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Reasonable Gun Control?  If this is reasonable, what is unreasonable?

Reasonable Gun Control?
If this is "reasonable," what is unreasonable?

by Angel Shamaya

October 24, 2001 -- We often hear the anti-self-defense crowd espouse desires for reasonable gun controls. "All we want is reasonable control over these lethal weapons," say the gun controllers, while those who oppose their viewpoints are labeled as "extremists."

So what exactly constitutes "reasonable" gun control?



In June of 1974, Handgun Control, Inc. -- now calling itself the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, hereafter referred to as "the Brady camp" -- proposed a complete ban on handgun ammunition. Their petition to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission called for:

"...a rule banning the sale of bullets for hand guns, with exceptions for police, licensed security guards, the military, and licensed pistol clubs."  (See:

Last year, as every year since the above proposed ammunition ban, millions of Americans enjoyed the safety and security provided by access to a loaded handgun for self-defensive purposes. If Brady's "reasonable" ammunition ban had been successful, how would the following news stories involving senior citizens have turned out?

If the Brady camp had been successful at affecting an ammunition ban, what would have become of these lawful, decent elderly citizens when they needed the ammo to defend their own lives?

Why does the Brady camp wish to prohibit self-defense among our senior citizens?



The Brady camp has said publicly that they can accept the possession of guns for legitimate purposes. Their opinions about what makes owning a gun legitimate have included sporting purposes, hunting and recreation -- never self-defense.  "The only reason for guns in civilian hands is for sporting purposes," said Sarah Brady. (Tampa Tribune, Oct. 21, 1993)

What would have become of the following women if they hadn't had a gun this year to defend themselves:

It's hard to understand why the Brady camp would oppose the use of firearms in the above self-defense situations. Without a firearm, these women, in at least some of the instances, would have been severely hurt or killed.

Why does Brady support wish to prohibit these women from defending their own lives, dignity and property?

What's more, Brady has even published information about how many crimes are thwarted by firearms each year:

Q: What are the real numbers on the use of firearms for self-defense?

A: According to the US Department of Justice:

On average per year in 1987-92, about 62,200 victims of violent crime, about 1% of all victims of violence, used a firearm to defend themselves. Another 20,300 used a firearm to defend their property during a theft, household burglary, or motor vehicle theft.

Though their numbers are way off -- most armed self-defense stories are unreported, and many crimes are thwarted by the deterrent of an armed society -- let's use them to make a point: that's 82,500 people who used a firearm in self-defense, per year, on average.  But self-defense is not a good enough reason to own a gun, according to their leader, Sarah Brady.

To an outside observer, that seems rather rude. To the families of those 82,500 people who averted crimes against their persons and/or property, it might even seem criminal -- and like Brady is the accomplice.



The Brady camp has consistently spoken out against concealed carry decriminalization. Any time there is a new bill introduced to decriminalize the carrying of concealed weapons for self-defensive purposes, Brady opposes the bill.  They oppose allowing a 90-pound single mother to carry a self-defense firearm when she has to walk to work through a rough part of town.

Brady also hoped that by putting Al Gore in the U.S. Presidency in the 2000 election they'd be able to re-criminalize concealed carry in states where citizens are now carrying concealed firearms legally.

Taking a look at just one month -- July 2001 -- we found four cases where citizens legally carrying concealed firearms thwarted violent crimes. Does Brady honestly want people to believe that these innocent people deserved to be victimized and should simply have submitted to the whims of predators -- even if it meant serious bodily injury or death?

And while the Brady camp has yet to show that people who legally carry concealed are more likely to commit crimes with their firearms than the general population, at least one researcher has shown just the opposite: concealed carry permittees are less likely to commit a crime, by far, than the general population.

One must wonder why the Brady camp supports violence against lawful, decent citizens.

That doesn't seem very balanced or enlightened.



The calls for "reasonable" gun control do not always come from the usual suspects -- occasionally, and more frequently lately, people who bill themselves as strident gun rights leaders urge people to support bad ideas. For example:

"We think it 's reasonable to support the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act."

--Testimony of Wayne R. LaPierre, Executive Vice-President, National Rifle Association, before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, U. S. House of Representatives, May 27, 1999

Before you agree with Mr. LaPierre's statement, consider these facts:

  • If the librarian at Columbine High School had been armed, she could have saved 10 lives including her own. Instead, she sat in mortal fear for several minutes -- on the phone with police officers who had guns on their hips that served no good purpose for her own safety or the safety of the children -- until she and the children present were executed.
  • If the police officer at Santana High School in San Diego had not been present on campus with a gun -- by sheer coincidence -- the student shooter who disobeyed the so-called "Gun-Free School Zones Act" would have wounded and possibly killed more innocent people.
  • If high school Principal Joel Myrick had been obeying the so-called "Gun-Free School Zones Act", he would not have been able to stop a shooting rampage at his school. His "lawlessness" -- "unreasonable," according to Mr. LaPierre -- saved innocent lives.
  • The so-called "Gun Free Schools Act" was enacted in 1994.  According to the Brady camp: "Over 3,500 students were expelled in 1998-99 for bringing guns to school." [emphasis theirs]  Does this gun prohibition work? Obviously not. All it does is assure that lawful, peaceable teachers and administrators are unable to protect their students from deranged people -- and that everybody knows it.

Why is it "reasonable" to tell every criminal-minded idiot in the entire nation that our schoolchildren are sitting ducks?

Where is the common sense in banning teachers from defending their students and themselves?

Whose insane idea was this, and why are gun rights leaders promoting it in the halls of Congress?



The Brady camp has been telling whoppers about U.S. v Miller since they were founded. You can even read lies about the 1939 Supreme Court case on the Brady website today. Click here and you'll find the following statement, copied from their website today:

As a matter of law, the meaning of the Second Amendment has been settled since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). In that case, the Court ruled that the "obvious purpose" of the Second Amendment was to "assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness" of the state militia.

Not only is the above is patently untrue, the court found just the opposite in that case, as follows:

"The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. ... that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time."  (See: U.S. v Miller, 1939.)

The phrase "state militia" doesn't occur anywhere within the text of U.S. v Miller; Brady added it in an attempt to deceive people who won't take the time to read the actual text of the court decision. Miller, contrary to the Brady camp's bizarre revisionist misinterpretation, supports the individual right to keep and bear arms.  The above lie from them is but one in a long, tiring list of "reasonable" Brady lies.



The Brady camp and various other gun prohibitionists misuse the term "reasonable" when discussing gun control. They find it reasonable to:

  • force women to submit to rape, beating... even murder;
  • require senior citizens to let violent thugs come into their homes and hurt or kill them while taking their possessions and their dignity;
  • mandate that every citizen in this nation be an easy, disarmed target for thugs; and
  • insist that all students and teachers in public schools are sitting ducks for violent criminals.

There is nothing reasonable about supporting these things. 

Anyone who does should be ashamed.


Printer Version

Reporters today are far removed from America's founding values and are alarmed and contemptuous of gun owners as dangerous lower classes. HENRY ALLEN, WASHINGTON POST

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