January 2003

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

In Washington, D. C., the Cato
Institute is crafting a legal challenge
to the city’s gun control law, claiming
that all law-abiding Americans
have the right to defend themselves.
“The Second Amendment provides
an individual right for a person to
bear arms, not a collective right,
not a right of the states, not a right
of the militia, but a right of each and
every person,” said Cato’s Bob Levy.
Washington, D. C. law states that it is
illegal for anyone to own a handgun
unless he or she is a police officer or
has owned a gun registered prior to
1976 and periodically re-registered.
Additionally, a handgun must keep
it unloaded.
In Tacoma, WA, agents with the
IRS and BATF searched a gun shop,
Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply, and the
home of its owner, Brian Borgelt, in an
investigation into how a .223-caliber
Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle got
into the hands of John Muhammad,
one of two suspects in the Beltway
sniper shootings in October. The joint
investigation arose from a civil inquiry
in which BATF sought to determine
whether the gun shop had been
properly documenting gun sales,
said Martha Tebbenkamp, a BATF
spokeswoman. The gun that authorities
say was used in the shootings
was delivered to the shop last July
2 but the store has not been able to
produce records showing that the
gun was sold.
In Abuja, Nigeria, Archbishop
John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan said
Christians were tired of “turning
the other cheek” to violent Muslim
attacks and blamed the government
for violent sectarian riots after
a newspaper about the Miss World
beauty pageant. “No group of people
should be allowed to invade the city
of Abuja and molest law-abiding citizens,”
said the Catholic prelate. He
said Christians should not hesitate
to protect themselves from attacks.
In Washington, D. C., BATF
is opposing a proposal to let gun
sellers and owners import as many
as two million World War Two era
infantry guns that were made in the
United States and exported to the
world’s armies 50 years ago. The
BATF objections come as the U.S.
State Department is considering
the proposal, made by the Firearm
Importers Roundtable Trade Group.
BATF maintains that implementation
of the idea would flood the market
with outdated but deadly weapons
that could fall into the hands of criminals
and would be hard to regulate.
The Trade Group, under the presidency
of Charles Steen of Sarco,
Inc., says “there will not be millions
of guns flooding the marketplace”
because “market forces will control
what is imported” and there would be
“unusually lengthy” reviews by BATF
and the State Department. It points
out that buyers would be subject to
the “same requirements that apply
when purchasing other firearms.”
In an obviously embarrassing
development for gun control freaks
that hold up England’s strict gun
control laws as objects of emulation
by the United States, it turns out that,
according to a new United Nations
report, England and Wales have the
highest crime rate among the world’s
leading economies. The survey,
cited by David Bamber, Home Affairs
Correspondent of the Electronic
Telegraph, shows that people are
more likely to be mugged, burgled,
robbed or assaulted in the United
Kingdom than in the United States,
Germany, Russia, South Africa or
any other of the world’s 20 largest
nations. Only the Dominican Republic,
New Zealand and Finland have
higher crime rates than England and
Wales. According to the comparison
of international crime statistics
produced by the UN’s Office for
Drug Control and Crime Prevention,
England and Wales had 9,766 crimes
for every 100,000 people in the year
2000. The United States had 8,517,
South Africa 7,997, Germany 7,621
and Russia 2,022.
In Richmond, Virginia, anti-gun
State Sen. Henry L. Marsh III says
he will introduce a bill that would
require criminal background checks
on everyone who seeks to buy a
firearm at a Virginia gun show. Marsh
says that current law, which requires
federally licensed dealers to conduct
the checks but does not apply
to unlicensed sellers, “makes gun
shows a great place for criminals to
go and get guns with no questions
asked.” He says “Virginia is a leading
source state when it comes to
providing gun runners with guns.
It’s embarrassing.”