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
Please visit Dave Kopel's website, containing articles on the Second
Amendment and other freedom topics.
Table of Contents for this issue
update on Kopel website enhancements. Request for translators
on New Orleans: New
Orleansloots guns from the
explains why confiscation is illegal. Then NRA and SAF persaude a
court to prohibit confiscation.
writing by Kopel: Dangerous legislation in Congress. Scottish and
of the Second Amendment. Justice Roberts.
3. International: Bolton's Views; Canadian Firearms Issues; India,
Philippines, Russia, South Africa; U.N. Report that Scotland is the
World's Most Violent Country
4. New Orleans: NRA monitors; Offiicals Unready; Looter Protection;
5. Culture: Hoplophobia Help; Teachers Shooting; '60 Minutes,' 'Pistol
Pete' Mascot Disarmed, Phony RKBA Group
6. Politics: Sex Offenders Ban; BATFE Videotaping; Brady Campaign;
Missouri CCW; N.C. Weapons Counseling
7. Law: Roberts on RKBA Case Law; Gun Show Legislation; Self-Defense
8. Research: Civilian Self Defense Blog; Death by Murder Statistics; Gun
News; Insurance Cost of RKBA?
Special bulletin: Kopel website enhancements
PDA: If you use a personal digital assistant--such as a Treo or
a special PDA-enabled version of Kopel's home page. The special version
simpler formatting, and no graphics, for faster display with the PDA's
memory. The PDA-enabled Kopel home page is:
addition, there is a PDA-enabled page for "Kopel's Corner," the weblog
blogging for The Volokh Conspiracy. The PDA-enabled Kopel weblog is:
Language: Thanks to volunteers all over the world, the Kopel
website now includes
translated content in French and Italian. In addition, there is some
content in Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Dutch, Hungarian,
website (except for PDF pages) is also structured to allow seamless
machine-based translation for persons who wish the browse the website in
(simplified), Japanese, Korean, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese,
Translators sought: We would very much appreciate the volunteer
services of translators
language. You can work with Kopel to pick the short article(s) you would
translate. The Independence Institute cannot pay translators, but the
credit, including a link, if desired. The impending gun prohibition vote
in Brazil is
set off a cascade of activity by the international gun prohibition
lobbies, aiming to
decisive blow at the July 2006 UN anti-gun conference. And if they do
not win at the
UN in 2006,
they already have many strategies for imposing global gun prohibition
freedom-loving people of the world need to learn the truth about gun
issues. As a
translator, you can accomplish a great deal of good at a critical time
1. Special Report on New Orleans:
'Stunningly incompetent' Mayor Nagin given
a pass by Denver's News,
Post. Also: cartoonists push junk science; paper promote illegal
Internet gambling; News omits key fact in Gaza story. This column is
part of Dave's regulara bi-weekly column discussing bias in the Denver
news media. For the recent archive of Dave's columns see:
These three blog entries, and others which can all be accessed through
the 'Related Posts' links at the bottom of each, detail Dave's
exchanges with fellow Volokh Conspiracy blogger, Law Professor Orin
Kerr, of George Washington University, who did not feel the efforts to
confiscate civilian firearms in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
quite the violations of civil rights that Dave branded them. How
absolute are legal rights in an emergency, particularly when they
involve the very fundamental right of self-defense? Follow the
discussion and decide.
Putting aside the considerations of the previous exchange, the
authority of the firearms confiscation order only had a five-day span,
and those five days have duly expired. Were the confiscated guns
And now for
the Happy Ending to the Story:
Admits that Gun Confisications Have No Legal Basis.
September 25 entry on the Volokh Conspiracy celebrates the magnificent
the Second Amendment Foundation, the National Rifle Association, and
attorney Stephen Halbrook in federal district court for the Eastern
on September 23. A federal judge ordered New Orleans and St. Tammany
stop confiscating guns, and to return all the guns which have been
New Writings by Kopel
The Scottish and English Religious Roots of
the American Right to Arms: Buchanan,
Rutherford, Locke, Sidney, and the Duty to Overthrow Tyranny, 12
Bridges (nos. 3/4, Fall/Winter 2005, forthcoming). Many twenty-first
century Americans believe that they have a God-given right possess arms
as a last resort against tyranny. This article examines one of the most
important sources of that belief: the struggle for freedom of
conscience in the United Kingdom during the reigns of Elizabeth I and
the Stuarts. A moral right and duty to use force against tyranny was
explicated by the Scottish Presbyterians George Buchanan and Samuel
Rutherford. The free-thinking English Christians John Locke and
Algernon Sidney broadened and deepened the ideas of Buchanan and
Rutherford. The result was a sophisticated defense of religious
freedom, which was to be protected by an armed people ready to resist
encroachments on their natural, sacred liberties. The principle that
right to arms is the ultimate guarantor of the right to free exercise
of religion is one reason why the First and Second Amendments are
placed next to each other in the American Bill of Rights.
H.R. 1528: A Threat to Gun Owners, Families
David B. Kopel and Mike Krause
Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder 1B-2005-C
(PDF format requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
The 'Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child
Protection Act of 2005'
contains some language that violates several constitutional
protections, including that of the 2nd Amendment.
Dave details some of his concerns about
Chief Justice Nominee Roberts's
view of the powers granted to Congress under the Constitution's
Interstate Commerce clause.
Pro-gun Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is
getting ready to introduce a
bill that would block the United Nations from implementing gun control
measures affecting U.S. citizens.
In something of a vindication of the
indestructibility, the New Orleans Times-Picayune can still provide its
own account of Vitter's effort to protect the rights of U.S. citizens
from U.N. overrule.
A collection of our ambassador to the U.N.'s
On the subject of the 2nd Amendment,
addressing the UN Conference on Small Arms this July 9, Bolton noted:
"The United States will not join consensus
on a final document that
contains measures contrary to our constitutional right to keep and bear
arms... We do not support measures that would constrain legal trade and
legal manufacturing of small arms and light weapons. The vast majority
of arms transfers in the world are routine and not problematic."
Library of Parliament Report: Some Legal
Implications of a Municipal
Bylaw Requiring the Central Storage of Firearms
Wade Riordan Raaflaub
Law and Government Division Parliamentary Information and Research
Service September 16, 2005
Toronto's plan to ban home possession of all
firearms gets legal
support from a researcher for Canada's parliament. All firearms could
be required to be stored in a central location under the control of the
city police, as Raaflaub sees it.
Statistics produced for annual Juristat
released by the Canadian Centre
for Justice Statistics (CCJS) show that while Canada's total violent
crime rate declined, the national homicide rate increased 12%.
The indefatigable Breitkreuz notes, by
implication, that despite
ever-stronger gun laws, Canada's crime rate continues to exhibit
Canada's murder rate continues to rise
rapidly. 71% of all murders in
Canada are committed with something besides a firearm.
Gun collectors in Canada are required in no
uncertain terms to allow
police inspection at any time of their acquisitions--for
Dr. Mauser is a Professor in Business
Administration and the Institute
for Canadian Urban Research Studies, at Simon Fraser University. His
conclusions in a word: No.
"Project Ploughshares, the peace agency of
the Canadian Council of
Churches, has launched a campaign against small arms and light
After one student fired at a professor,
others are playing it safe and
carrying their licensed weapons.
"The National Police Commission has issued a
new directive limiting
the issuance and disposal of firearms to its personnel."
An interesting article from the Russian News
and Information Agency, on
liberalizing Russian gun laws: "In Moscow alone, some 400,000 people
legally keep 470,000 weapons to protect themselves, their families, and
property against potential assault in these troubled times."
"...Of the 20,397 applications for
competency certificates received since
January, 3,937 had been finalized..."
Firearm Licensing Authorities are denying
professional hunters a right
to earn a living by dismissing applications for rifle and ammunition
licences without giving sufficient reasons, say hunting lobbyists.
"Implementation of the Firearms Control Act
is threatening to spiral
out of control with government's Central Firearms Registry processing
only a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of reapplications for gun
licences it was scheduled to process this year."
"Relatives of people killed or injured by
acts of gun crime clashed
with sporting enthusiasts yesterday over the government's plans to
restrict the manufacture and sale of imitation and replica firearms."
"British criminals could have access to as
many as four million illegal
firearms, criminal intelligence experts warn"
"A United Nations report has labeled
Scotland the most violent country
in the developed world, with people three times more likely to be
assaulted than in America."
4. New Orleans
"...in the wake of unspeakable crimes
perpetrated by roving, armed gangs
and individuals, authorities in New Orleans seized legal firearms from
lawful residents, effectively disarming the very citizenry they are
sworn to protect."
"Emergency officials who prepared
Louisiana's plan for responding to a
major hurricane never guessed that one of their duties would be to
protect aid workers from gunmen, one of the state's senior disaster
officials said Monday."
"Glenn Reynolds suggests shooting looters.
Eric Muller proudly looks down his nose at the idea. How uncivilized! But the irony is that it's Muller whose position is uncivilized..."
"Just got my phone charged, thank God," he
says. His taps are running
again, albeit at low pressure, and the looters left him alone because
"I have a very large gun."
A web-page offering support and some
soothing techniques for
suffer from the mental illness of irrational
fear of firearms.
"Repeatedly pulling the trigger on a loaded
gun seems like an unusual
way for a teacher to spend a weekend, but that is what many area
educators did Sunday during the Franklin Rifle and Revolver
Association's first ever firearm training geared toward those in the
field of education ..."
"Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. on June 29
said it expected firearms
sales for fiscal 2005 to rise by about 11 percent and earnings to be
within the high-end of its forecast, before certain accounting
adjustments." Smith and Wesson stock has doubled in value in recent
"How can a parent do this? Buy a child a gun
- and take the time to
teach how to use it responsibly and safely."
"University officials have also stripped the
word "Pistol" from Pete's
name. The new logo shows Pete twirling a lasso. The old Pete toted a
pistol. The changes are part of a marketing plan to remake the
university's image on the national stage."
This group points out that the subject of an
admiring '60 Minutes'
segment on CBS confessed to breaking several federal gun laws, and
demands an investigation.
"pro-gun" group, Hunters and Shooters
"...there is no constitutional right to arms
for criminals, terrorists,
or others who seek to abuse the very freedoms the Constitution
guarantees..." For a thorough analysis of this group's origin and
"...the U.S. House of Representatives passed
on a voice vote an amendment
offered by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to prohibit gun
possession by individuals convicted of misdemeanor sex offenses against
H.R. 1603: "To require the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and
Explosives to make video recordings of the examination and testing of
firearms and ammunition, and for other purposes."
Introduced by Rep. John Gingrey [R-GA]
A bill recently introduced in the U.S.
Congress would require ATF's
Firearms Technology Branch to videotape all testing of firearms it
conducts when making a determination of whether or not the firearm in
question falls under the purview of the National Firearms Act, which
regulates the ownership of machine guns. In addition, the proposed
legislation would prohibit ATF from entering into evidence at a
criminal trial any item that has been determined to be an NFA firearm
unless the videotape of that determination is provided at that trial.
The ATF has been unable in some celebrated cases to prove charges that
civilians had illegally converted legal weapons to illegal
Missouri governor Matt Blunt signed
legislation Tuesday aimed at fixing
a flaw in the state's concealed guns law, and the last localities still
holding out immediately said they would start accepting applications
Several county sheriffs from Nevada have
denied signing a letter
submitted to Congress by the Brady Campaign, but that organization
continues to use their names in opposing recent senate legislation.
The North Carolina State House of
Representatives decided to keep a new
policy on advising domestic violence victims about legally carrying a
gun, rejecting Gov. Mike Easley's request to nullify a law he signed a
few days previously.
A bill to be introduced soon in the Ohio
Legislature would prohibit
cities from enacting their own gun laws like the one passed by the
Columbus City Council banning assault weapon sales. The NRA has moved
a planned convention out of Columbus pending passage of this
A gun ownership resolution by Baker County
Democrats has been adopted
by the statewide party. It stresses the constitutional right to own
weapons and advocates severe penalties for those who abuse the right.
Hardy finds evidence that nominee Roberts
is well acquainted with some
important RKBA case law.
"A federal judge on Thursday questioned
whether a state law governing
gun show transactions may be so broadly worded that it could affect
pancake breakfasts or other similar events sponsored by gun clubs."
"The federal agency that regulates U.S. gun
dealers stands accused,
along with at least three Virginia law enforcement agencies, of trying
to shut down legal gun shows through alleged intimidation of gun buyers
and sellers. The law enforcement organizations also allegedly broke the
law by sharing gun buyers' information with members of the public."
Pamela Lee, a retired deputy sheriff, was
walking with her leashed
100-pound rottweiler. After she could not persuade two stray dogs to go
away by yelling at them, she drew a pistol and fired at them. The dogs
ran away after the bullet struck the hood of a parked car. Lee, who had
been attacked by dogs twice in the past, testified that she thought an
attack was imminent. Lee was tried for discharging a firearm with gross
negligence. The jury deadlocked. Lee was retried. The trial court
refused her request to include self-defense instructions, as had the
court at her first trial. Lee was convicted.
Reversed. The CALJIC instructions on
self-defense do not mention an
attack by an animal. The CALJIC introduction states that a trial court
might need to give an instruction that is not included in CALJIC. It
does so in recognition that the CALJIC Committee could not anticipate
every issue that might arise at trial. The focus of the defense of
self-defense is the nature of the threat, rather than its source. Thus,
it serves no public policy, and is neither logical nor fair, to deprive
a defendant of the defense merely because the attacker was not human.
Requested instructions on a defense must be given if they are supported
by substantial evidence. Lee's testimony that she fired the gun to
prevent an imminent attack by an approaching, aggressive dog
constituted substantial evidence. Thus, the trial court should have
instructed on self-defense.
See the URL for David Hardy's commentary.
The case has implications
for self-defense claims in court.
These two are doing an excellent job of
tracking self-defense incidents
and their legal resolution.
This article contains some interesting
statistics. The webpage breaks
down homicide rates on an international, state, and city level, trends
over time, especially hazardous occupations (taxicab driving is worst)
and locations (liquor stores), etc.
This is a well-organized and fairly
comprehensive collection of current
news and links, to blogs and other sources, on the subject of firearms
ownership, use, and legislation. There is also a historical section.
"The United States remains far behind most
other affluent countries in
terms of life expectancy. One of the possible causes of this life
expectancy gap is the widespread availability of firearms and the
resulting high number of U.S. firearm fatalities: 10,801 homicides in
2000..." There was a similar line of argument in an article referenced
the last newsletter.
This newsletter is compiled with help from
Dr. Rob S. Rice. Dr. Rice's
newest non-fiction will be coming out in November, the naval section of
'Fighting Techniques of the Early Modern World,' from Amber Books. Dr.
Rice is also a poet, novelist, and factotum of matters electronic to
Al Qaeda delenda est!