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

Discussion in 'Legal' started by hillbilly, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    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.
     
  2. secamp32

    secamp32 Member

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    So far Beyond reality

    that I am speechless :banghead:
     
  3. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    :rolleyes:
    This guy is an idiot.
    He has all the right reasons to own firearms/protect
    himself,but goes limp.

    QuickDraw
     
  4. cosine

    cosine Member

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    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.

    Another post:
    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.
     
  5. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    I find myself missing the temperate climate and beaches less and less.
     
  6. odysseus

    odysseus Member

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    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.
     
  7. EVIL5LITER

    EVIL5LITER Member

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

    Kodiaz member

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    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.
     
  9. bigun15

    bigun15 Member

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    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?
     
  10. torpid

    torpid Member

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

    He wrote:
    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.

    .
     
  11. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Classic confusion, Bay Area-style.

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

    beerslurpy member

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    Wait, he used a 22 and then a 25 caliber pistol for self defense? Against what? Angry cats?
     
  13. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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

    cracked butt Member

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    Classic.
     
  15. Rem700SD

    Rem700SD Member

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    "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...
     
  16. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Member

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    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.
     
  17. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    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.
     
  18. scout26

    scout26 Member

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    I got to 47 and quit.

    To quote Bugs Bunny......"What a maroon."
     
  19. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    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
     
  20. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    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.
     
  21. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm game-- I'll attempt to take this guy seriously, for a moment....

    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?
    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:
     
  22. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    <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.
     
  23. dolanp

    dolanp Member

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    Well I couldn't resist...

    Probably a waste of time but I just wanted to address his total ignorance.
     
  24. johnster999

    johnster999 Member

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    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
     
  25. johnmcl

    johnmcl Member

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    Not All in SF...

    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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