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Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Newsletter. March 20, 2002


About once a month, Dave Kopel produces a free e-mail Newsletter containing short summaries and links to important new research and writing involving the Second Amendment and firearms policy. The newsletter also reports on Kopel's latest writing.

The content of this newsletter is produced by the Second Amendment Project at the Independence Institute, a think tank in Golden, Colorado. The newsletter is electronically distributed by the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, Washington. Thus, the Second Amendment Foundation will be given your e-mail address.

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Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Project is based at the
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Table of Contents for this issue

1. New Kopel articles: Gun control in China and in East  Timor. How the anti-gun lawsuits backfired, and created
an activist firearms industry.
2. New Feature: Kopel's Corner
3. Links
 



1. New Kopel articles
 
China Tallies Our Rights Record. The U.S. and guns,
according to them. National Review Online. Feb. 25, 2002.
http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel031802.shtml
 
Birth of a Nation. What East Timor and the U.S. have
in common. And what they don't.  National Review Online.
Mar. 12, 2002. With Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen.
http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel031202.shtml
 
Unintended Consequences. The fruits of hysterical
antigun lawsuits.  National Review Online. Mar. 6, 2002.
http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel030602.shtml
 


2. Kopel's Corner
 
National Review Online, for which I write articles every week,
has a new feature called "The Corner." It's a "weblog."
That is, it's a place where National Review
folks can offer short thoughts on diverse topics. It's
a good tool for me to get Second Amendment news to a
broad audience quickly. In every issue of the Second
Amendment Project Newsletter, I'll reprint my
postings from The Corner on gun rights issues. So
here we go:
 
GUNSMOKE
Mark Pertshcuk, legislative director of one of America's
largest gun-ban lobbies, spent ten years working for
America's leading anti-tobacco lobby. He explains
http://www.jointogether.org/gv/news/features/reader/0,2061,549149,00.html
the difference between the anti-tobacco fight and the antigun fight,
and shows how antigun activists can learn from anti-tobacco activists.
 
A BELLESILES OF YESTERYEAR
Writing for the History News Network, Professor Jerome L.
Sternstein details a 1966 case of historical fraud similar
to the contemporary case of Michael Bellesiles. In
"Historical Fraud and the Seduction of Ideas: The Poulshock Case"
http://historynewsnetwork.org/articles/article.html?id=568
Professor Sternstein discusses a book about the tariff debates
in the late 19th century, in which the author's extensive
"research" into the correspondence of politicians was almost
entirely fabricated. The article also looks at Bellesiles,
and the role of NR's Melissa Seckora in exposing Bellesiles.
In 1966, Syracuse University Press immediately recalled all copies of the fraudulent book, once the
fraud was exposed. But today, Knopf continues to promote
"Arming America," and has even published a paperback edition.
In 1966 and today, the professional historical societies have
refused to warn their members about a book demonstrated to
be a hoax.
 
MARSHAL LAW
John Lott explains
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-

000017968mar11.story?c oll=la-news-comment-opinions
why Norman Mineta's opposition to handguns for pilots
is so dangerous: 30% of stun gun uses fail because the
target is wearing thick clothing or shoes with rubber soles.
Meanwhile, fewer than 1% of U.S. commercial flights have
sky marshals. As Barron's reported last week, if you're
not flying to or from Washington, D.C., or the Olympics
the odds of a sky marshal on your flight are virtually nil.
Endangering passenger safety for the sake of political
correctness, Secretary Mineta is even worse than his
Clinton predecessors.
 
MORE GUNS, LESS TERRORISM [Dave Kopel]
The Jerusalem Post reports
http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2002/03/08/News/News.44812.html
that a would-be suicide bomber fled the Israeli town of
Karkur on Thursday, March 7, after he was confronted by
an Israeli citizen carrying a pistol.

JUSTICE SERVED
The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest court,
has rejected another abusive lawsuit against a handgun
manufacturer, in the case of Halliday vs. Sturm, Ruger
http://www.courts.state.md.us/opinions/coa/2002/54a01.pdf
 [This link requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.]
In 1999, a Maryland man bought a Ruger pistol from a gun store
in Maryland. The pistol came with a free lock box, with an
instruction manual containing numerous warnings and instructions
about firearms safety, with safety warnings written right on
the gun itself, with a safety pamphlet from the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and with an offer for a free
safety training course, which the buyer declined. The gun
itself had a safety lever which must be disengaged in order
to fire. Ignoring these safety materials, the buyer put the
handgun in his bedroom, where his three-year-old son found it,
and fatally shot himself in the head. The boy's mother sued
the gun store and Ruger, for allegedly failing to provide
sufficient warnings, and for not incorporating various design
features which would make the gun impossible for small children
to fire (and which would also reduce a gun's utility for emergency
self-defense by an adult, or which would make the gun difficult
to use by a person with weak hand strength, such as an elderly
woman). The Court of Appeals ruled 6-1 that the suit was improper
as a matter of law. The court explained that the Maryland
legislature, which has enacted an extensive set of gun controls
while rejecting other proposed controls, has already conclusively
determined what kinds of guns with what kinds of features
are legitimate to sell in Maryland.
 
CITIZENS AGAINST TERRORISTS
The Chief Deputy Director of the Philippines' Anti-Kidnapping
Task Force has announced
http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2002/mar/07/top_stories/20020307top8.html
that he favors arming citizens to resist kidnappers. The
Philippines has been victimized by dozens of kidnappings
orchestrated Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group which is allied
with al Qaeda and which is attempting to overthrow the
nation's democracy and replace it with an Islamic dictatorship.

COLUMBINE COVER UP
The Colorado house of representatives unexpectedly voted not to
form a special commission to investigate the Columbine High
School murders. The vote
http://www.insidedenver.com/drmn/columbine/

article/0,1299,DRMN_106_1022170,00.html 
came after heavy and secret lobbying by the Jefferson County
government against any inquiry. At the least, preventing the
inquiry prevents further examination of Jefferson County Sheriff
John Stone's decision
http://www.davekopel.com/2A/Mags/WhatIfWeHadTakenColumbineSeriously.htm
to prohibit officers from entering the school during the murders,
even though open 911 lines showed that students were being killed
in the library--where the 911 operator had ordered them to stay
and awaiting police rescue. Likewise shielded from inquiry is
Sheriff's Stone's attempts to cover up
http://www.insidedenver.com/drmn/

opinion/article/0,1299,DRMN_38_1021838,00.html
that decision, the cover-up of why a 1998 search warrant for
Eric Harris's house was never executed, and conflicting
statements about whether Columbine student Daniel Rohrbaugh
was accidentally killed by a police bullet.

JUST CATCHING ON
Britain's gun-crime rate has hit an all-time high,
the BBC reports.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1853000/1853112.stm
One MP bemoans the "lawless gun culture" gun culture that has
grown up in London, where illegal guns are available for 200."
Well, duh. As I detail in my law-review article
"All the Way Down the Slippery Slope,"
http://www.davekopel.com/2A/LawRev/SlipperySlope.htm
the British government spent the last century exterminating
the law-abiding gun culture. Now, the government is shocked
that a lawless gun culture has replaced it.



3. Links
 
Banning Guns Won't Stop Terrorism
Hartford Courant
John R. Lott Jr.
Regarding .50 caliber firearms
http://www.ctnow.com/news/opinion/op_ed/

hc-lott0318.artmar18.story?coll=hc%2Dheadlines%2Doped 
 
Israel is Arming its Civilians - Why Aren't We?
Richard Poe
Newsmax.com
March 15, 2002
http://www.newsmax.com/commentarchive.shtml?a=2002/3/15/011005
 
Giving Reporters Guns
In the war on terrorism, journalists are often targets
of the enemy. Should they arm themselves when they're in the field?
by Bo Crader
The Weekly Standard
03/18/2002
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/

Public/Articles/000/000/001/018lmzap.asp
 
College Gun Clubs Return
Dr. Michael S. Brown
March 13, 2002
Newsmax.com
http://www.newsmax.com/commentarchive.shtml?a=2002/3/13/024428
 
Annie, Get Your Gun
Women with firearms help make America safer.
By Collin Levey
Wall Street Journal, Opinion Journal
March 14, 2002
At Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, "hunting" has traditionally
been understood as an activity for the horsy set or, at best, a Friday
night excursion to Amherst.
http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/clevey/?id=105001763
 
Regulatory FRAUD
A Calculated Deception
Against the People of the Commonwealth
An Investigation into the Massachusetts Attorney General's
Regulations on Handguns
(940 CMR 16.00)
Report by the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts
http://www.goal.org/FRAUD.htm
 
A history lesson for historian
Archivist refutes claims of prize-winning author
March 2, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
By Sam McManis
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/03/02/MN13172.DTL 
 
Historian's failings have impact today
By Thomas Shapley
March 14, 2002
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opini...shapcol11.shtml

Paul Craig Roberts
March 6, 2002
Criminalizing toy guns
Gun control has reached absurd limits in America.
In Michigan, an 8-year-old boy is being prosecuted
for pointing a toy gun at three other youngsters and
threatening to shoot them. If this had happened in my day,
every boy would have spent his youth in prison.
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/paulcraigroberts/pcr20020306.shtml
 
Zero-Tolerance Watch
Overlawyered.com
The brilliant educators who run Lewis Elementary School in
Barstow, Calif., "have banned students from playing 'cops
and robbers' on school grounds," the Contra Costa Times
reports. "The temporary ban was set on the game, in which
kids shape imaginary guns out of their fingers and pretend
to be officers of the law and criminals, while school
officials decide whether it is dangerous."
http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/news/state/2878675.htm
 



Al Qaeda delenda est!  

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