San Fran Gate column.......have fun!!!!


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hillbilly
January 10, 2006, 01:06 AM
Here we go...........How many anti cliches can y'all count in this column?

hillbilly




http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/08/CMGQIF5VTD1.DTL


And That's the Trouble
The gun debate, personalized
Kevin Fagan

Sunday, January 8, 2006

My first real memory of a gun is from when I was 8, standing in a Nevada salt flat with my mother leaning over my right shoulder, folding my hand around the oh-so-smooth butt of a .22-caliber revolver. It was the gun she always kept under the car seat.

I squeezed off a shot at a rusty soda can 30 feet away, and the explosion in my ear and puff of sand alongside the can sent a shiver right to my toes.

"You'll get it, don't worry. You need to learn how to shoot this,'' my mother said, patting my head. "You never know how you might need it someday.''

She was right. I did learn how to shoot, and I did need a gun someday ... several somedays. And I came to respect the way a gun could save my life.

I also came to hate guns for the ways they have just as easily, just as coldly, unthinkingly, devastated life around me and come close to ending my own life time and again.

And I've come to believe guns have no logical, meaningful place in the lives of most ordinary people.

There are plenty of Americans who have had the same relationship with this deadly little dealer of instant death. You could say the same thing about the country as a whole. It's a dysfunctional relationship, and there's not even a remotely easy way to fix it.

I'm not talking here about guns in the context of casual can-plinking, or deer hunting, both of which are plenty of fun (Bambi lovers, chill) and don't threaten anything if done right. I'm talking about the stuff that makes America the Wild West barbarian outpost which people from other countries shake their heads about. I mean the real gun stuff that happens when you're staring life in the face, not being chauffeured to Congress past the rabble so you can blather Second Amendment platitudes and cash your NRA lobby checks.

Let me elaborate.

One relative of mine was blown away when he and his brother played stick-em-up in the family barn; they didn't know the shotgun was loaded. Another was nearly blasted in half when a robber shot him through his front door. A cousin lost use of her arm for years after being shot in the Marin County Courthouse shootout of 1970; the judge's head was blown off as he sat next to her.

Those were the things I experienced, but didn't see. Other times guns cut closer.

In college in San Jose, I had to chase off attackers with a Luger 9mm semiautomatic when I lived alongside two warring gangs that promised to rub me out for telling the cops they shot holes in my windows and ripped off my car tires and gas. Years later, I had to replace that long-lost Luger with a .25-caliber semiautomatic when I was a young police reporter on a small-town newspaper and got a drug dealer mad at me.

I'd written a story about how this coke pusher kept squirming out of charges because the witnesses against him disappeared with each case. He told me to stop writing about him. When I gave him my Journalism 101 lecture about the First Amendment and wrote again, he stomped into my newspaper office.

"You're dead, f -- ,'' he said, jamming his face close to mine. His rapsheet already included a juvenile sentence for murder and two assault convictions with knives and a shotgun. The local police commander shook his head when I asked what he could do to protect me. "Better get a gun, son,'' he said.

My dad's .25 was under my pillow the next night, after I'd spent the afternoon blasting at targets. At 2 a.m. someone came slamming on my door, and I sat in the living room with the gun pointed straight ahead, screaming, "'Bring it on, f -- !'' at the door. Whoever was outside screamed back, "You're dead!'' I yelled back again; this went on awhile, and then he went away.

No doubt: I would have fired. Just as I might have in other situations over the years when gangsters I was trying to interview stuck pistols in my guts or to my head, or when my wife was robbed at gunpoint in Berkeley.

And that's the trouble.

If none of us had had guns -- most particularly, those handy little handguns -- all these confrontations would have simply involved yelling, fists or perhaps knives.

In Great Britain, about 50 people die by handgun every year. In America? It's about 9,000. I've lived in both places, and let me tell you, your radar for -- and encounters with -- danger are so drastically reduced across the water that they are nonexistent by comparison.

Absolutely, if you're a law-abiding citizen and some predator is pointing a barrel at you, you want a barrel of your own to end the argument. But as plain as the blood on the floor every day in America, that's a perpetual tit-for-tat that will always be awful.

The only way to fix this hideously dysfunctional relationship we in this country have with guns is to treat it like you would any other: End it before you wind up murdered.

Nobody's saying this will be easy. The important things never are.

E-mail Kevin Fagan at kfagan@sfchronicle.com.

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secamp32
January 10, 2006, 01:10 AM
that I am speechless :banghead:

QuickDraw
January 10, 2006, 01:13 AM
:rolleyes:
This guy is an idiot.
He has all the right reasons to own firearms/protect
himself,but goes limp.

QuickDraw

cosine
January 10, 2006, 01:17 AM
Here we go...........How many anti cliches can y'all count in this column? hillbilly
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/08/CMGQIF5VTD1.DTL
And That's the Trouble
The gun debate, personalized
Kevin Fagan
Sunday, January 8, 2006

If none of us had had guns -- most particularly, those handy little handguns -- all these confrontations would have simply involved yelling, fists or perhaps knives.

Yeah right. Look at this - from a recent thread at Bladeforums: (hope this doesn't break any forum rules, mods)

Even it were possible to eliminate all firearms (I know criminals will always find places to get illegal firearms) look what this guy did.

Today, we got a "classified" e-mail for LEO use. (Hardly secret to most on this board, but interesting) This concerned a jail inmate who manufactured a firearm which used match heads for propellant.
The deputies got suspicious when they noted deep dents and even holes in a corugated-steel fence adjacent to one of the inmate's cells. They knew this guy had a rep for making weapons, so they shook down his cell. After finding his toy, he cooperated and made a slideshow demonstrating his technique.

Without going into "classified" details, the guy rolled a barrell of sorts from a Coke can, used matchheads as propellant, AAA batteries as projectiles, and an igniter rigged from steel wool and a battery.
Thing was capable of poking holes in typical "tin roof" galvanized steel!

Fortunately, this guy apparently thought of the whole project as a toy, rather than a weapon; so nobody got shot with the thing. Still, a more robust version would certainly be as deadly as any muzzle-loading firearm.

Years ago, the NRA magazine (The Rifleman) ran a bit on a convict who had manufactured a functional semi-automatic pistol in the prison machine shop.
(Why prisons need machine shops I don't know...) They found it before he was able to use it in an escape plot, but the prison authorities successfully test-fired it. The only pre-made part was a magazine and cartridges which had been smuggled in.

I always wonder about this sort of thing when the "ban all guns" crowd starts in. These guys made guns in prison, for pete's sake. How many basement machine shops are there in the country?

Another post: I recall a 60 Minutes article some years ago on some little mountain tribe in Afghanistan who made their own firearms. Not crude flintlocks, mind, they actually made working copies of contemporary military weapons using hand tools!
They showed the manufacturing process for a copied AK-47, which ended up looking quite authentic and working very well indeed, thanks. Hand-filing various bits out of scrap metal, and using scavenged "real" parts where they could. These guys even made their own FMJ bullets, by carefully drilling a bullet-shaped form into rock, pounding in a copper disc with a mandrel, and then filling the resulting jacket with molten lead.

Even if all guns were banned and disappeared off the face of the earth, they are just to easy to make.

Also, read this: (gun manufactoring, halfway down the page) http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel120501.shtml

Finally, "all these confrontations would have simply involved yelling, fists or perhaps knives" is wrong. I don't mind yelling, but fists? A 300 lb. guy would beat 150 lb. me to a pulp. I don't want that happening. Furthermore, knives can be used as deadly weapons just like firearms.

Standing Wolf
January 10, 2006, 09:03 PM
I find myself missing the temperate climate and beaches less and less.

odysseus
January 10, 2006, 09:12 PM
What do you expect from one of the most liberal/leftist news site and city around? Anything else would be heckled down on and editors feverishly removing. Especially with their no-handguns initiative, I would expect more from this emotion driven slack for news.

EVIL5LITER
January 10, 2006, 10:08 PM
I find myself missing the temperate climate and beaches less and less.

You shouldn't. We have lots of it (really sub tropical, but lets not mince words) here in Alabama.

Kodiaz
January 11, 2006, 01:13 AM
Move to Fl we have beaches and you don't have to run away from assailants. What an idiot so this clown wants to give up his weapon so when a bg is pointing a gun at him he can just be shot. Well hopefully he gets his wish.

bigun15
January 11, 2006, 01:23 AM
Well, at least his mother tried. What I don't get is how he used a gun to protect himself (or was about to), but then says he wishes all guns were off of the Earth. What did he plan to defend himself with?

torpid
January 11, 2006, 01:34 AM
What an idiot so this clown wants to give up his weapon so when a bg is pointing a gun at him he can just be shot. Well hopefully he gets his wish.

This comment is wholly unfair.
I suggest we all take a breather and have another look at the article before posting.

He wrote:
If none of us had had guns -- most particularly, those handy little handguns -- all these confrontations would have simply involved yelling, fists or perhaps knives.

Since he is wishing away all the guns, to be fair we must note that when the magically gun-free bg points the knife at him, he'd actually be stabbed to death.

.

longeyes
January 11, 2006, 03:29 AM
My first real memory of a gun is from when I was 8, standing in a Nevada salt flat with my mother leaning over my right shoulder, folding my hand around the oh-so-smooth butt of a .22-caliber revolver.

Classic confusion, Bay Area-style.

I suspect there's more to this mother-son relationship than Kevin is letting on. Just a hunch.

beerslurpy
January 11, 2006, 03:36 AM
Wait, he used a 22 and then a 25 caliber pistol for self defense? Against what? Angry cats?

cracked butt
January 11, 2006, 03:44 AM
One relative of mine was blown away when he and his brother played stick-em-up in the family barn; they didn't know the shotgun was loaded. Another was nearly blasted in half when a robber shot him through his front door. A cousin lost use of her arm for years after being shot in the Marin County Courthouse shootout of 1970

Maybe his extended family has reached an evolutionary dead end and Darwin is to blame.

cracked butt
January 11, 2006, 03:45 AM
Second Amendment platitudes

When I gave him my Journalism 101 lecture about the First Amendment

Classic.

Rem700SD
January 11, 2006, 04:07 AM
"The four killers, armed with aluminum baseball bats, forced their way into the home where the victims were in beds early Friday morning, and beat them to death -- just as Victorino planned, Johnson said."
from this;
http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/South/08/08/bodies.found/

If he was not armed, this might have happened to him...I'd prefer my gun in the equation...

CAS700850
January 11, 2006, 11:19 AM
So, if life has given you personal examples of why a handgun can be a useful tool to save your life, you must obviously conclude that handguns must be banned. :barf:

Hey, I wonder if teh genious has thought this through. Guy trying to come through his door has an ax. What's he gonna do without his gun? Oh yeah, he's from California. He's probably studies wang chung kung foo, and will disarm teh bad guy just llike Steven Segal.

Crap.

Master Blaster
January 11, 2006, 11:39 AM
I am sorry but my BS meter is pegged way into the red on this one.

He had a Luger and it just disappeared, so he replaced it with a .25 auto. Then he mentions he had his dad's .25 auto under his pillow.

BS, not one word of this story is true.

scout26
January 11, 2006, 11:40 AM
How many anti cliches can y'all count in this column?

I got to 47 and quit.

To quote Bugs Bunny......"What a maroon."

Master Blaster
January 11, 2006, 12:01 PM
August 7, 1970
"Jonathan Jackson, George Jackson's seventeen year old brother who idolized him, tried to assist James McClain, on trial for an alleged attempt to stab an officer, escape from the courthouse. During the escape attempt Jonathan Jackson, with William Christmas and Ruchell Magee, two prisoners who were in the courtroom as witnesses for McClain, took five hostages: three jurors, the district attorney, and [the] Judge [Harold Haley]. To effect their escape, Jackson and his associates taped a shotgun to the judge's neck [the gun was purportedly supplied by Angela Davis, former assistant professor of philosophy at the University of California at Los Angeles, and co-Chair of the Soledad Brothers Defense Committee]. As they were leaving the Marin County courthouse with the hostages, Jackson and the others were reported to have shouted, "We want the Soledad Brothers freed by 12:30 today!," thus indelibly imprinting in the public mind a relationship between the kidnapping and the Soledad Brothers.

During the escape attempt the judge, Jackson and Christmas were killed in a shootout with the police; one juror and the district attorney were wounded. The guns used in the kidnapping were traced to Davis, implicating her in the escape attempt. A California warrant was issued for Davis' arrest in which she was charged as an accomplice to murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy. She fled Los Angeles and evaded arrest by seeking refuge in several places including New York City. A federal fugitive warrant was subsequently issued and she was placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's ten most wanted list." [from Angela Davis biography, New York Public Library Digital Library Collection]



http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC/pacificapanthers.html#1970

So was his female wounded cousin "who lost use of her arm cousin" a juror, or the DA????


BS

El Tejon
January 11, 2006, 12:11 PM
CAS, how dare you sully the name of Wing Chun kung fu by associating it with blissninnies.:D

Come on, guys, he lives and works in San Fransico. He wants to confess his great sin of prior gun ownership and be invited to the right parties in the right neighborhoods.

Most never really progress beyond 8th grade and the media is transfixed upon junior high. It's all about popularity. Remember, in the media, it is not what you know (most certainly!), but who you know.

If you want to know the right people, you better say the right things in order to appease them.

Matt G
January 11, 2006, 12:16 PM
If none of us had had guns....
...The only way to fix this hideously dysfunctional relationship we in this country have with guns is to treat it like you would any other: End it before you wind up murdered.
So apparently, Mr. Fagan wants to fiat the simple evaporation of dozens of millions of guns. Is he talking... gun control? Because we know how well that works to make the streets of Washington DC safer... :rolleyes:

And the nationwide trend toward licensing law-abiders with concealed handgun licenses has created major hazards for slips and falls, what with all the blood running in the streets... :rolleyes:

I wonder if Mr. Fagan has ever handled a British cop's warrant card? I have. They're embossed with the Queen's seal, and permit a constable or his deputy to stop people and search them and even arrest them on mere suspicion. I wonder if he's really considered the full ramifications of the British model, even if he could make our nation an island? :confused:

Finally, I have to question what kind of man responds with rage at the handgun for his wife getting robbed? Just as I might have in other situations over the years when gangsters I was trying to interview stuck pistols in my guts or to my head, or when my wife was robbed at gunpoint in Berkeley. Because there was NO robbery before handguns were common, was there? Has the man read the first page of A Tale of Two Cities?


Is he saying that the world would have been a better place if he had NOT had a gun, and the drug dealer had kicked in his door and shot him as he sat defenseless in his bed, because, by God, he took the high road and was unarmed?

What an idjit. He's probably right on that, but for the wrong reason... :rolleyes:

Waitone
January 11, 2006, 01:03 PM
<tweeeet>
<throws down the yellow flag>

BS on the field. The piece reads like something out of a creative writing class.

See, even idiots can be well paid.

dolanp
January 11, 2006, 01:48 PM
Well I couldn't resist...

Dear Kevin,

I read your column with disappointment about your understanding of a few issues. I was encouraged to hear that you grew up around guns and had some semblance of training in their use, but it puzzles me that you cannot separate an individual such as yourself from the dregs of society who use firearms in illegal ways. It may sound cliche to your ears, but it's important to understand that the 'deadly little dealer of instant death' is the person who wields the weapon and not the weapon itself. I find it hard to imagine what people would think of someone who wanted to ban swords in the days when they were the only equalizer for self-defense. For many people perhaps you are correct in stating that guns have no meaningful place in their lives. Have you considered why this is, though? This is because they rely on other people with guns, namely the police. People with this mindset generally live in low-crime areas and can't imagine what it would be like to have someone try to break into their home. As you experienced firsthand, it isn't a pleasant experience and in that moment you want a gun more than a phone However, you only turned to the gun once you realized the middleman, the police commander, could do nothing to protect you. Surely it's nice to dream of a society where violence doesn't exist and guns could not be used to hurt people, but it is nothing more than a dream. Even if all guns are outlawed, we have to keep in mind that the people who use these weapons to do harm typically obtain them from illegal sources to begin with. If production of guns is outlawed, it will stay underground like drugs and criminals will still have them. The only net effect is that no law-abiding citizen could have access to one to level the playing field. It's sad to hear about your vicarious experiences with guns but why not write an article about the perpetrators and what motivates them to commit these crimes? Taking away the tool they used gets us no closer to solving violence, since violence has existed long before the invention of the firearm. I find that your mention of protecting the First Amendment while snobbing your nose at the Second does you a disservice, especially given your experiences. The Second Amendment is not about criminals having rights for guns, it's about citizens' rights for defense of themselves and the state.

Finally I want to point out the largest flaw in your reasoning which I think lends great weight to your bias. You seem to be under the impression that Great Britain is a safe haven when this is far from the truth. It's true that the United States still has a higher murder rate, but if you had done your research and kept up on current trends you would notice that violent crime in the UK is higher than it is in the US. It is far from the truth to state that encounters with danger are drastically reduced across the water. In fact you are more likely to be mugged in London than New York. To say crime is nonexistant by comparison is utter ignorance of fact! Australia, who also recently banned guns, is in company with the UK in having a higher violent crime rate than the US now. Crime has been steadily decreasing (including murders) in the United States while our jolly friends with 'good' gun laws have been seeing increases. You might also notice that Canada has spent about 2 billion dollars on a useless gun registry and yet recent statistics have shown that Toronto is now more dangerous than New York. Finally, it might interest you to know that the most dangerous cities in the US with high murder rates, such as Washington DC, Chicago, and New York, have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. In Washington DC, guns are completely banned yet they are the murder capital of the country.

Respectfully, I hope that you keep these facts in mind when taking a stance on the gun control issue. No advocate of gun control uses real statistics to back up their argument because if they looked at them they would know that they support the other side. The issue is about liberty for honest citizens.

Sincerely,
----

Probably a waste of time but I just wanted to address his total ignorance.

johnster999
January 11, 2006, 02:18 PM
He's using the classic Lefty Screen and Jab method.

1) The Screen: Proceed with overdramatic and/or manufactured facts supporting personal experience on the topic. I'm not just (weak/foolish/unpatriotic, etc) because I've done all these (strong/wise/patriotic, etc) things in the past. I really am very (strong/wise/patriotic, etc) but I'm seasoned now by experience, unlike all those (weak/foolish/unpatriotic, etc) people who disagree with me. I know what the real world is because I've been there and they haven't.

2) The Jab: Proceed with argument in urgent, dramatic tones: Here is how it is. Here is how the world really works. Really my argument is just a fact not everyone has learned yet. I am enlightened and you should be too.

The classic Lefty Screen and Jab.

999

johnmcl
January 11, 2006, 02:31 PM
Hi all,

As a counter-point, read this editoral from Debra Saunders on the SF Chronicle staff:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/01/03/EDG2IGCOJ31.DTL

ODD HOW the Special City, which prides itself on tolerance and chants incessantly about choice, can be so, well, intolerant. Witness the November election in which 58 percent of city voters elected to ban the sale of firearms in EssEff and to outlaw handgun ownership for citizens. It takes a special city to make the National Rifle Association look like the good guys.

I don't want to sound glib, because the rash of violence that has scarred the city -- and sent the number of homicides in 2005 to 94 -- no doubt contributed to the passage of the gun-ban measure, Proposition H.

In a brief supporting the measure, which the NRA is fighting in the courts, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera cited the tragic deaths of three innocent San Franciscans, including Deanne Bradford, a mother of six who was shot dead by her husband with a "legally owned handgun" The husband also killed himself.

Herrera also argued that city voters have a right to establish city gun laws and that their "decision to forgo handgun possession by city residents is of no significant concern to anyone outside San Francisco, and is a proper exercise of the city's home-rule power." Also, the handgun ban exempts police, military and security personnel.

I have a lot of sympathy with the home-rule argument, but it won't fly here.

For one thing: Even supporters of the handgun ban expect it to fail in court. "It clearly will be thrown out," Mayor Gavin Newsom told The Chronicle before the election. He added he would vote for the measure, but: "I'm having a difficult time with it, and that's my one caveat. ... It's really a public-opinion poll, at the end of the day.''

For another, the law interferes with an individual's right to self-defense, which is especially bad for people who live, not in gated communities, but in high-crime areas.

The third issue: While City Hall hasn't set what the sentence for violations of the law might be, whatever it is, the handgun ban likely will hurt law-abiding citizens more than criminals.

As if this city needs proof that city criminals don't care about gun laws, consider the AK-47 used to kill Officer Isaac Espinoza in 2004. At the time, the AK-47 was illegal under the federal assault-weapon ban, yet it was the "gun of choice" for gangbangers. It's not as if they had no access to legal guns -- and still the ban meant nothing to them.

The NRA's Chris W. Cox argued that Proposition H stands to "send a very clear message to the criminal element in San Francisco, that lawful residents in San Francisco are unarmed and unable to protect themselves from criminal attack." (I should note that residents will be able to keep an existing rifle in their homes, even if the entire law is upheld. That said, the law requires residents to surrender their handguns to police by April 1, and provides no compensation in return.)

Here's an interesting statistic, compiled by the SFPD and reported in The Chronicle last month: Of the 94 homicides recorded in the city through Dec. 12, no arrests had been made in 74 of those murders. Only eight cases have resulted in prosecutions.

Sorry, but if gang members think they can kill without getting caught, I don't think a handgun ban is going to crimp their style.

Police say that witnesses to homicides often are reluctant to testify. This suggests it would make more sense to put the resources used to defend Prop. H -- which by the mayor's own admission is a very expensive public-opinion poll -- into witness protection and investigative programs.

San Francisco is supposed to stand for choice. This is supposed to be a town where tolerant individuals don't pass laws that, in essence, say: If I don't do it, you shouldn't either; if you do, you go to jail. Yet the gun ban ends choice -- for the law-abiding, at least.

"Go by Bayview Police Station," one S.F. cop e-mailed me, "and look at the wall with all the gun photos. Not one of them was owned legally. No self-respecting gangster is going to abide by this new law, if they won't abide by the old ones."

E-mail: dsaunders@sfchronicle.com.

I think Saunders is all right with me.

John

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