Editorial Draft - Please comment


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MicroBalrog
June 24, 2003, 11:58 AM
The Avalanche
By Boris Karpa

Do you read fantasy books? In one of my favorite ones, I found the following quote: “The Empire rolled a pebble down the slope. The problem is, that was the pebble that started the avalanche.” Why did I think of it now? Well, just a few days ago, Alaska passed a law that said people no longer had to have a license to carry concealed weapons. Not a significant event in itself, even for Americans – and I’m not an American. However, that event is interesting – not in itself, but for its consequences for gun control in general – in America and elsewhere.
Those who will look at the history of gun control in the Western world will find one bizarre fact in the whole deal which is generally undeniable: throughout most of the 20th century, more and more restrictive gun laws were enacted – before any significant research on the matter came to be. Only in the late 1970’s – early 1980’s did research on the matter start to appear. And when it did, it tumbled like a snowball.
Very few people – except a few dedicated civil rights activists, perhaps – noticed the 1982 Senate Subcommittee report on the matter, talking about “the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime”. Few noticed the 1989 work by Colin Greenwood of the University of Cambridge. Few have also noticed the passage of a “Right-to-Carry” law in 1989.
However, the results were to be massive and unexpected. During the wave of anti-gun hysteria of the early 1990’s which has seen such idiotism as the UK 1997 handgun ban and the US “Assault Weapons” ban, nobody has also noticed the passing of “Right-to-Carry” laws in numerous American states – and then, the unexpected relaxation of gun laws in several ex-Soviet republics – Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova – with the same result everywhere – the reduction of violent crime rates.
More and more experts stated their opinions on the topic – and most of them (those financed by groups like HCI do not count, of course) did not agree with gun control. And Americans were not the only ones. John Whitley, David Kopel, Gary Kleck, Valeriy Polozov, John Lott, Colin Greenwood, Steven Kendrick, Eugene Volokh… The pebble was rolling down the slope, and more and more, bigger and bigger pebbles were getting caught up.
By 2003, it is clear to any that cares to look, that the gun control lobby, for the first time in the 20th century, is losing ground. In the USA, the “Million” Mom March failed to gather even 400 “moms” for its annual rally, and the “Assault Weapon” Ban is nowhere near being extended, most states have “Right to Carry” laws, – and two even have true Right to Carry laws – the Armed Pilots Act passed, and the Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act is next. In Britain, Canada, Australia, major media have started to publish more and more pro-gun articles. Even the BBC ran an editorial by Joyce Lee Malcolm – a U.S. historian who proved that the UK’s draconian gun laws have lead to high levels of violence. In Russia, the right to bear arms is heavily discussed, with many media outlets rallying behind it. In Italy, government officials have voiced support of the right to bear arms. And when Michael Moore got an Oscar for his piece of anti-NRA propaganda, the Academy received over 10,000 letters demanding withdrawal of the award – and they’re considering it.
And there’s more and more of that with every day.
The evidence, ladies and gentlemen, is clear. Gun control is dying. Somebody dropped a pebble down the hill in the 1980’s, and it’s starting to drag some pretty large boulders along with it. Brace yourself, Sarah Brady. Take cover, Gill Marshall-Andrews. Run, Mrs. O’Donnell. The avalanche is coming.

Boris Karpa is a civil rights advocate from Bat-Yam, Israel. He does not and has never owned a gun.

When I'll get your comments, I'll edit it and look for a magazine/website to publish it.

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VaughnT
June 24, 2003, 12:09 PM
I was one of those people that requested the recinding of the award, but I've never heard more about it. Where did you get this tidbit: "And when Michael Moore got an Oscar for his piece of anti-NRA propaganda, the Academy received over 10,000 letters demanding withdrawal of the award – and they’re considering it."

On the whole, I enjoyed the reading, but was thrown by some of the names mentioned because I've never heard of these people. What have they done? Where are they? What reports support your using them?

Also, what research shows RTC talks being held in Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova? At least in my neck of the woods, this information hasn't come by. I'd like to hear more about it, maybe some footnotes, so that I could share the information.

Overall, it's a good read. I'd just like some more detail.

MicroBalrog
June 24, 2003, 12:16 PM
The 10,000 e-mail number is from Dave Hardy himself.

"Also, what research shows RTC talks being held in Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova?"

RTC (rather, shall issue licensing for purchase of handguns) exists in these countries for at least 5 years. The info is from major Russian media.

MicroBalrog
June 24, 2003, 12:18 PM
Oh, almost forgot - any particular names you want to ask me about?

SDC
June 24, 2003, 12:22 PM
The other gun-banners are familiar to me, but WTH is Gill Marshall-Andrews?

MicroBalrog
June 24, 2003, 12:25 PM
GMA - head of UK Gun Control Network.

Oleg Volk
June 24, 2003, 01:26 PM
By 2003, it is clear to any that cares to look, that the gun control lobby, for the first time in the 20th century,

Re-phrase this? 2003 is in the 21st century. Good otherwise.

John Ross
June 24, 2003, 01:35 PM
Quote: "Few have also noticed the passage of a “Right-to-Carry” law in 1989."

RTC laws have been being passed for a lot longer than just the last 14 years. Indiana was circa 1972-3, for example. Georgia was earlier than 1989, some time in the '70s IIRC.

Recently we have seen a groundswell of RTC, however. You are right about that.

And my book is part of the avalance, I think... ;-)

JR

AZLibertarian
July 11, 2003, 02:20 AM
"...the Armed Pilots Act passed..."

FWIW, the TSA has the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program all tied up in knots. The initiative to arm pilots has faced resistance from three groups...

1. The Government. Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter--they're about one thing...bigger government programs. Arming pilots means that increasing future budgets for more Federal Air Marshal will be hard to do. The TSA has amazed me with their ability to generate a huge bureaucracy while hiding behind "need-to-know" curtains.

2. The Industry. The industry needs one thing desperately: profits. Having a pilot drop a trip (unpaid, in most cases) for FFDO training means the airlines have to have extra pilots on their staffs. The companies find this FFDO thing is cutting into pilot productivity. They also are concerned with a passenger perception of "If the pilot has to carry a gun, are we really safe now? Maybe I'll take the train/bus/drive myself."

3. The Union. The largest pilot union, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), is part of the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO is a de-facto wing of the Democratic Party. When an ALPA guy goes marching up to Congress to push for arming pilots, he goes with all this baggage. And his union has been most successful regarding it's labor issues with a party that has not been very favorable to anything that looks like gun rights. The dilemma the union guy faces is to try to get an FFDO program without pushing too hard and offend the gun-control crowd that he usually associates with.

If your point is that Congress passed the "Armed Pilots Act", you'd be right to call it a success as far as something the "anti's" had opposed. But if you look at the TSA implementation of the Act, today, I'd say the "anti's" still have the upper hand.

Orthonym
July 11, 2003, 06:46 AM
Don't forget the Czech Republic. I think they have "shall-issue" ccw now. You might compare them with Slovakia, which has been re-communizing lately.

Don Gwinn
July 11, 2003, 09:33 AM
For an American audience, some of the grammar is awkward, but it's an approach I haven't seen before and I like that. If you'd like I'll "mark up" a copy and send it to you privately.

It seems like you're targeting an audience that is not necessarily familiar with the gun debate, so you will want to avoid using acronyms like "HCI" without first explaining what they mean. HCI is doubly confusing because it's now the Brady Campaign/Million Mom March.

Cosmoline
July 11, 2003, 01:36 PM
It's difficult to overestimate the impact the rise and fall of Michael Bellesiles, former Professor of History at Emory U. He was given the Bancroft Prize for his anti-gun piece "Arming America" and lauded as a hero by the antis. He was brought down and eventually forced to resign late last year when it was revealed that he had fudged much of his research in order to arrive at the pre-determined conclusion that colonial Americans hated firearms and did not own them. Do a Google search for "Arming America" and you'll see several reprings of the critical essays that brought down Bellesiles. Since his fall, a few loyal anti-gun defenders have claimed the whole thing was a plot orchestrated by the NRA, and have done their best to demonize their foes as NRA hacks. It gets pretty absurd when the people they're demonizing are some of the nation's most respected historians with no political axe to grind in the dispute.

Bellesiles is a great example of the way the antis work. They are on a religious crusade to destroy the lawful gun culture, and they do not let little things like facts stop them from pontificating.

Hopefully, Moore will be the next to fall. I'm already detecting more and more discontent with his methods, even by those who agree with him.

Also, you could talk more about the destruction of the Million Mom March as an independent movement. Others here will know more detail on that.

Cosmoline
July 11, 2003, 01:43 PM
And, of course, you might mention the fact that Gore's anti-gun statements on "Larry King Live" and elsewhere, made in an effort to get the so-called "Soccer Mom" vote, cost him his home state and probably several other border states (that's the border between North and South, BTW).

Since then, even most leftist democrats have been much more reluctant to spew venom at gun owners. The party has decided it should not be mentioned in national campaigns, and seems to be developing an approach that will leave gun control to the states rather than introducing new federal legislation.

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