom of speech, religion and freedom of the press.

    2. How did the 2nd amendment come to be?

    When the U.S. Constitution was written, there was much debate over whether or not to include a specific bill of rights. Many people at the time believed that if the government made a list of protected rights, then all rights that were not on the list would be trampled. Others felt that it was necessary to include specific freedoms to keep them from being taken away by an overactive federal government. Still others felt that we needed to trust our government to lead us, and not shackle them with things they could and could not do.

    Originally, the Constitution was approved without a Bill of Rights, then sent to the states for ratification. Many of the states, however, did not approve of a Constitution that did not guarantee the protection of certain rights and freedoms. So, in the process of ratification, many of the states voted for the constitution while specifically listing rights they felt should be included by amendment. Among these rights were freedom of religion, speech, and the right to keep and bear arms.

    James Madison was largely in charge of drafting the original Bill of Rights. He looked over a very large list of proposed amendments which had been recommended by various states, then he narrowed them down. He submitted them to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, where they passed ten of them, and those ten became known as the Bill of Rights. This story is well told in Stephen P. Halbrooks book “That Every Man Be Armed.”

    According to the writings cited in “That Every Man Be Armed.”
    “Mr. Madison has introduced long-expected amendments…It contains a bill of rights…the right of the people to bear arms.” -Trench Coxe (p. 76).

    3. What was the intent of the Second Amendment?

    The intent of these amendments was to protect individuals from government powers. They were meant as a guarantee to the individual state governments as well as the American citizens that the Federal government would not try to take away the freedoms which many of them had so recently fought for. Senator William Grayson wrote to Patrick Henry; “Last Monday, a string of amendments were presented to the lower House; these altogether respected personal liberty…” (p. 76).

    “To preserve Liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” (Richard Henry Lee, Virginia delegate to the Continental Congress, and member of the first Continental Congress, which passed the Bill of Rights)

    4. Who should have the “right to keep and bear arms.”

    We believe that the Second Amendment right to self-protection and defense of liberty should be granted to all those eligible including everyone of legal age, and those who are not violent criminals.

    5. What is the militia?

    The “militia” was provided for in Section 10 of the United States Code (often abbreviated USC). The Code is the list of all the laws that are written by the federal government. Section 10 USC 311 reads:
    “All able-bodied males at least 17 years of age…and under 45 years of age who are or have made a declaration to become a citizen of the United States.” Additionally, another provision allows for a “reserve militia” (as opposed to the “ready militia” described above), that includes women, children and the elderly.

    6. Refuting Statistics

    Statistics are valuable tools, since they are able to summarize an argument in a few numbers, and are able to present a good picture of the problem when used honestly. Here are some statistics that spell out major parts of the gun-rights battle.

    7. How many gun laws are there?

    This depends wholly on what state you are living in. Because of our federal system of government, each state has a different set of laws regarding firearms. Some are very restrictive, others are not. There are also federal laws that apply to all of us, particularly regarding what types of weapons one can purchase, who can sell guns, and who is allowed to buy them. However, according to gun authority Bruce B. Biggs, there are roughly twenty thousand gun control-laws in the United States.

    8. What is a policy of no interference?

    A policy of no interference is one in which a government decides to let its people protect themselves from criminals, and trusts them with firearms. Thus, there are few or no restrictions on who can own, or who can carry a firearm. Switzerland, as a country, is very close to this idea, and provides a great case study for what happens when a country’s citizens are heavily armed. Switzerland has some of the lowest crime rates in the world, despite very high levels of gun ownership. Also, despite being sandwiched between two aggressive powers during World War II, the country remained untouched, largely due to the heavy rates of private gun ownership. Hitler and Mussolini knew that the heavily armed Swiss population would defend itself fiercely, something it did not need to fear from many of its other, more unfortunate neighbors.

    9. What is the Brady Law?

    The Brady law is a federal law (18 USC 922(t)) requiring instant background checks on prospective gun buyers. When a firearms dealer sells a handgun, shotgun, or long rifle to a prospective buyer, a background check must be performed on that person in order to ascertain whether or not that person is prohibited from owning a firearm due to past criminal actions.

    2,356,376 background checks were performed the first year the Brady law took effect, at a cost of about $24 dollars per check. Of those checks, only four prosecutions were initiated. That’s 14.1 million dollars per prosecution. Plus, local law enforcement agencies had to take officers off of the streets, and put them behind desks to process applications and perform background checks. Do you think this had any tangible effect on reducing crime?

    10. What is gun control like in other countries?

    Different countries throughout the world provide examples of wide ranges of gun control. They range from countries like China, where no guns whatsoever are allowed to be carried by citizens, to Colombia, where the government has distributed guns to peasants so that they could defend themselves. Countries that have been closely monitored by U.S. gun rights groups are Australia, the UK, and Canada. These countries are particularly relevant to the United States due to their similarities in government and social values. These countries have imposed restrictive gun-laws that include registration, and handgun bans. Interestingly, these bans have been directly followed with spikes in the rates of breaking and entering, assaults, and other crimes.

    A 1998 study by the US Department of Justice found that there were 40 percent more muggings in England, and burglary rates were almost 100 percent higher than in the United States. And, counter-intuitively, rates of crimes using handguns is on the rise. In 1999-2000, crimes using handguns were at a seven year high. Apparently, criminals were easily able to access guns, but law enforcement officers and law-abiding citizens were not allowed.

    In Australia, the government banned weapons in 1996, after a publicized shooting. Immediately after the ban, armed robberies rose by 73 percent, unarmed robberies by 28 percent, kidnappings by 38 percent, assaults by 17 percent, and manslaughter by 29 percent. This was reported on the Web site of the Australian Bureau of Statistics in January, 2000.

    11. How do Movies/Media influence attitudes?

    Movies and media do have a significant influence on public opinion. Movies have long had a reputation for glorifying gun use and violence, and this surely has an effect on a society that watches a lot of movies. One of the fundamental aspects of gun safety is the principle that a gun is a tool, not a toy. However, often in movies, guns are shown either as toys, or as scary weapons that are used to kill people. In other words, movies do not often reflect realistic or responsible uses of guns. Someone who grows up with their only exposure to guns being through movies is likely to have a false understanding of gun use and gun safety.

    Media – being defined as the tv, newspapers, periodicals, etc.. – has an impact on everything we do. Most Americans rely on the media for information about anything which they are not directly involved in. Information is power, so the distributor of information is quite a powerful position to be in. Media thus has the ability to control the avenues and tones of a discussion. For example, in January of 2002, a disgruntled law student from the Appalachian School of Law opened fire in his law school, killing three, and critically wounding three others. As he left the building, two armed students confronted them, and demanded that he put down his weapon. Seeing their guns, he put his weapon down, at which point he was tackled. Unfortunately, almost every major news organization left the part out about the armed students. Rather, reputable news sources such as the LA Times, the New York Times, and the Associated Press just reported that the madman was “tackled,” or “confronted” by two other students. By intentionally leaving out the positive self defense aspect that guns played in this tragedy, the media managed to show guns only in a negative light, thus controlling many people’s perceptions of gun use. When the members of the media like or dislike a particular opinion, it will be portrayed differently. Thus the media attitudes regarding politics, and gun ownership in particular, are a very powerful and influential thing.

    12. How big of a threat is gun control?

    Gun control groups with millions of dollars to spend represent a huge threat to gun ownership. It is the constant specter of this threat that has driven the creation of numerous large gun-rights groups formed by law-abiding gun owners. The magnitude of the response from gun owners has been in direct response to the seriousness of the threat of gun control. Every year, law makers look to gain popularity amongst certain groups by passing ever-more restrictive gun laws. Many have claimed that outlawing all guns is the eventual goal. If you follow statistics, though, they show that gun bans are generally followed by spikes in crime rates. Not to mention that our civil rights should be sacred. Thus, we believe this is a very dangerous threat.

    13. How can people protect themselves from government intervention?

    There are many different ways that people can protect themselves from government intervention. One of the most basic and effective ways to do this is to vote. Make certain you are aware of a candidate’s stance on civil rights before you vote for him/her. Also, look at their past voting records. Many civil rights organizations make lists of candidates that have voted for and against them in the past. Looking at these lists provides a good guide to how candidates will act, rather than just what they say. A politician will not pass a law if he knows that he will not be re-elected because of it. This is a basic cornerstone of our political system.

    Another way to protect your rights is to join a gun-rights group. Many of these groups exist, such as the National Rifle Association, and the Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. By joining these groups, you are voicing your support, and sending a clear message to those who would take your rights away. Hand in hand with this are donations to such groups. Donations to specific causes are often called “dollar-votes,” because you are choosing to help something you agree with. By funding organizations that fight for your gun rights, you are actively helping to preserve them. Lobbyists that represent large groups are able to be more effective than individuals representing only themselves. By joining a group, and helping to fund them, you are increasing your power as a gun rights supporter.

    14. Should Guns be Banned?

    We believe absolutely that guns should not be banned. We believe that in our constitution, gun ownership is protected just like freedom of speech, and the freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. We believe that the Bill of Rights are interdependent, in other words that you cannot pick which ones to honor, and which ones to ignore. If this is allowed, no civil rights are safe. We also believe that the right to defend one’s self is a basic human right, and that banning guns would deprive law-abiding citizens of the ability to defend themselves from armed criminals. We also believe that gun ownership keeps crime down, and that that claim is supported by scientific research. John Lott, Jr., a researcher at Yale University, found that on average, violent crime dropped by 4 percent for each 1 percent increase in gun ownership. Also, firearms are used defensively 2.5 million times every year, more than four times as many as criminal uses. This amounts to 2,575 lives saved for every one taken by a gun.

    15. What kind of illegal guns are being sold?

    With twenty thousand gun laws in place, it is almost certain many of them are being broken. Guns are sold illegally with their serial numbers scraped off, or are illegal simply because of the features they have. This argument is often used to support gun rights, since existing laws are not being enforced. Many current laws are reasonable and un-controversial. However, many of them are being broken, with no consequence. We believe that stricter enforcement of existing laws would go much further in reducing gun-related crimes than simply passing new, un-enforceable laws.

    16. Why do people sell guns?

    People sell guns for many different reasons. A registered gun dealer sells them because he enjoys guns, or to support a family. An illegal gun dealer sells guns for the same reason that people are driven to all kinds of illegal acts, like selling drugs.

    17. What are trigger locks?

    A trigger lock is the name that is given to any number of devices that “lock” the trigger in place, or otherwise prevent it from being pulled, and consequently discharging the firearm. In many cases, trigger locks can be a valuable safety tool, as they are designed to keep an unauthorized person from using your firearm. However, in cases of self-defense, if one has to unlock their trigger lock before being able to use their gun, they are liable to lose very valuable time.

    18. What are machine guns?

    The term machine gun applies to a broad group of guns that are automatically loaded and fired. These are usually defined as a breech loading gun mounted on a carriage or some sort of holder, which are able to repeatedly fire large numbers of bullets simply by holding down the trigger.

    19. Why do people want guns?

    There are as many different reasons for wanting to own a gun as there are guns to own. First, a gun can be a sporting tool. Target shooting is incorporated in many different Olympic competitions. Target shooting has always been very popular in the United States. On the sporting aspect of things, guns are also a vital part of hunting. Hunting, again, is a very popular pastime.

    Guns are also a valuable tool for self-defense. A gun is an equalizer. This means that a gun allows a small or un-athletic person to defend themselves from a criminal no matter how big or strong the criminal may be. Guns are also a great crime deterrent. When a criminal thinks you might be armed, he is less likely to choose you as a victim. The right to defend oneself from criminals is a basic human right, and a gun is one of the best tools to protect yourself, as well as your family, from crime. Forty-six percent of gun owners report owning guns for protection from crime.

    Finally, the founding father’s believed that gun ownership was necessary for a country to truly be free. If the government distrusted the people so much as to disarm them, then that government no longer truly represented the people. In other words, in our structure of government, the power is supposed to lie in the hands of the people. How would it make sense for that government, of the people, to take away the most effective means of self defense from those people?

    20. What kind of guns are legal?

    This depends on what state you are living in. Different states have different lists of legal guns, and illegal guns. For a better answer to this question, it is best to contact the state police in your home state about the gun in question.

    21. What are assault weapons?

    The designation which turns a regular rifle into an assault rifle is largely cosmetic and arbitrary. In fact, most people cannot agree exactly what an assault rifle is. This has led to a very interesting debate over the legality of a weapon that most people involved in the debate could not even define. The term “assault rifle” has been used by the military, by gun retailers to increase the “romance” of some guns, and by gun-control advocates to scare people. The term, as it is used today, mainly is based off of whether a weapon looks scary or not instead of on any functional difference. Since the name is sinister, gun-control groups try to tack it onto as many different guns as they can. By military definition, assault rifles are “selective firearms (full auto-continuous, or burst fire plus auto-loading) of sub-caliber.” However, these guns are already heavily regulated, restricted, heavily taxed, and require special licenses. Thus, the cry for restrictions on “assault weapons” has already been answered. However, it has not silenced the gun-control crowd, who continue to attempt to expand the definition of assault rifle.

    Most weapons that are now called assault weapons are semi-automatic (meaning that for each pull of the trigger, one bullet is fired, and another is automatically loaded into the chamber) which makes them functionally indistinguishable from many other perfectly legal weapons that are routinely used for hunting, target shooting, or pest control on a daily basis. Most of the features that makes these guns assault weapons are purely cosmetic. One such law in California banned all guns with ammunition clips that were in front of the trigger. This had little effect on the guns functionally. However, it did make an Olympic caliber target shooter into a criminal, since her target pistols were now officially “assault weapons.” Likewise, simply having a metal stock as opposed to a wooden one can turn a hunting rifle into an “assault rifle.”

    22. What makes a gun automatic or semi-automatic?

    The designation semi-automatic simply means that the gun loads a bullet in the chamber automatically, without the user having to take an extra step to do so. Thus, every time the user pulls the trigger, one shot is fired, and the next one is loaded. An “automatic” weapon allows the user to fire multiple bullets with one pull of the trigger. When the user pulls the trigger and holds it down, the gun fires a round, automatically loads the next round, and fires that one also, etc….

    23. Are hunting rifles better?

    Often there is no functional difference between what most people would call a hunting rifle, and what demagogue politicians would call an assault rifle. However, in some cases, the hunting rifle is actually of a higher caliber. Guns are a tool, and as such there are different ones that are better for different things. One cannot categorically state that one type of gun is better than another. For a hunter, though, a hunting rifle is probably best.

    24. How can gun deaths be prevented?

    Gun safety is one of the most important methods for reducing the number of gun deaths. Families that own guns have a responsibility to keep them safely stored, so that only the intended users can actually use them. Also, proper education about firearms makes gun ownership significantly safer. Even many of the original supporters of the 2nd Amendment, such as Richard Henry Lee, stated the importance of teaching children about firearms.

    Also, having higher rates of gun ownership is likely to reduce the rate of violent crime. When guns are banned, there is low gun ownership amongst law-abiding citizens. Thus, the criminals know that they are the only ones who are armed. Time and again, when places have banned guns, rates of violent crime and burglary have skyrocketed. When law-abiding citizens are disarmed, the criminals are free to terrorize the public with no threat of consequence.

    Finally, enforcement of existing gun laws would go a long way in getting guns out of the hands of those who have shown a propensity for misusing them. Stringent enforcement of existing laws is a much better method of reducing crime and gun deaths than the creation of more unenforceable legislation.

    That being said, the accidental firearms death rate is at its lowest point since records were started nearly 100 years ago, according to Injury Facts 2000, from the National Safety Council.

    25. Who has the right to self defense?

    Forty-three state constitutions have specific references protecting citizen’s rights to self-defense. In the other seven states, the right is protected statutorily. The constitutions typically state that a citizen can bear arms in defense of himself, and the state. However, it is a good idea for an individual to research the specific defense statutes in their state.

    26. Is it safe to have a gun in your house?

    A gun is a great way to protect your home and family, however its safety depends on the user. If members of the house are responsible and educated gun-owners, then having a gun in the house will make it a safer place. A gun is significantly more likely to be used in defense of your home and family than be used in an irresponsible manner. Motor vehicle accidents, drowning, suffocation, and fires each kill more children under the age of fifteen than do firearms. If you think it is safe to have a bathtub in your house, then it is also safe to have a gun there.

    Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck reports that guns are used defensively about one million times per year. Ninety-eight percent of those times, not a single shot is fired, since the criminal runs away at the sight of the gun. Researcher John Lott, using fifteen surveys from such organizations as the Los Angeles Times, and Gallup, concluded that guns were used defensively 760,000 to 3.6 million times. No matter which side you err on, that is a lot of defensive gun uses, definitely more than are hurt in gun violence in any year. In light of those statistics, the question changes into: Is it safe NOT to have a gun in your house?

    27. Where can people have guns?

    Again, due to the federal nature of our government, this depends largely on your individual state. Most places where guns are illegal by federal law, it is clearly posted. Some examples of these would by US airports, or federal courthouses. Most states also have lists of where firearms are not allowed. Also, many states usually have lists of who can and can’t own a firearm.

    28. What is self-defense?

    The specific definition of self defense – particularly defense justifying the use of lethal force – differs from state to state. The basic qualifications, however, center around a legitimate threat to your life. Self-defense usually is justified if you believe your life or health is in immediate danger. The proof thresholds for this differ according to state laws. Some states say that by an individual entering private property, then the resident of that property can justifiably assume he is at risk. Others say that you are only allowed to defend yourself if a criminal is in the process of attacking you.

    29. Should people be allowed to have hidden guns?

    Again, this right is dependent on what state you are living in. Hidden guns are more often called concealed weapons, and laws regulating them are called “concealed carry” laws. We support these laws, as we believe it states in the Constitution that people have a right to carry arms. Carrying them in a concealed fashion allows people to respectfully and discreetly protect themselves. Also, with concealed carry laws, criminals cannot tell who is armed and who is not, thus making everyone safer. Without concealed carry laws, people would be forced to carry their guns in plain sight, which in many states is classified as “brandishing,” – a criminal offense. Open carrying of a firearm may escalate situations unnecessarily, or will needlessly intimidate people. John Lott, a researcher at Yale, found that states which enacted laws allowing citizens to carry concealed guns between 1977 and 1994 experienced an average ten percent reduction in murders, and a 4.4 percent reduction in violent crime.

    30. What is the Gun Show Loophole?

    The gun show loophole is often cited by gun-control groups as a reason to end the popular gun-shows. They claim that guns are sold without the required background checks, and that criminals often use these shows to acquire guns.

    The truth is that gun shows are regulated in the same manner as all other gun sales. Firearms dealers, the vast majority of the people selling firearms at gun shows, are legally required to perform FBI background checks on a person before selling them a gun. This is true anywhere in the United States, and is also true at gun shows. However, a non-dealer, like someone who wants to sell his hunting rifle to his cousin, is not required to perform a background check. So, if a private individual wants to sell their gun collection, they are allowed to rent a table at a gun show, and are subject to the same restrictions as they would be if they set up a garage sale. Gun control organizations say that 40% of the gun show dealers are unlicensed. This, however, is a dishonest claim. That 40% mark is only reached if you include all vendors, including ones that are only selling popcorn, or t-shirts.

    Also, gun control groups say that criminals prefer to get guns at gun-shows, though statistics say that the number of criminals who get guns there is negligible, and hardly worthy of even reporting. According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, based on interviews with prisoners, less than .7% of criminals get their guns at gun shows. 78.8% get their guns off the street or from family members. The real target of the “gun show loophole” laws are law-abiding gun enthusiasts, whom gun control groups would like to disarm.

    31. Has the U.S. Supreme Court ever ruled on the Second Amendment?

    Yes, the Supreme Court has ruled on the Second Amendment, although it generally avoids doing so. The last direct decision involving the 2nd Amendment was in 1939, in a case called U.S. vs. Miller. This case dealt with a man who was detained for unlawfully transporting a sawed off shotgun. He sued, saying he had a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and thus transport the shotgun. Initially, his defense succeeded, and the charges were dropped with no trial. The government appealed to the Supreme Court. Mr. Miller was too poor to retain an attorney, so only the government’s side was argued in court. Without the defendant to present evidence or defend himself, the Supreme Court ruled that in “absence of evidence to the contrary” they couldn’t say that the shotgun served a purpose in a well maintained militia. Instead, they sent the case back to a lower court, and ordered a trial, which would determine whether or not the shotgun was legal according to his second amendment protections. Thus they recognized the individual right to keep and bear arms, so long as those arms serve a purpose in the militia. Many scholars have felt that if Mr. Miller had shown up to his trial, he could have easily proven that a sawed off shotgun has many useful purposes in a militia, such as in World War I, when it was used as a trench clearing tool. However, because the verdict went against Mr. Miller, gun control groups have claimed it as a victory, and falsely claim that the Supreme Court ruled that gun ownership is a collective right. In reality, no collective right was ever mentioned, and the case was simply sent back to a lower court for a full trial.

    32. What about children and guns?

    Many Gun control advocates cite statistics that seem to show an epidemic of children dying due to gun-related violence. On the surface, 4,000 children dying per year is a very disturbing trend. However, one must delve into the statistics to realize that these gun-control advocates are misleading the public. The definition of children used when finding these statistics includes people 20 years old or younger, and some groups actually use the age 23 as a cut-off for a child. Using these misleading definitions, the numbers are about 11 killed per day. Of course, if you use what most people consider to be children as a cutoff – say ten years old – the number drops to .4 deaths per day. While still not perfect, it is a far sight better than the 11 that gun-control advocates want people to believe. Why is there such a huge difference? When including the upper ranges of the teenage bracket, gun deaths jump. This is due in large part to gang related violence. Also, it includes the majority of the people who constitute the very dangerous and often lethal drug trade. Imagine a drug deal going bad, and one party shooting another. According to gun control advocates, this constitutes a “child” who died due to firearm wounds. Or, maybe a methamphetamine dealer gets into a shootout with police, and loses. Again, this would be cited as a “child,” for purposes of scaring soccer moms everywhere.

    According to John Lott, the number of children, nine and under, who died from accidental gunshot wounds in 1996 was 42. Compare that with the 2,404 who died that year in car crashes, 805 who drowned, or 738 that died of burns. When viewed in that light, guns are not the child safety hazard many would have you believe. Not to mention, of course, that guns can be used to defend those very same children, and that they will statistically make the house safer for them to live in. (Seven Myths of Gun Control, pg 120)

    33. What do Police Officers think?

    According to the 13th annual survey that was sent to 21,000 sheriffs and police chiefs across the country, by the National Association of Chiefs of Police, the vast majority of officers believed that citizens should be able to buy guns.

    Responding to the question, “Do you believe any law-abiding citizen should be able to purchase a firearm for sport or self-defense?” Ninety-Three percent of officers responded affirmatively.

    34. Contact Information for gun-rights groups

    Second Amendment Foundation
    12500 NE Tenth Place
    Bellevue, WA 98005

    (425) 454-7012

    Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
    12500 NE Tenth Place
    Bellevue, WA 98005

    (425) 454-4911

    National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action
    11250 Waples Mill Rd.
    Fairfax, VA 22030

    (800) 392-8683

    35. Web References

    Http:// (Second Amendment Foundation)
    Http:// (Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms)
    Http:// (National Rifle Association)
    Http:// National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action) (Second Amendment Sisters)
    Http:// (U.S. Department of Justice)
    Http:// (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
    Http:// (Center for Disease Control)

    Recommended Reading

    Here is a short reading list of books that could help increase your gun, gun rights, and Second Amendment knowledge.

    Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control
    By: Don B. Kates Jr and Gary Kleck

    The Bill of Rights: Creation and Recostruction
    By: Akhil Reed Amar

    Boston’s Gun Bible
    By: Boston T. Party

    The Concealed Handgun Manual: How to Choose, Carry, And Shoot a Gun in Self Defense
    By: Chris Bird

    Effective Defense: The Women, The Plan, The Gun
    By: Gila May-Hayes

    The Federalist Papers: In Modern Language and Indexed
    Edited by: Mary E. Webster

    The Gun Control Debate: You Decide
    Edited by: Lee Nisbet

    Gun Laws of America
    By: Alan Korwin and Michael Anthony

    Origins and Development of the Second Amendment
    Edited by: David E. Young

    Target Switzerland
    By: Stephen P. Halbrook

    To Keep and Bear Arms
    By: Joyce Lee Malcolm

1 Comment »

  1. Duane Lester said,

    I do a libertarian/conservative podcast and would love to interview you about the Second Amendment. We focus on the Second Amendment and gun defense on almost every show.

    If you are interested, let me know. We do it live and are able to take calls.

    Please consider it.

    Check out my website at

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