James Webb staff member arrested by Capital police?

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Just heard through the grapevine a staffer for Sen. Webb was arrested earlier today for possession of a loaded handgun which was registered to Webb. Capital police confirmed something happened at the Russell Office Building but would not reveal the staff member or Senator in question.

If the rumor is true, maybe it will light a fire under some Democrats to fix DC's highly screwed-up gun laws.

UPDATE: More at Drudge, Wonkette.

The grapevine says Capital police have now confirmed a Webb staffer arrested for a weapons charge.

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107 Comments

Jack said:

Thanks, Joe. I was about to post this myself. Classic liberal hypocrisy.

Not neccessarily is Webb a hypocrite -- he never stated his position on gun control. Does anyone know when this rule (allowing congresscritters to carry) was passed?

I'm sure now that the Democrats are in charge, they will repeal that rule forthwith.

Uh - no Webb is in no way a hypocrite. Jim Webb made it very clear during his campaign that he is pro-gun. He is an NRA member and has an 'A' rating from the NRA. Jim Webb has a concealed weapon permit and is a strong advocate of protecting our Second Amendment Rights.

I would bet that some staff member has a CWP, lives in VA and is just so accustomed to carrying that he didn't notice he'd done something wrong until it was too late. It gets to be like having your wallet and keys after a while. You don't even think about it.

Kevin said:

Did the staffer even know he was carrying Webbs gun? Was it in a bag he was carrying for Webb?

Jack said:

The gun was in Webb's bag -- it was Webb's gun, not the staffers.

I hope that Webb will support the repeal of the D.C. gun ban.

zimzo said:

What has happened to this country when someone cannot carry a concealed gun into the capitol without being harassed? Who will these busybody guards stop from bringing guns into the capitol next? Terrorists? Lunatics? Disgruntled constituents trying to assassinate their congressmen? These impositions on our liberty must be stopped now.

Jack said:

We can always trust zimzo to misunderstand the issue, and put his foot in his mouth!

Yeah, Zimzo, you need to take that up with Sen. Webb.

Again, let's hope this sends a message about the ridiculous DC gun laws.

zimzo said:

I am unclear as to what "message" this sends about DC gun laws. Do you honestly believe that people should be free to take loaded weapons into the Capitol unencumbered?

Jack said:

No, zimzo. The point is that the liberal congresscritters allow themselves to have firearms. Why?

BINGO. The biggest problem about DC is only criminals and congressmen are allowed to be armed (and, perhaps we'll see, congressional aides). Regular shmoes aren't even allowed to carry CS spray.

zimzo said:

So letting everyone carry concealed guns including terrorists and lunatics would be a step in the right direction?

Jack said:

No, zimzo. No one is suggesting that YOU should have a gun.

Your campaign to provide firearms to terrorists and lunatics is dangerous and irresponsible, Zimzo, and I feel obliged to call you on it.

zimzo said:

I guess when you can't justify gutting gun control laws to make it easier for terrorists and lunatics to have guns and opposing all reasonable limits such as background checks and plugging the gun show loophole and banning AK-47s, then making snarky comments is all you have left.

Jack said:

Zimzo, the USSC has ruled that convicted criminals cannot be required to register their firearms, because they are not allowed to have firearms, and so the requirement to register would make them incriminate themselves. Thus, registration only applies to innocent civilians.

We have an instant background check in Virginia. I have no problem with that. I have also had background checks done when I purchased guns at gunshows.

So why would you ban AK-47s? First of all, it is less powerful than most hunting rifles (30-06, .308, and .270), and many hunting rifles are also semi-automatic.

Second, the 2nd Amendment protects militia-type weapons, not hunting weapons. The Miller decision clarified that. While the sawed-off shotgun is a fantastic short-range hunting piece, it is not standard-issue military, and the ban stood.

Why is it that you do not trust the people of D.C. with guns, but you want them to have a vote in Congress?

The issue here is the hypocrisy of the liberal congresscritters, that they allow themselves the right to bear arms, but they do not want ordinary citizens to have that right.

Kevin said:

Jack, "Zimzo, the USSC has ruled that convicted criminals cannot be required to register their firearms, because they are not allowed to have firearms, and so the requirement to register would make them incriminate themselves. Thus, registration only applies to innocent civilians," is written decidedly backwards, but I'm sure you're aware of that.

In fact there are plenty of laws stating that many types of criminals or mentally ill people cannot have guns. This is why the background check is key. The fact that those laws are not a good deterrent to useless gun owners selling there guns on the sly makes no difference.

The criminals will get guns as long as people with no criminal background continue to purchase them and sell them on the black market or without performing rigorous checks.

But you know that.

Jack said:

You are correct, Kevin, but they cannot be charged with failing to register a gun. Only someone without a criminal record can be so charged.

Kevin said:

No criminal would WANT to register a gun, isn't that the point? I'd gladly add "Failure to register a gun" to any list of reasonable things a gun user could be charged with if they shouldn't have had the gun to begin with. Heck, start a nat'l registry where criminals can come register their hot guns. Then when they don't, cause they won't, you, Jack, will be pleased to pile that charge on top of whatever they were arrested for in the first place. It's useless though.

What IS nice is guns for money trades where the City buys up hot guns for cash, no questions asked.

Jack said:

As I said, the USSC has ruled that criminals CANNOT be charged with failure to register a gun!!

Only law-abiding citizens can be required to register.

As for the city buying guns, do you really think the criminals are turning them in?

I'd like to have an AK-47.

BTW, just so we don't lose sight of the real issue here: If a regular citizen gets caught on a handgun violation in DC they get their ass handed to them. Legal- enforcement wise.

I think Webb and his staffer should be allowed to carry a loaded handgun, as I think every law abiding citizen in the DC metropolitan area should.

I think any law abiding young woman who lives and/or works in the District should be allowed to carry.

But according to DC's current gun laws they can't. They will get spanked big time, in fact.

Senator Webb and his employee should be subject to the same laws that afflict everyone else. And the laws should be changed.

Kevin said:

BTW, I shot a machine gun (I couldn't tell you the model)down in VA not to long ago. Very difficult to steer when you don't have a lot of money to pay for a lot of ammo so you can practice steering.

Jack, I think I must be missing something, a larger part of the picture or a few brain cells or something. The USSC has ruled that criminals cannot be charged with failure to register. First of all, tell me how charging them with failure to register would be helpful? Maybe my confusion stems from not being sure why that pisses you off so? Is it that you feel they are coddling the criminals? Exposing law abiding citizens to more charges than the crims? Seems like a zero sum game to me, the law abiding will register, and the criminals will not which would make the law unenforceable. What's the problem?

And Jack, as for gun buys, I wrote that without really looking into it much. I've heard about gun buys before (I think down in Richmond, mostly) and my rememberance is it looks impressive but the reality is such that it probably isn't a fraction of a percentage of the guns out there. Then I read about some of the efforts up here in the late 90's along the same lines and how those were ineffective in changing things.

On the larger issue, why do you think DC's gun laws are what they are? I'm not up on the history. Is it because of the fact that the country's government is centered there or was it part of an effort to deter gun related crime or decrease the murder rate?

The argument that you need to be able to carry a gun as a best defense (only the criminals are armed) is ridiculous. And at least some of the argument that banning guns will keep people from having them is ridiculous too.

Jack said:

Kevin:

You ask reasonable questions. I will try to give reasonable answers.

Gun registration only applies to law-abiding citizens. So why have it at all? Where gun registration has been implemented, there has been confiscation. Germany, England, Australia, and Kalifornia come to mind immediately.

I think DC laws are what they are because the city is run by a bunch of willfully ignorant democrats. The point of the Democrat Party is to have people dependent on the government, so that more government is required, and those in government will have more power. Taking guns from the citizens increases their dependence on the government. If they really wanted to reduce the crime rate, they would arm and train every law-abiding citizen in the city.

It has benn repeatedly shown that allowing the citizens to carry reduces crime. Although having a gun provides some measure of individual defense (as one of the plaintiffs in the DC case demonstrated when brandished his gun to ward off some anti-homosexual thugs) but, more importantly, allowing citizens to carry provides a collective deterrent. A rapist in VA does not know whether his intended victim is carrying. If he goes to DC, the odds are very good she is not.

zimzo said:

The reason places like DC and New York have strong gun laws is because they are urban environments where a heavily armed citizenry increases the likelihood of violent crime and accidental deaths of bystanders. That is why Giuliani implemented tough gun control laws when he was mayor of New York despite his attempts to run away from them now. Unfortunately, the effects of tough gun laws are somewhat negated by the flood of illegal guns originating in Virginia, which is why the current Republican mayor of New York is suing Virginia gun sellers.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

Your claim that "a heavily armed citizenry increases the likelihood of violent crime" makes no sense. Are you claiming that guns turn law-abiding citizens into violent criminals?

Bloomberg is a RINO. He lost the Democratic nomination, then changed parties to run as a Republican. He did not change his politics, only his party. Basically, he's suing so that he can blame his city's problems on someone else.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Jack,

It does make sense that crime would go down if everyone had a gun, as in the example about the rapist. But don't you think that the typical person does not carry a weapon?

I know women who carry pepper spray, but not to many who are packing heat.

It always seems like the easier it is for people to carry concealed weapons, the greater the chance that the rapist will have a gun, not the rape victim. Don't you think?

Also, in Switzerland, which is the oft-used example of guns reducing crime, can people carry handguns? I know everyone gets a machine gun from the government and sort of puts it in their closet for whenever Switzerland might be invaded, but I'm not sure if they have people walking around on the streets with concealed weapons. Do you know?

Jack said:

Puffalump,

The deterrent has been shown to work. In Florida, for example, when concealed carry was implemented, crime rates dropped accross the board, EXCEPT for crimes against tourists! Tourists were not allowed to carry, so they were safe targets.

Not everyone has to carry to have an effect.

I think rapists generally have weapons anyway. Even if they do not, they are almost always larger and stronger than their victims, and the victim is under threat of death anyway.

In any case, habitual criminals are generally not be concerned with the legality of carrying. If they decide to commit a crime with a gun, it will hardly matter how the gun was obtained, or whether they had a permit to carry it.

We have only to look to our neighbor to the north to see how well their gun laws are working. Why is the violent crime rate in Canada TWICE the rate in the United States?

In Switzerland, the individual cantons issue the carry permits. The Stgw-90s they do not put "in their closet for whenever Switzerland might be invaded." They are required to practice and take an annual live-fire test.

stay puft said:

ok, they have an annual test, and I can see how that sort of hoplite system would reduce home break-ins, but do you know if people on the streets are carrying concealed weapons?

Puft, In Virginia, Florida and Texas they definitely are. I'm not sure about other states but Jack likely knows.

stay puft said:

I'm wondering about Switzerland, I guess I could google it

Kevin said:

Hey jack, looks like the ban went into effect in 1976. I've read an argument that crime rose afterward but haven't found out yet which way it was trending on the way up to the gun ban. My sense is that it went into effect because crime was trending up. Is it possible that ban or no ban, crime is the problem? I know I'm asking you to think, rather than just come down with your patent answers, but hopefully a show of good faith will encourage you to do so. Another example is in my fair town where I read that an initiative in the late 90's to get guns off the streets resulted in getting lots of guns off the streets but no reduction in crime. I think the source was a little biased but I don't disagree necessarily with the idea that solely focusing on getting the guns off the streets is ineffective, per se. Some other factors? Crack cocaine? I'm guessing that's part of it. Along with a whole host of other social blights.

Kevin said:

Whoa. If anyone's got a JSTOR account this could be a cool article:

__http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0034-6535(200011)82%3A4%3C519%3ATEOCCA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-A

but it looks like the early 80's are most commonly linked to crack, maybe PART of the reason for a crime rise after a 1976 gun ban.

Jack said:

Kevin:

Either way, we cannot look at DC alone. It would only be one data point, and one cannot draw conclusions from one data point.

Where concealed carry has been implemented, violent crime has gone down more than similar places that did not. Where guns bans have been enacted, violent crime has increased significantly compared to similar places that did not ban guns.

BTW, habitual drug users are not allowed to carry, either. (Maybe that's why democrats don't like the law.)

Puffalump -- please re-read what I posted. Concealed Carry (with a permit) is allowed in Switzerland. The cantons are responsible for issuing those permits.

Kevin said:

We cannot look at DC alone the same way we cannot look at guns (ban) alone. I think trends are important here, I think multiple variables are important, and I would like to have an actual honest discussion. I've raised an example of another city I know about. I'm not making an argument here, I'm looking for answers.

I understand habitual drug users are not allowed to carry. Let's not get lost in your partisan stereotypes for a second and just look at the issue honestly.

Please provide some facts about comparison cities both ban and non-ban for crime rises and crime reductions. That'll be a good place to start. Also, include trends up to 20-30 years pre and post ban for each to support your point. I don't have any problem agreeing with you if I'm wrong and you can support it.

Kevin, let's start at the opposite end of the dataset: If I have a gun on me, I am less likely to be the victim of a violent crime. If my neighborhood includes a number of household with guns, my neighborhood is less likely to be victimized. It does not take a major leap of faith from there to say public policy allowing law abiding people to own guns makes citizens safer.

Kevin said:

I'll take that as an alternative starting point. I say, run with it. Back it up:
1. If I have a gun on me, I am less likely to be the victim of a violent crime.
2. If my neighborhood includes a number of households with guns, my neighborhood is less likely to be victimized.

"It does not take a major leap of faith from there. . ." So far that's all that's been presented.

We can have a look at crime, we can even have a look at violent crime or crimes committed with guns and those are operational.

There are ways to operationalize "safety" but I'll tell you, the number of gun owners in a community is not one of those ways.

It's a lot easier to use crime stats. But I say if you want to go from the opposite end then go for it!

Well it seems "operationalizing" the question as you seem to be defining it runs the risk of meaningless abstraction.

I could say "don't let the child run with a lolipop in her mouth" because it seems a priori dangerous, and I think we'd all agree I would be on solid ground.

Some might argue "you have not proven operationally that running with the lolipop is problematic because you don't have the data to back it up", but all reasonable people would ignore the objection.

By the same token, if I'm a woman carrying a snub nose .357 in her pocket on the way from the Metro station to her car, I am far less likely to be abducted than an unarmed woman. If I'm a sitting watching TV with a loaded Glock nearby, I'm far less likely to be the victim of an armed intrusion than the unarmed householder - because I could shoot the bad guys before they get in the door. If I'm elderly and have to go to the ATM late at night .... etc, etc.

You don't need statistics to back this up.

Kevin said:

Joe, "Some might argue 'you have not proven operationally that running with the lolipop is problematic because you don't have the data to back it up', but all reasonable people would ignore the objection." I couldn't agree with you more.

All I'm saying is that if you ask what makes a "safe" community, I'm sure you can come up with a number of reasons. A well employed community would be one thing that makes a safe community and there are other operational definitions.

From what I can tell you are saying that, "If my neighborhood includes a number of households with guns", then it is a safe community, and I simply disagree. I live in one.

My point might be that it's not about guns (ban or no ban), per se. To argue that guns make a community safer just seems simple. Let's arm everybody and see what happens.

No disagreement here. I did not mean to give the impression "arming everybody" was a solution to crime. My point was allowing regular citizens to be armed made THEM safer.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

I went ahead and posted the article about crime and crack Kevin talked about at:

http://tinyurl.com/2cd66t

nice article, short and sweet

also, another nice piece about Drugs, Guns, and Crime:

http://tinyurl.com/2t6zuf

The sort of evidence that Kevin asked about, which would make the link between more guns and less violence might exist. On the other hand, it seems like there is no shortage of guns in high-crime areas.

Now here's a short anecdote: My girlfriend was held up at gunpoint. She had mace in her purse, but the guy had a gun pointed at her head. Had that mace been a concealed weapon, it wouldn't have helped her, (unless she had it drawn and pointed at everyone who walked toward her)

So let me assure you that concerns about gun crimes are as sincere as concerns for protecting our 2nd amendment rights. But that's the thing, the argument for concealed weapons is that it reduces crime, but the right to bare arms was meant to maintain a militia, not as a crime-prevention measure.

Citizens do NOT have the constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in the name of reducing crime. That's not what the 2nd amendment is about.

I'll have to respond to the articles later, but as to your other points:

Most gun training I know of does not recommend using a firearm to prevent being robbed, necessarily, because regardless of what happens you ARE going to be pulled into court, hire a lawyer, and possibly spend a fortune defending against a civil suit, when it would be easier just to hand over your wallet. In Virginia, for example, you can't shoot at someone carrying a TV out of your house or driving away in your car.

Being armed is to protect oneself or someone else against injury.

It's obvious that just HAVING a gun is no protection at all if you do not know how to use it as well as know the things like environmental awareness to keep yourself safe (watching where you go, awareness of surroundings, keeping distance between yourself and others).

Mace against a gun, by the way, is rarely a matchup one would seek to employ unless the alternative was being kidnapped or harmed.

If a woman was armed and for some reason walking through a dangerous area (which a trainer would tell you NOT TO DO anyway - you never go anywhere armed you would not go unarmed), she would not just have the gun "in her purse." She would have it accessible, such as in a purse or other carrying device that allowed for immediate access. In the front pocket of an overcoat, for instance, or a purse with a false flap on the side.

She would certainly be going out of her way to avoid run-ins of any sort - just like a driver who is carrying automatically removes himself from the portion of the population which is entitled to drive aggressively or flip the bird to another driver.

The argument for concealed weapons is carrying can increase one's safety immensely because one is no longer an easy mark for violent criminals. It's that simple.

Jack said:

I think we're going the wrong way here, anyway. Since we have a constitutional right to bear arms, the burden is on the gun ban proponents to show that gun bans reduce crime.

Still, a common comparison is Seattle to Vancouver. In 2002, the violent crime rates for the two cities were 1199 per 100,000 in Vancouver, vs. 828 per 100,000 in Seattle.

spmm said:

Joe:

The fact remains that there is no constitutional right to carry a weapon for the sake of personal protection. Citizens have the right to bare arms for the sake of maintaining a militia.

what they had in mind was the president declaring himself king and the future of the country depending on a popular uprising of armed citizens. Again, the idea behind the 2nd amendment is preservation of the country, not personal protection.

and as the second article points out, in high-crime areas many people feel less safe precisely because so much crime involves guns (not the other way around).

Jack:

I realize that my anecdote is not data. Do you know of any long-term studies like Kevin asked about. I'm sure this sort of thing has been done.

Jack said:

Puffalump -- we have the right to keep and bear arms. The reduction of the violent crime rate is a happy bonus.

Yes, the long-term studies have been done. Upon implementation of a gun ban, violent crime in England, Wales, Scotland, Australia, and Canada went up much faster than in the gun-ridden United States. That's why the violent crime rates in those countries are so much worse than ours.

As I said, though, since you agree that we have a right to keep and bear arms, it is the gun-banners who need to prove that gun bans reduce crime. Otherwise, there is no reason to restrict that right.

All of which misses the point of the Democrats' hypocricy in denying the citizens of DC their rights, while exempting themselves from the ban.

Kevin said:

Jack, it seems as though if there was a gun ban implemented to bring down crime, it could be assumed that gun related crime was trending upwards. The fact that it continued upwards after the ban is a bit inconsequential. Whether gun bans are effective is another argument all together. All I'm saying is it doesn't necessarily mean that gun bans increase violent crime or the argument to the alternative, that an armed society reduces crime. I don't see you defending either of those arguments well, yet.

As to the hypocrisy of Democrats, that is your mantra and I will consider it politics as usual.

Thanks for the links, by the way, SPMM! Sweet.

Kevin said:

And, gentlemen, not that it amounts to a whole hill of beans, I would like to encourage you to review the murder rates in DC around the time just prior to and just after the year when guns were banned in DC:

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/dccrime.htm

Indeed, murders just about tripled between 1960 and 1969, held steady, more or less, until 1976, and then dropped slightly (some might argue significantly by about 1/3).

Just interesting, that's all. It says nothing about gun crime, a gun ban as part of a more comprehensive package (drug initiatives, community policing, etc etc.) but interesting nonetheless.

(I hope that was fair treatment, Jack)

Jack said:

Kevin:

Accusing the liberals of hypocricy is indeed "politics as usual," because the liberals are usually hypocrites.

Now, Kevin, you need to compare DC to other cities that did NOT impose draconian gun laws.

Kevin said:

Jack, yawn. Now, let's see, a city that's never had draconian gun laws. . .please tell me which one would pass the muster of Almighty Jack? First we'll need to find out what is considered as "draconian" since most (all?) cities have laws about guns. . .

Jack said:

You missed my point. You cannot take one city alone. You must look at many cities and show, statistically, that gun control has reduced crime overall.

YOU are the one who wants to take away the basic right of self-defense. You'd better have clear and convincing evidence supporting your case.

Jack said:

Puffalump:

Let me see if I understand you. Are you saying that an individual does NOT have the right to protect himself and his family?

stay puft marshmallow man said:

I would be really interested in reading a study. But if you don't want to cite a study, or if you can't find any such study, that's fine. You can just say, "it's up to people who want to ban guns to show that it reduces crime"

On the other hand, constantly saying "Democrats are hypocrites" is kind of like someone constantly saying, "Republicans are bigots." Please don't use name-calling to flame the discussion. If you really want to talk about democratic hypocrisies, maybe you should post another one of your, "liberals have underdeveloped brains" conversation starters

I said that the second amendment is not designed to provide people with a means of protecting their families. I did not say that people don't have a right to protect themselves.

Whether people have the right to use guns to protect their families or not is debatable, but the fact is that it's not granted to them in the 2nd amendment, which is about establishing a militia for the purpose of national defense.

furthermore, your argument has been that if people have concealed weapons, crime goes down because no one knows who might have a gun. Now you add in that guns can also be used in self/family protection. To borrow a line from you, show me where in the constitution it says you can use a gun in self-defense, or carry a concealed weapon.

as to proving things statistically, you listed a number of countries, and said crime went up when guns were banned there. care to cite a study? (preferably one that controls for things like economic recessions, etc.)

Jack said:

"maybe you should post another one of your, 'liberals have underdeveloped brains' conversation starters"

An excellent idea. Unfortunately, I'm busy this weekend, but I'll get to it when I can.

"To borrow a line from you, show me where in the constitution it says you can use a gun in self-defense, or carry a concealed weapon."

An excellent question. The Ninth Amendment states: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Note also that the Second Amendment does NOT grant the right to keep and bear arms, but says that the right "shall not be infringed." The implication is that the right exists independently of the Constitution.

I repeatedly ask you, and others, to show where in the Constitution the federal government is allowed to do something. The federal government was created by the constitution, and the constitution specifically states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

I have, indeed, cited many countries' bad results from gun control. I do not have a study that controls for economic recessions. Nevertheless, the burden of proof is on those who want to curtail our rights. Do you not agree?

BTW, are you asserting that economic recessions cause more crime or less. The crime rate went DOWN during the latest recession. Do you have a study linking recessions to violent crime rates?

Kevin said:

Jack, "You missed my point. You cannot take one city alone. You must look at many cities and show, statistically, that gun control has reduced crime overall." RIGHT! I've said as much! If you're trying to make the point that only DC and Chicago have succeeded in banning guns then I'll come right out and say it for you. If you want to talk about concealed/carry laws then we should add that to the discussion. The fact is, guns have been banned in 2 cities (with the attempt to do so in San Fran) after a wild rise in crime. The effort was enacted to reduce crime after years of gun allowance and periods of high crime coincided. What they have to do with each other I don't know. I'm currently working on getting Chicago's results after their ban.

"YOU are the one who wants to take away the basic right of self-defense. You'd better have clear and convincing evidence supporting your case." ANOTHER misrepresentation. YOU are the one trying to say that no guns=crime rise. I have stated my position as one of wanting to learn, looking for facts, looking for other factors, even when they contradict each other. My position on it can be classified as NEUTRAL currently. You, on the otherhand continue to obfiscate, place the onus of investigation on me (for some reason) when I've suggested we look into it together, and refuse to look at multivariate explanations. It's YOU who is too scared or unwilling to support your claims, buddy-boy!

Honestly Jack, don't back down and give up unless you really just don't care. Are you interested in answers or just looking like you've crossed your arms and threw a tantrum?

Kevin said:

BTW, expect a major rise in crime in my town after Bmore bans BB-guns! ROFL!!!

Jack said:

Kevin:

I hardly consider it "backing down." I have posted here repeatedly, with assorted facts and figures, on gun control and crime -- specifically gun control in the Connomwealth nations, because their cultures are similar to ours. I have looked into it a great length. I do not have time now to dig up the files again, but go to the NovaTownHall archives and you will see some of them.

I am glad to see you are neutral on this issue. Still, the burden of proof must be on those who want to curtail our rights. Puffalump seems to be in that camp. I am sorry that I assumed you were also in that camp.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

well, I'm not trying to curtail our rights. I've said we don't have the constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon, and that while the 2nd amendment is about maintaining a militia, your argument has been about crime reduction.

But I'll drop it because it's asking you to hold two discussions at once, and frankly I'm more interested in seeing your data then on parsing the 9th amendment.

(btw, when you've asked, "where in the constitution does it say..." and I've answered with an amendment, you've said, "the bill of rights is not part of the constitution" So... I guess deep down you're a democrat!)

You've had a lot of time to participate in this discussion, but you don't have the time to relocate studies you've posted here before?

Kevin said:

Jack, the burden of proof is on everyone. Bans were enacted, here in the States, because the status quo of allowing gun ownership wasn't working. My inclination is that guns or no guns, there is no difference in regards to crime. I just don't find the guns=drop in violence argument at all. I don't know that gun bans do a whole lot either. I'm not sure how Mr. Lott, Jr. in the testimony to the House can stick by his numbers (from other stuff I've read, he appears to be a pro-gun advocate). I'm a little frustrated at the argument of gun bans=increase in crime. If the numbers for DC in the link I posted about them are accurate, directly after the ban robberies, murders, and rapes dropped for a couple of years until we got into the 80's.

The 80's, across the board for most major metropolitan areas, were a tough time with the introduction of crack. I've been reading that there was a rise in enlistment of children in the drug trade around this time as well. There are multivariate reasons for crime increases. Economies are another factor, employment, access to gov't handouts, etc, etc.

My feelings about conceal/carry stem from living in Richmond when the law went through. I remember thinking, "That's badass!". I also recall that Richmond was already coming back from a banner decade of crime that made the city a near ghosttown. Meaning crime was reduced, not by conceal/carry, but by some other factor. Today's Richmond is much different then Richmond 12-13 years ago. Still high crime, but nothing like it was then.

Drugs, drugs, drugs. I can't stress that enough. And when you can make a living at it, better than you can a McDonalds, we got a problem. When you can't graduate from highschool, you got a problem. When property values drop and school funding drops because of that, or your school board is bilking millions of dollars from taxpayers (to the tune of $50mil) which should be going to the schools, you got a problem. When 2/3 of your employment base is either on probation or parole, that's trouble.

Do you solve it by banning guns or allowing conceal/carry? Not valid solutions. It's just not that simple.

But I understand your argument is about rights. Don't forget about the right to walk out your door and not get popped by a stray because 3 kids down the street were beefing. Or the right to step out of your car and not have someone walk up to you and say "shut up" before they shoot you in the face for no good reason.

I'll never forget the story of a friend of mine who was walking down the street in Richmond (at 3am) and a dude jumped out from behind a bush and cracked him in the head with a cinderblock, knocking him out, no time to react. Would having a gun have made a difference?

Puft,

I think the constitutional question is beside the point of this post, at least in the way I framed the issue. But to your point, I have to wonder:

If a right to abortion can be found in the Constitution, mustn't a right to gun ownership?

Kevin,

I agree with you on the influence of drugs in crime. It seems totally self evident. This whole argument about changing crime rates does not come into play in my personal opinion on the importance of allowing gun ownership. Just because other factors can cause an increase in crime is no evidence that having a gun cannot make one safer.

Also, that one could be jumped from behind and not be able to use a gun for protection also seems evident - however it does not really seem relevant to the argument. Just because you could be smashed flat by a runaway 18-wheeler is not an argument against wearing a seat belt.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Joe, I was trying to make the point that whether we have the right to use a gun as a form of self defense or not, that right is not granted to us in the 2nd amendment.

and I said I want to let the point go because I'm more interested in Jack's data.

As I understand it, the logic of the concealed weapon issue isn't about self-defense, anyway. It's about defending others. If anyone had a weapon, a criminal would never know who might be able to jump in and stop them from committing a crime. IE, if someone was robbing a gas station, the guy buying jerky might have a gun and use it to prevent the robbery, but the clerk with a gun pointed at his head isn't going to be using a gun in self defense, (because that's just how the "I've got a gun pointed at your head, so no funny stuff" game works).

Jack said:

Puffalump,

Read the Second Amendment again: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

You are quite correct: "that right is not granted to us in the 2nd amendment." Indeed, NO RIGHTS AT ALL are granted by the Second Amendment. The PRE-EXISTING right to keep and bear arms is PROTECTED, not GRANTED, by that amendment.

As for your store clerk:


Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 10/18/06
Customers were browsing the shelves at a food store shortly before closing time when three men entered the building. Police say the men waited for the customers to leave before announcing an armed robbery. Once they emptied the store's coffers, the robbers took all store employees to the back of the store and bound them with duct tape. With a gun aimed at his head, the store manager, who has a concealed-carry permit, freed himself and drew a .45-caliber handgun. The manager fired several times, striking his assailant twice. The injured robber died while the other suspects fled. "In my opinion, if this man had not had a gun, my concern is that they would have executed these people," county prosecutor William Forsyth said.

The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA, 03/05/06
The manager of a cell phone store was behind the counter when two men brandishing pistols burst inside. Police say one would-be robber jumped over the counter and slammed the manager to the ground. A store employee tried to run, but she fell, and the crook behind the counter grabbed her arm and put a gun to her head. At that point, the manager grabbed his own handgun and shot the man holding the female employee, then shot the second robber as well. The suspects fled the store, but the manager identified one of them when he turned up at the hospital.


There are more stories like that if you want them.

"As I understand it, the logic of the concealed weapon issue isn't about self-defense, anyway. It's about defending others."

Ah say, ah say, son, we uh need to get you down here in the South for a spell! When a daddy gives his daughter a five shooter it's not to defend the town, it's to defend her honor.

Jack said:

I've discussed this with my daughter. I am pushing the G.A. to lower the CCW age to eighteen, at least for women. Then when a "boyfiend" at college gets violently insistent, she can say "at least let me get protection." Then she pulls out her .38-calibre "protection."

That's what I'm talkin about.

Kevin said:

With the Grand Rapids crew, all violent crimes. Guns did nothing to deter the perps. I'm just sayin'.

Jack said:

What are you saying, Kevin?

According to the FBI Uniform Crime reports, violent crime in Grand Rapids went from 1134 per 100,000 in 2000 to 1005 per 100,000 in 2005.

SOMETHING is deterring the perps.

Kevin said:

Listen, I'm glad Grand Rapids is dropping in violent crime, if those numbers are accurate. It's funny, under their site for 2005 numbers there is a link "Why doesn't the FBI rank cities' crime levels?" Here's the link to find out why:

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/about/variables_affecting_crime.html

"Until data users examine all the variables that affect crime in a town, city, county, state, region, or college or university, they can make no meaningful comparisons."

At any rate I was talking about the two specific cases you listed. NOTHING deterred those guys. I know, I know, the whole "statistical points on a map", etc. Like I said, I was just sayin'.

Jack said:

Ah, yes, arguing by anecdote. So if even one criminal is not deterred, none are?

Kevin said:

All you do is argue by anecdote. ??? Isn't that exactly what you were attempting to do when I showed you that you were refuting your own argument? Whatever. I'm getting tired of this argument when the facts are so clearly before us. You cannot link rises or falls in crime to gun ownership or gun bans, in my opinion. If having your gun, or giving one to your daughter, makes you feel more secure then so be it. But you can't make an impact without looking at it from a multivariate perspective. Even the FBI says so :) I know, the argument was about the rights to own guns, or saying the Democrats are hypocrites or something. Thanks for piqueing my interest. I learned a lot.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

while the east side of the state has been suffering from layoffs in the auto industry, towns on the west, including Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, have been having a revival of sorts. Business investments have brought more jobs to those cities, established a stronger tax base there, and Grand Rapids in particular has been undergoing a sort of urban renewal. There has been a crime reduction, but it's way to simplistic to say that crime dropped because of gun ownership with all this other stuff going on...

Kevin and Puft Daddy, after much deliberation in this extensive thread, I think we have determined that neither of you should own guns. Let me know if you change your minds. Thank you very much and let's move on to the next topic.

Jack said:

Kevin, I am trying to see where I used a single anecdote. Could you point it out to me?

The FBI is correct, there are many reasons that crime goes down. Puffalump has argued that recessions cause crime, but he has presented no evidence to support that assertion. (In fact, the crime rate continued to decline in the last recession.)

Puffalump has made anotehr unsupported assertion, that Grand Rapids has experienced a "revival of sorts." According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, the population of Grand Rapids dropped from 200,000 to 195,000 between 2002 and 2005. That does not sound like much of a revival to me.

We have agreed that the Constitution allows individuals to keep and bear arms, have we not? That right, according to the Miller decision, pertains to MILITIA weapons. The sawed-off shotgun was determined NOT to be a military weapon. The military uses and issues handguns, so the handgun is obviously a protected class of weapon.

As such, those who wish to restrict the right of law-abiding citizens to bear handguns must show some overriding reason to do so. Enough states have enacted CCW laws, and those laws have been in effect long enough, to provide sufficient data to test their assertions.

Jack said:

Ah, Kevin, we're you referring to my store clerk stories? I was simply countering Puffalump's hypothetical, helpless store clerk with real ones who were not helpless in the face of armed criminals.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Joe:

Will the next topic be "story time" or are you ready for global warming??

I was fixin' to mow the lawn and then grill some salmon, which I figured might be five blog posts right there. But I suppose now I could be cajoled into a polite discussion of your blatantly tendentious little hokum theory.

Jack said:

Always happy to oblige, Puffalump.

Jack said:

Remember the liberal mantra -- if you're losing an argument (on, say, gun control) change the subject (to, say, global warming).

Of course, the problem is, they're wrong on that, too, and just about everything else.

Joe, I really do hope that Puffalump and Kevin change their minds, and I hope the new ones work better.

Jack said:

Too bad the woman wasn't armed, or the witness. By the time he got a guard, it was too late:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/03/cnn.shooting/index.html

Will Carr said:

We've had shoot outs at the capital before and planes crashed into the capital and vice presidents to who take pot shots at colleagues. Who would you rather see helping out? A security guard or a Bronze Medal winner who took on Oliver North in a boxing match at Annapolis?
WHC

Jack said:

I'll take anyone who CAN help.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

actually, I thought changing the subject would allow you save face

if you'd rather, here's 1.1 million hits on crime and recession. be my guest.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

__________________________
___________________________

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=crime+and+recession&btnG=Search

Jack said:

YOU made the assertion, but did not back it up. Don't expect me to do your work for you.

zimzo said:

20 people dead at Virginia Tech. Thank you gun nuts.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,,-6561829,00.html

Your story actually says "one" killed, but I suppose in Zimzo reasoning it is sort of like "twenty". I eagerly await any data you may provide on gun violence, and assume it will be delivered in the same spirit of accurate reporting.

Anybody besides Zimzo have news on this? A radio report just said 23 dead. I guess it will be a few hours until an accurate number can be reported.

I think there was a bill in the VA legislature this year to allow concealed carry on campus, and I'm pretty sure it failed.

Regardless of whether it is one dead or 23, I'm sure plenty of parents will be thinking there needs to be better security on campus - and plenty thinking they'd like their kid to be armed from here on out.

zimzo said:

That's really your solution, Joe. Have kids carry concealed weapons to class? You honestly think that will result in fewer deaths than reasonable gun laws? You really are insane.

I'm not saying I'm not insane, Zimzo, but you have just proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are.

"Reasonable gun laws?"

News Flash To Zimzo: I have ascertained it is ALREADY against the law to shoot up a college dorm. So - try and track with me here - the shooter apparently decided to FLOUT the law.

So your answer is - what: No handguns? That is the law in DC and - hold on to your seat - there are lots and lots of hanguns in DC because CRIMINALS DON'T CARE ABOUT WHAT THE LAWS SAY.

Guns are sold on the black market. You can even get them in Canada and England. There are these new fangled phenomena called "gun runners" who - get this - make money off selling guns illegally.

It's very much akin to drug dealing: LSD and heroin are, in fact, illegal in Virginia and DC, but if the police reports are accurate you can apprarently still get both if you find the right criminal to buy them from.

zimzo said:

There are lots of handguns in DC because they buy them in Virginia. I don't think guns or drugs should be illegal, but the should be intelligently regulated. When gun nuts oppose police by fighting the ban on semi-automatics, closing the gun show loophole and banning cop-killer bullets and fight for concealed carry laws they demonstrate that they are not reasonable. I'm sick and tired of living in a society where massacres like the one at Virginia Tech are considered by some fanatics to be a reasonable price to pay.

Is there an echo in here? It's illegal to buy guns in Virginia and sell them to criminals in DC. Yet criminals try to do it anyway.

Lawbreakers are like that: They break the law.

So you don't think guns should be illegal? Then how on Earth can you suggest any additional laws to prevent what happened at Virginia Tech? If you can buy a hunting shotgun anywhere you can saw it off, hide it under a coat, and blast away with five or more shots before you have to reload, which takes seconds to do. In less than a minute you could take out a whole bunch of people all because Zimzo thinks guns should not be illegal. Shame on you, Zimzo.

Jack said:

If the law-abiding students and faculty of Virginia Tech had been allowed to carry on campus, the man would have been stopped long before it got to this point.

Oddly enough, the Virginia CCW law only mentions VCU. It is the school administrations that do not allow their people to protect themselves.

Kevin said:

Watch this, consulting my crystal ball I hypothesize the gun was legal, the shooter/s was/were troubled souls. No gun law, conceal/carry or ban would have solved it. But someone close the shooter/s is probably kicking themselves for not believing the allusion to "justice will be served". It's just plain sad. God be with the families.

stay puft said:

this isn't a political situation, ok?

Jack said:

Yes, it is. I am a student at GMU and have a CCW permit. The administration denies me the right to protect myself (and others) on campus. A bill to prevent public colleges from having such policies, House Bill 1572, didn't get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety.

Now 31 people at MY ALMA MATER are dead and many more injured because they were not allowed to protect themselves.

The Democrats want people to be dependent on the government. Those people were. Now they are dead because of that idiotic policy.

Democrates

Kevin said:

I thought they were injured/killed because somebody shot the place up, not because you hate Democrats? Whatever happened to personal responsibility with you, Jack?

Jack said:

They will killed because they could not defend themselves. They could not defend themselves because of DEMOCRAT policies. They were not allowed personal responsibility.

Zimzo, let us not forget, is the one who started us down this road today. He used to be a lot more creative in his disingenuousness; lately it seems like he's just phoning it in.

jacob said:

Zimzo,
Today you have really gone beyond the pale. 30 kids dead and you sound like a comercial for the anti-gun lobby.

Kevin,
Get real. Jack was responding to Zimzo's idiotic posing.

Jack,
Ignore the puke. He is beneath contempt.

All,
Knock it off. Let the bodies grow cold before we started flappin our gums. Mourning is called for, so shut up all of you.

zimzo said:

Oh you mean like this?:
http://instapundit.com/archives2/004221.php

or this?:
http://michellemalkin.com/archives/007319.htm

Who knew the right-wing gun nuts like Glenn Reynolds, Michelle Malkin, and our own Jack and Joe would blame gun control for what happened? Really, spare me your self-righteousness, Jacob.

stay puft said:

Jacob,

Thank you

Kevin said:

Oh no, Jacob. You're exactly right, I fell for Jacks baiting again, as usual.

Kevin said:

And yes, I agree with SPMM.

stay puft said:

...more or less

jacob said:

SPMM,
You are welcome.

Kevin,
Jack does bait many a trap, this time knowing him it was not baiting. He is pissed.

Zimzo,
You're getting smaller by the minute. Please note you started right off self rightous and political. So go heal thyself before you start casting stones my way. You were obviously wrong this time, for once be man enough to admit it.

All,
33 families have been senselessly destroyed today. I canceled my plans and went home, to be with my blessings. If you got kids, hug em. I would not wish this on anyone.

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