July 2001

Sunday, July 1st, 2001

“When I hear about the United Nations
getting involved with anything
to do with firearms,” states Rep. Bob
Barr of Georgia, a CCRKBA Legislator
of the Year Awardee, “I worry
about it because I think their agenda
is an anti-gun agenda…
‘The UN right now is engaged in a
deliberate, long-term and serious
effort to completely undermine the
freedoms we have in America for private
gun ownership…They are exerting
tremendous pressure on other
member nations to become involved
in this, and if our citizens don’t wake
up to this, we could be in a lot of
trouble. If people don’t know, they
could wake up one day in the nottoo-
distant future and find our constitutional
rights are meaningless
because of a treaty that has been
interposed and overlaid on our domestic
rights.”
The American handgun market
has dropped off so steeply that
some industry experts worry it may
never fully recover, reports the Associated
Press from Springfield, MA.
Observers and critics cite a number
of factors for the decline, according
to AP, including tougher
rules for purchasing handguns, the
revulsion caused by workplace and
school shootings, and the possibility
that Americans already own all the
guns they want.
AP reported that Cameron Hopkins,
Editor-in-Chief of American
Handgunner magazine, declared the
handgun business is “a dying industry.”
Combined production for domestic
and overseas handgun sales
tumbled by 52 percent between
1993 and 1999, according to an AP
analysis of the latest data from
BATF.
The violent crime rate plunged 15
percent last year, the largest oneyear
drop in the 27-year history of a
leading government crime survey.
The Justice Department reported
last month that the rate of property
crimes such as burglary and auto
theft also fell – down 10 percent from
1999.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’
national crime victimization survey
estimated there were 25.9 million
violent and property crimes in 2000,
nearly three million fewer than they
year before. That was the lowest figure
since the survey was begun in
1973, when in found an estimated
44 million crimes.
The violent crime rate began falling
in 1994 and the decline in the
property crime rate extends back to
1974, the statistics bureau chief
said.
Academics have cited a wide set
of reasons to explain the decline,
including the maturing of a teen-age
population, the aging of baby boomers
past crime-prone years, a subsiding
of the 1980s crack cocaine
epidemic and a strong economy.
Another reason, cited by CCRKBA
Public Affairs Director John Michael
Snyder during a speech last month
before the Kiwanis Club of Washington,
D. C., is the proliferation of state
concealed carry laws in recent
years.
The government survey excludes
murders because the statistics bureau
records only crimes reported
firsthand by victims it interviews. The
FBI, however, reported separately
that there was a decline in murders
last year of 1.1 percent.
“Preventing rape easier with handgun
than judo chop,” headlines an
article in The Washington Times by
police beat columnist Fred Reed.
Reed writes that a number of
women ask him time to time what is
the best way to avoid sexual assault.
“A fair number of women of my
acquaintance in Virginia have quietly
come to the same conclusion,” he
writes, “The most workable approach
is to get a concealed carry
permit and a small revolver…
“The idea is shocking to the highly
liberal. It is, however, remarkably effective.
Being shot a half-dozen
times usually causes the assailant to
reconsider his priorities. Except
through a miracle, a woman isn’t going
to fight off a determined attacker,
but a woman can pull a trigger as
well as a man can…
“If you live in Maryland or Washington,
D. C., you have a problem.
Practically speaking, these jurisdictions
allow criminals to carry concealed.
Citizens can’t. The wisdom
of this is highly debatable, but the
reality is that self-defense is discouraged.”
In Maryland, anti-gun Gov. Parris
N. Glendening vetoed a bill mandating
gun safety education for all public
school students. Both pro-gun
and anti-gun forces in Maryland supported
the measure. The only organized
opposition came from local
school boards. Advocates of the gun
safety legislation now may try either
to override the veto in January of
2002 or to pass another version of it.