Benedict D. LaRosa

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

Benedict D. LaRosa of the San Antonio, Texas area is the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for June.
 In nominating Mr. LaRosa for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, stated that, “these days, when gun grabbers seem to be somewhat on the ropes politically, they have begun aggressively to implement a divide and conquer strategy.  Following this approach toward their goal of undermining or eliminating the individual Second Amendment civil right to keep and bear arms, they seek to split off different sectors of the Second Amendment community from one another.  Instead of proposing some kind of universal gun control scheme, for instance, they will propose a limited form of gun control, hoping that gun owners not directly affected by such proposal will ignore it, thereby allowing such proposal to be enacted into law.  If they were to succeed with this approach in a number of different areas, they would be able over time virtually to eliminate the right to keep and bear arms.
 “Fortunately for us, though, there are pro-gun thinkers who see right through this strategy.  Such an individual is Ben LaRosa.  Active in the struggle against governmental encroachment on personal liberty for 30 years, he recently exposed the fallacy behind attempts to ban certain so-called “armor piercing” ammunition for civilians.  For this as well for his previous pro-gun activities, he certainly deserves the recognition indicated by this Award.”
 When anti-gun legislators at the federal and some state levels proposed measures recently to ban the Five seveN pistol (FN 5.7), LaRosa noted the given reasons were “its supposed easy concealability and the supposed ability of its 5.7 ammunition to penetrate bulletproof vests worn by police.”
 However, LaRosa commented for The Future of Freedom Foundation, “it is difficult to understand all the fuss.  The gun itself is approximately eight inches long, hardly an easily concealable size.  The caliber of the ammunition is barely bigger than a .22-caliber bullet, which until recently, was the smallest diameter for a bullet.  The length of the cartridge is just over an inch (28 mm), again small by modern standards.”
 He wrote that, “although the FN 5.7 pistol can fire armor-piercing ammunition – the type that will penetrate a modern bulletproof vest – so can any other pistol on the market, many firing much larger and more powerful projectiles.”
 With regard to bulletproof vests, he wrote that, “in reality, there is no such thing.  ‘Bullet-resistant’ is a more accurate term for body armor.  The degree of resistance depends on the materials used, how they are layered, the caliber and make of the bullet, the powder load of the cartridge (which affects its speed), and other factors, such as weather.
 “That said, why can’t civilians have access to armor-penetrating bullets?  Don’t criminals, who are more apt to attack civilians than armed and trained police, sometimes wear body armor when committing crimes…Gun control measures cost more innocent lives than they save.  This one is no exception.  Instead of banning the FN 5.7 or any other gun, legislators should remove barriers to the civilian use of the latest technology in weaponry.  The life they save may be yours.”
 Ben, an historian and writer, was born August 11, 1945 in Benevento, Italy, but grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from the U.S. Air Force Academy and Duke University respectively.  During the Vietnam War, he served as an Air Force Pilot, logistics officer and historian, and later worked as a civilian historian for the Department of the Air Force.  In the mid-1970s, he worked for the Massachusetts Department of Community Affairs.  He co-founded the Holistic Health Institute of San Antonio in 1979 and served on the Nutrition Task Force of the Camino Real Health Systems Agency.  During 1990-1991, he served as Secretary of the Bexar County (TX) Libertarian Party.
 Ben has written and lectured extensively on gun control, the Constitution, the monetary system, federalism, free enterprise and similar topics.  He is the author of Gun Control: A Historical Perspective, published by the Candlestick Publishing Company in 1992, and Democracy or Republic, Which Is It? self-published in 1999.  He also wrote chapter eight of The Tyranny of Gun Control, a book published by The Future of Freedom Foundation in 1997.  His articles have appeared in the San Antonio Light, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Current, Guns Magazine, Freedom Daily, MiamiHerald.com, Journal Press (VA), and many other publications.