Political arguments of gun politics in the United States: Wikis

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The political arguments of gun politics in the United States center around disagreements that range from the practical — does gun ownership cause or prevent crime? — to the constitutional — how should the Second Amendment be interpreted? — to the ethical — what should the balance be between an individual's right of self-defense, gun ownership, and citizens' interest in maintaining public safety?

Political arguments about gun rights fall into two basic categories, first, does the government have the authority to regulate guns, and second, if it does, whether public policy can effectively regulate guns.[1]

Contents

Rights-based arguments

Rights based arguments are based upon the most fundamental question about gun control; whether or not the government has the authority to regulate guns.

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Fundamental Right

Jeff Snyder is perhaps the best known spokesman for the view that gun possesson is a fundamental civil right, intimitately related to the right to life, and so does not depend on the US Constitution. In this view, arguments about whether gun restrictions reduce or increase violent crime are irrelevant: "I am not here engaged in...recommending...policy prescriptions on the basis of the promised or probable results [on crime]...Thus these essays are not fundamentally about guns at all. They are, foremost, about...the kind of people we intend to be...and the ethical and political consequences of decisions [to control firearms]."[2] He terms the main principle behind gun control "the instrumental theory of salvation:" that, lacking the ability to change the violent intent in criminals, we often shift focus to the instrument in an attempt to "limit our ability to hurt ourselves, and one another."[3] His work discusses the consequences that flow from conditioning the liberties of all citizens upon the behavior of criminals.

The Second Amendment Argument

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states "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."[4] Disagreement about the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is a touchstone of modern political debate about guns in America. The position that the Second Amendment codifies an individual right to own guns is a common argument made by gun rights advocates, who state that each of the Ten Amendments comprising the Bill of Rights refer to individual–not collective–rights, and place explicit limitations upon the power of the federal government.[5 ][6][7 ][8] A study of the National Rifle Association publication American Hunter found thirty-four references to this claim in a single issue of the magazine.[9] The Supreme Court recently affirmed the individual rights view in District of Columbia v. Heller. A key issue involves disagreement over the meaning of the Second Amendment, which is interpreted by gun rights advocates as well as the Supreme Court as an individual right, and by gun control advocates as referring to a right of the people to arm themselves only when bonded together for communal defense.[10]

The extensive emphasis on the meaning of the Second Amendment in modern political activity is reflected in the resultant public perception.[9] A poll conducted by the National Rifle Association found that 89% of Americans believe they have a right to own a gun.[11]

The individual rights view of the Second Amendment has been, and is, endorsed by many commentators, among them attorney and former senator Fred Thompson. In a recent article, Senator Thompson noted:

From the enactment of the Bill of Rights in 1791 until the 20th century, no one seriously argued that the Second Amendment dealt with anything but an individual right — along with all other nine original amendments. [Don] Kates writes that not one court or commentator denied it was a right of individual gun owners until the last century. Judges and commentators in the 18th and 19th century routinely described the Second Amendment as a right of individuals. And they expressly compared it to the other rights such as speech, religion, and jury trial.[12]

The claim that the Second Amendment does not codify a constitutionally based individual right to guns is a common theme of gun control advocates. Robert Spitzer[13] summarizes his opinion of United States Supreme Court precedence on this question:

"The Court in this case (U.S. v. Cruikshank, a pre-incorporation Supreme Court case) established two principles that it (and most other courts) have consistently upheld: that the Second Amendment does not simply afford any individual a right to bear arms free from governmental control; and that the Second Amendment is not "incorporated," meaning that it pertains only to federal power, not state power..."[14]

According to Spitzer, the Second Amendment does not in any way restrict the States from passing legislation which regulates firearms. The vast majority of firearm laws in the United States are not federal, but local codes, and are not constrained by the Second Amendment.[15]

Under the incorporation doctrine, which causes the federal Bill of Rights to be applied to the state governments, the second amendment has never been incorporated into the Fourteenth Amendment's liberty clause by any federal court.[16]

State constitutions

See also Gun laws in the United States (by state)

Each of the fifty states has its own constitution and laws regarding guns. Most of the states' constitutions provide for some form of state-level right to keep and bear arms with only seven states remaining silent on the issue.a[›] Many states' constitutional provisions for firearm rights are at least similar to, if not directly derived from, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Hawaii's constitution simply copies the text of the Second Amendment verbatim,[17] while North Carolina, and South Carolina begin with the same but continue with an injunction against maintaining standing armies.[18][19] Alaska also begins with the full text of the Second Amendment, but adds that the right, "shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State".[20] Rhode Island, on the other hand, subtracts the first half of the Second Amendment leaving only, "[t]he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed".[21]

The majority of the remaining states' constitutions differ from the text of the United States Constitution primarily in their clarification of exactly to whom the right belongs or by the inclusion of additional, specific protections or restrictions. Seventeen states refer to the right to keep and bear arms as being an individual right with Utah and Alaska referring to it explicitly as "[t]he individual right to keep and bear arms",[20][22] while the other fifteen refer to the right as belonging to "every citizen",[23] "all individuals",[24] "all persons",[25] or another, very similar phraseb[›]. In contrast are four states which make no mention whatever of an individual right or of defense of one's self as a valid basis for the right to arms. Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Tennessee all state that the right is "for the common defense",[26][27][28] while Virginia's constitution explicitly indicates that the right is derived from the need for a militia to defend the state.[29]

Most state constitutions go on to ennumerate one or more appropriate reasons for the keeping of arms. Twenty-four states include self-defense as a valid, protected use of arms;c[›] twenty-eight cite defense of the state as a proper purpose.d[›] Ten states extend the right to defense of home and/or property,e[›] five include the defense of family,f[›] and six add hunting and recreation.g[›] Idaho is uniquely specific in its provision that "[n]o law shall impose licensure, registration, or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony".[30] Fifteen state constitutions include specific restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. Florida's constitution calls for a three day waiting period for all modern cartridge handgun purchases, with exceptions for handgun purchases by those holding a CCW license, or for anyone who purchases a blackpowder handgun.[31] Illinois prefaces the right by indicating that it is "[s]ubject...to the police power".[32] Florida and the remaining thirteen states with specific restrictions all carry a provision to the effect that the state legislature may enact laws regulating the carrying, concealing, and/or wearing of arms.h[›]

Right of self-defense

Many gun rights advocates believe that the Second Amendment protects the right to own guns for individual self defense, hunting, and target shooting. Gun rights supporters argue that the phrase "the people" applies to all individuals rather than an organized collective, and state that the phrase "the people" means the same individuals in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 10th Amendments.[5 ][7 ][33 ] They also cite the fact that the Second Amendment resides in the Bill of Rights and argue that the Bill of Rights, by its very nature, defines individual rights of the citizen.[34][35]

Security against tyranny and invasion

Many gun rights advocates also read the Second Amendment to state that because of the need of a formal military, the people have a right to "keep and bear arms" as a protection from the government. The cultural basis for gun ownership traces to the American revolution, where colonists owned and used muskets equivalent to those of the British soldiers to gain independence. Thomas Jefferson also stated that the right to bear arms is necessary for the citizens to protect themselves from the "tyranny in government"[36]

A position taken by some personal gun rights advocates and organizations including Mike Huckabee,[37] Ron Paul,[38] and Gun Owners of America[39] is that an armed citizenry is the population's last line of defense against tyranny by their own government, as they believe was one of the main intents of the Second Amendment. This belief was also held by some of the authors of the Constitution, though a right of rebellion was not explicitly included in the Constitution, and instead the Constitution was designed to ensure a government deriving its power from the consent of the governed.

The Declaration of Independence itself says when discussing the abusive British rule: "...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..."

Abraham Lincoln, echoing the Declaration in his first inaugural address, said:

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."

Thomas Jefferson wrote in defense of the Shays' Rebellion in a letter to William Stevens Smith (November 13, 1787), quoted in Padover's Jefferson On Democracy,

"What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

Yet, the legal scholar Roscoe Pound has said:

"(a) legal right of a citizen to wage war on the government is something that cannot be admitted. ... In the urban industrial society of today a general right to bear efficient arms so as to be enabled to resist oppression by the government would mean that gangs could exercise an extra-legal rule which would defeat the whole Bill of Rights."[40]

Opponents of this right of revolution theory also argue that the intent of the Second Amendment was the need to avoid a standing army by ensuring the viability of people's militias, and that the concept of rebellious private citizens or rogue militias as a check on governmental tyranny was clearly not part of the Second Amendment. As historian Don Higginbotham notes, the well-regulated militia protected by the Second Amendment was more likely to put down rebellions than participate in them.[41] In his book "Armed People Victorious," Larry Pratt recounts how countries as dissimilar as Guatemala and the Philippines preserved their freedom against communist insurgency by arming the people and forming rural militias in the 1980s.[42] Gun-rights advocacy groups argue that the only way to enforce democracy is through having the means of resistance[5 ][7 ][33 ] .

Critics of the 'security against tyranny' argument argue also that replacing elected officials by voting is sufficient to keep the government in check,, although there are numerous examples in history of elected officials assuming absolute power, with little regard to laws. Gun right advocates put forward the Battle of Athens in August 2, 1946 as an example of citizens in desperate circumstances using firearms where all other democratic options have failed.[43]

Then-senator John F. Kennedy recognized the intent of the founding fathers "fears of governmental tyranny" and "security of the nation" in his statement Know Your Lawmakers, Guns, April 1960, p. 4 (1960),

"By calling attention to 'a well regulated militia,' the 'security' of the nation, and the right of each citizen 'to keep and bear arms,' our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason I believe the Second Amendment will always be important."[44]

Gun rights advocacy groups rarely believe in the plausibility of an "instant" rebellion's success through traditional warfare. Those who believe that arms allow for successful rebellions against tyranny hold that Guerrilla Warfare is the method in which liberty could once again (or even for the first time) be achieved. The right of free people to form militias to protect life, liberty, and property has been shown historically to be essential for the preservation of freedom.[45]

Few people in the past had debated the applicability of the Second Amendment in conjunction with the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. More recently, scholars had begun to recognize the importance of these Amendments in conjunction with the Second Amendment in preserving individual freedom. Clearly, the founding fathers recognized that some rights were so clear and obvious that they needed no enumeration. In the end, the Bill of Rights with these Amendments was a necessary addition to the federal Constitution for its assured ratification by the states.

Public policy arguments

A second class of political arguments is founded on the premise that even if the government has the authority to regulate guns, to do so may or may not be sound public policy.[46]

Importance of a militia

Opponents of a restrictive interpretation of the Second Amendment point out that at the time of the Second Amendment in the late 18th century, the word "militia" meant all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 17 and 45. Even today, the United States Code states that the militia is all male citizens and resident aliens at least 17 up to 45 with or without military service experience, including additionally those under 64 having former military service experience, as well as including female citizens who are members of the National Guard.[47] Some people argue about even the number of commas in the amendment.[48] Also, there is disagreement about the difference between organized militias and unorganized militias and their relationship to the Second Amendment. The general question here is, "Does the right pertain to only organized, well-regulated militias or all citizens?"

Author John Longenecker [Safe Streets In The Nationwide Concealed Carry Of Handguns] writes that one of best evidence facts of who militia is [able-bodied citizens apart from military] lies in United States Code where the original militia is officially recognized as not coming under control of the Commander-in-Chief. It is essential, Longenecker argues, that this body remain so independent and be officially recognized as such. This defeats the legal pleading that one must be part of a militia to own, keep and bear arms, since one of legal age is automatically part of the militia.

Firearm deaths

Those concerned about high levels of gun violence in the United States in comparison to other developed countries look to restrictions on gun ownership as a way to stem the violence.[49][50] Those supportive of long-standing rights to keep and bear arms point to the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which some interpret as specifically preventing infringement of the "right of the people to keep and bear arms", independent of serving in a militia, as the means by which to stem the violence.[51][52]

Within the gun politics debate, gun control advocates and gun rights advocates disagree on more practical questions as well. There is an ongoing debate over the role that guns play in crime. Gun-rights groups say that a well-armed citizenry prevents crime and that making civilian ownership of firearms illegal would increase the crime rate by making law-abiding citizens vulnerable to those who choose to disregard the law.[53][54] They note that more people defend themselves with a gun every year than the police arrest for violent crimes and burglary[55] and that private citizens legally shoot almost as many criminals as public police officers do.[56] Gun control organizations say that increased gun ownership leads to higher levels of crime, suicide and other negative outcomes.

Logical Pitfalls in the Gun-Violence Debate

The essential question in the gun policy debate is, "Will restrictions on gun ownership (or, for a particular proposed law, will this restriction) cause violent crime to decrease?" Debate attends even this question, with some claiming that overall reduction in violent crime is the goal, while others claiming that reduction in gun-crime is a good in itself (even if replaced by equal numbers of, say, knife-crime) because of the gun's assumed higher potential for lethality.[57]

The "gold standard" for how an intervention (such as a new law) affects a human population is the double-blinded, randomized control study. Such studies are almost never available to answer public policy questions. Current studies (see below) examining guns and violence have either tried to stratify the risk of violence based on gun ownership (determined by interview for individuals within one locale,[58] or by population statistics for international comparisons[59]) or by level of legal restriction, using either an international comparison for different levels of regulation or a historical one (i.e. how did the regional crime rate change when a new gun law was introduced there).[60]

These studies have different faults. The chief problem of the gun-ownership-as-risk-factor studies is that while they can– if well designed– show an association (or lack thereof) of gun-ownership and violence risk, they cannot decide whether the relationship is a causal one. John Lott uses the example of hospitals: there may be a significant association between those who recently died and those who recently were in hospital, but that does not necessarily mean the hospital stay caused their deaths. A third factor (e.g. severe illness) may have caused both the hospitalization and the death.[61]

The internationally controlled comparisons are flawed by the fact that other international differences (such as level of illegal drug trafficking or level of civil-rights limitations on police surveillance) may overwhelm the gun-restriction or gun-ownership differences as a source of difference in violent crime rate.[62]

Similarly, the historically controlled studies may miss other trends over time (e.g. economic cycles, changes in gang presence, changes in other laws etc.) that are more important than the introduction of the studied gun law.[63]

No study can be free of all of these faults and so part of the policy debate will center on which studies are "most free" of confounding error. It must be considered, however, whenever a public policy change concerning firearms is proposed (either loosening or tightening gun restrictions) that three assumptions are being made.

First, it is assumed that the proposed law, if enforced as intended, would actually reduce overall violent crime (or simply gun-related crime, if that is the goal). Second, it is assumed that enforcement of the law as intended (that is, its applicaton to the target population–, e.g. criminals or identifiable potential criminals– without its simply being ignored or easily circumvented by that group) can, in fact, be accomplished. Any study claiming that its data "shows" that a given law produced a given effect is simultaneously asserting that these first two assumptions were true.

Finally, as the resources to prevent violence will never be infinite, there is a third assumption: that devoting the resources to implement the new law will make more of a difference in violence prevention than simply devoting those same resources to (better?) implementation of existing laws.[64]

Relationships between crime, violence, and gun ownership

There is an open debate regarding the relationship between gun control and violence and other crimes. The numbers of lives saved or lost by gun ownership is debated by criminologists. Research difficulties include the difficulty of accounting accurately for confrontations in which no shots are fired and jurisdictional differences in the definition of "crime".

Frequent talk show guest, Examiner.com GunRights columnist and liberty book publisher John Longenecker argues that the nation's founders' Original Intent continues to align with the interests of the nation.[65] Longenecker sees the Founding Fathers' defeat of the abuse of due process in overthrowing British rule as a crucial aspect of enduring freedom, without which the nation will perish. Longenecker adds that the Founders did not write the Constitution for citizens as much as to impose limits on government - a subject they knew only too well. Regarding the Second Amendment, the Founders did not fear nor imagine weapons of the future, but foresaw and forbade abuses of due process in the future. They wrote that the citizen is the supreme authority to protect the new nation against abuses for all time. The Second Amendment embodies this by backing that ultimate citizen authority with force. Longenecker emphasizes that crime is often used as an excuse to disarm that ultimate authority - the people - for the unhampered growth of cottage industries and other anti-crime policy. Finally, Longenecker shows how claims of no change in right-to-carry states are untrue. For the FBI's report of 10,177 gunshot deaths in 2006, there were 2.5 million crimes de-escalated by armed citizens, who believed they had sufficient control of the situation that they did not have to fire their weapon. "Clearly," Longenecker says, "What the people don't see tells the story 2.5 million times a year. Armed citizens play their role in crime control and they do it in due process."

Some writers, such as John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime, say they have discovered a positive correlation between gun control legislation and crimes in which criminals victimize law-abiding citizens. Lott asserts that criminals ignore gun control laws and are effectively deterred by armed intended victims just as higher penalties deter crime. His work involved comparison and analysis from data collected from all the counties in the United States.[66] Lott's study has been criticized for not adequately controlling for other factors, including other state laws also enacted, such as Florida's laws requiring background checks and waiting period for handgun buyers.[63] More recent similar findings by Jens Ludwig further support John Lott statistical evidence.[67] Since concealed-carry permits are only given to adults, John J. Donohue suggests that analysis should focus on the relationship with adult and not juvenile gun incident rates.[68] He finds a small, positive effect of concealed-carry laws on adult homicide rates, but states the effect is not statistically significant.[68] NAS suggests that new analytical approaches and datasets at the county or local level are needed to evaluate adequately the impact of right-to-carry laws.[69]

Another researcher, Dr. Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University, estimated that approximately 2.5 million people used their gun in self-defense or to prevent crime each year, often by merely displaying a weapon. The incidents that Kleck studied generally did not involve the firing of the gun and he estimates that as many as 1.9 million of those instances involved a handgun.[70] However, Kleck's research has been challenged by scholars such as David Hemenway who argue that these estimates of crimes prevented by gun ownership are slightly high.[16] Indeed, Hemenway argues, according to Kleck's study (which is based on gun owners' self-reporting), hundreds of thousands of murder attempts are thwarted every year by gun owners, which would mean that the vast majority of murder attempts are in fact prevented by self-defense gun use.[16] The National Rifle Association regularly reprints locally-published stories of ordinary citizens whose lives were saved by their guns.

A study supported by the NRA found that homicide rates as a whole, especially homicides as a result of firearms use, are not always significantly lower in many other developed countries. This is apparent in the UK and Japan, which have very strict gun control laws, while Israel, Canada and Switzerland at the same time have low homicide rates and high rates of gun distribution. Although Dr Kleck has stated, "...cross-national comparisons do not provide a sound basis for assessing the impact of gun ownership levels on crime rates."[71] This is in contrast to an independent study published in the [International Journal of Epidemiology], which found that for the year of 1998:[72]

During the one-year study period (1998), 88 649 firearm deaths were reported. Overall firearm mortality rates are five to six times higher in high-income (HI) and upper middle-income (UMI) countries in the Americas (12.72) than in Europe (2.17) or Oceania (2.57) and 95 times higher than in Asia (0.13). The rate of firearm deaths in the United States (14.24 per 100 000) exceeds that of its economic counterparts (1.76) eightfold and that of UMI countries (9.69) by a factor of 1.5. Suicide and homicide contribute equally to total firearm deaths in the US, but most firearm deaths are suicides (71%) in HI countries and homicides (72%) in UMI countries.

In a New England Journal of Medicine article, Kellermann found that people who keep a gun at home increase their risk of homicide.[58] Florida State University professor Gary Kleck disagrees with the journal authors' interpretation of the evidence and he argues that there is no evidence that the guns involved in the home homicides studied by Kellermann, et al. were kept in the victim's home.[70] Similarly, Dave Kopel, writing in National Review, criticized Kellermann's study.[73] Researchers John Lott, Gary Kleck and many others still dispute Kellermann's work.[74][75][76][77] Kleck agrees only with Kellermann's finding that contrary to widespread perception, the overall frequency of homicide in the home by an invading stranger is much less than that of domestic violence. Kellerman's work has also being severely criticized because he ignores factors such as guns being used to protect property, save lives and deter crime without killing the criminal—which, Kleck and others argue, accounts for the large majority of defensive gun uses.[60][78][79] Kellermann responded to similar criticisms of the data behind his study in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine[80] Finally, another argument cited by academics researching gun violence points to the positive correlation between guns in the home and an already violent neighborhood. Lott's results suggest that only allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms, deters crime because potential criminals do not know who may or may not be carrying a firearm. The possibility of getting shot by an armed victim is a substantial deterrent to crime and prevents not only petty crime but physical confrontation as well from criminals who do not possess the means to match an increase in force. Lott's data comes from the FBI's massive crime statistics from all 3,054 US counties.[81] Other scholars, such as Gary Kleck, support Lott's findings, but take a slightly different tack. While criticizing Lott's theories as (paradoxically) overemphasizing the threat to the average American from armed crime and therefore the need for armed defense, Kleck's work speaks towards similar support for firearm rights by showing that the number of Americans who report incidents where their guns averted a threat vastly outnumber those who report being the victim of a firearm-related crime.[82] Others have pointed out that the beneficial effects of firearms, not only in self-protection, deterring crime and protecting property, but also in preserving freedom, have not been properly studied by public health researchers.[53][54]

In his book Private Guns, Public Health, David Hemenway makes the argument in favor of gun control and he provides evidence for the more guns, more gun violence and suicide hypothesis. Rather than compare America to countries with radically different cultures and historical experiences, he focuses on Canada, New Zealand and Australia and concludes that the case for gun control is a strong one based on the relationship he finds between lower crime rates and gun control.[83]

Firearms are also the most common method of suicide, accounting for 53.7% of all suicides committed in the United States in 2003.[84]

A 2003 CDC study determined "The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes."[85] They go on to state "(Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.)" after reviewing 54 studies and over one hundred years of history.

For a more detailed discussion of the historical and current gun violence issues in the United States, see Gun violence in the United States.

Security against foreign invasion

There is some historical evidence that an armed populace is a strong deterrent against a foreign invasion. Personal gun rights advocates frequently cite tyrants who feared the idea of invading countries where the citizenry was heavily armed or when these tyrants needed to disarm their own populace to be effective. For example, Adolf Hitler said (as quoted in his Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier, April 11, 1942), "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so." Once the Nazis had taken and consolidated their power, they then proceeded to implement gun control laws to disarm the population and wipe out the opposition. Genocide of disarmed Jews, gypsies and others followed.[86][87]

The Battles of Lexington and Concord, sometimes known as the Shot heard 'round the world, in the 1770s, were started in part because General Gage sought to carry out an order by the British government to disarm the populace.[88]

The Afghan Mujahideen countered well-equipped Soviet armed forces with antiquated bolt action rifles. As noted by Major Keith J. Stalder, USMC, in 1985, "... the Lee Enfield-armed Afghans can often hit at 800 meters or longer range while the Kalashnikov-armed motorized riflemen are ineffective beyond 300 meters..".[89] As Kenneth W. Royce has phrased it, 60,000 dead Soviets cannot all be wrong. Ultimately, the Soviets left in defeat, losing against mostly World War I and World War II bolt action rifles, while they themselves were armed with the latest weapons. Of course, the Mujahideen did have significant support from the West with 'Stinger' anti-aircraft missiles, but their bolt-action infantry weapons were still essentially indigenous. The Iraq War is another conflict where high availability of weapons has encouraged continuing violence long after the conflict was announced to be over.

See also

Notes

^ a: The constitutions of the states of California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, and New York contain no specific mention of the keeping or bearing of arms in any regard.
^ b: The right to keep and bear arms is said to belong to "every citizen" by the constitutions of Alabama[23], Connecticut,[90] Maine,[91] Mississippi,[92] Missouri,[93] Nevada,[94] and Texas;[95] to the "individual citizen" by Arizona,[96] Illinois,[32] and Washington;[97] and to a unique but very similar variant therof by Louisiana ("every citizen,"[98]) Michigan ("every person,"[99]) Montana ("any person,"[100]) New Hampshire ("all persons,"[25]) and North Dakota ("all individuals."[24])
^ c: Defense of one's self is listed as a valid purpose for the keeping and bearing of arms by the constitutions of the states of Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
^ d: The defense of the state or simply the common defense is indicated to be a proper purpose for keeping and bearing arms by the constitutions of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
^ e: Defense of one's home and/or property is included as a protected purpose for the keeping and bearing of arms by the constitutions of the states of Colorado, Delaware, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia.
^ f: The defense of one's family is listed as a valid reason for keeping and bearing arms by the constitutions of the states of Delaware, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah (which includes both family and "others,"[22]) and West Virginia.
^ g: Hunting and recreation are included in the state constitutional provision for the right of keeping and bearing arms by the states of Delaware, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
^ h: The scope of the state constitutional right to keep and bear arms is limited by the states of Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, and North Carolina as to allow the regulation or prohibition of the carrying of concealed weapons; the constitutions of Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas allow for regulations on the carrying or wearing of arms in general.

References

  1. ^ Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995
  2. ^ Snyder, J: Nation of Cowards: Essays on the Ethics of Gun Control. Accurate Press, St. Louis, 2001:pp. i-ii
  3. ^ ibid, p. 1
  4. ^ US Constitution at Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute
  5. ^ a b c Story, Joseph, A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States(1986) Regnery Gateway, Chicago, Illinois, p.319-320, ISBN 0-89526-796-9
  6. ^ Hardy, David T. The origins and Development of the Second Amendment(1986), Blacksmith Corp., Chino Valley, Arizona, pp.64–93, ISBN 0-941540-13-8
  7. ^ a b c Halbrook, Stephen P. That Every Man be Armed—The Evolution of a Constitutional Right(1987), The University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, pp.55-87, ISBN 0-8263-0868-6
  8. ^ Gottlieb, Alan M.: The Rights of Gun Ownership. Green Hill, 1981
  9. ^ a b Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, Chapter 2. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995
  10. ^ Gottesman, Ronald (1999). Violence in America: An Encyclopedia. Simon and Schuster. p. 66,68.  
  11. ^ Wright, James D.: Public Opinion and Gun Control: A Comparison of Results from Two Recent National Surveys. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 455. (May 1981)
  12. ^ Thompson, Fred D.: Second Kates, National Review Online, May 10, 2007
  13. ^ Robert J. Spitzer, Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1980., author and professor of political science at the State University of New York, College at Cortland.
  14. ^ Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, page 1. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995
  15. ^ Spitzer, Robert J.: The Politics of Gun Control, page 39. Chatham House Publishers, Inc., 1995
  16. ^ a b c {{cite book On April 21, 2009, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the individual right to keep and bear firearms in the Second Amendment is incorporated against state and local governments under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. |author=Wilson, Harry Leon |title=Guns, gun control, and elections: the politics and policy of firearms |publisher=Rowman & Littlefield |location=Lanham, Md |year=2007 |pages=pg 31 |isbn=0-7425-5348-5 }}
  17. ^ Hawaii State Constitution Article 1, § 17
  18. ^ North Carolina State Constitution Article 1, § 30
  19. ^ South Carolina State Constitution Article 1, § 20
  20. ^ a b Alaska State Constitution Article 1, § 19
  21. ^ Rhode Island State Constitution Article 1, § 22
  22. ^ a b Utah State Constitution Article 1, § 6
  23. ^ a b Alabama State Constitution Article 1, § 26
  24. ^ a b North Dakota State Constitution Article 1, § 1
  25. ^ a b New Hampshire State Constitution Part 1, Article 2-a
  26. ^ Arkansas State Constitution Article 2, § 5
  27. ^ Massachusetts State Constitution Article 17
  28. ^ Tennessee State Constitution Article 1, § 26
  29. ^ Virginia State Constitution Article 1, § 13
  30. ^ Idaho State Constitution Article 1, § 11
  31. ^ Florida State Constitution Article 1, § 8
  32. ^ a b Illinois State Constitution Article 1, § 22
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    Note: Chapter 8 authored by John J. Donohue: "With the benefit of more complex data than were available initially to Lott and Mustard, I conclude that the best statistical evidence does not support the claim that shall-issue laws reduce crime." Comments by David B. Mustard and Willard Manning regarding Donohue's research and findings are also included at the end of the chapter.
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  90. ^ Connecticut State Constitution Article 1, § 15
  91. ^ Maine State Constitution Article 1, § 16
  92. ^ Mississippi State Constitution Article 3, § 12
  93. ^ Missouri State Constitution Article 1, § 23
  94. ^ Nevada State Constitution Article 1, § 11
  95. ^ Texas State Constitution, Article 1, § 23
  96. ^ Arizona State Constitution Article 2, § 26
  97. ^ Washington State Constitution Article 1, § 24
  98. ^ Louisiana State Constitution Article 1, § 11
  99. ^ Michigan State Constitution Article 1, § 6
  100. ^ Montana State Constitution Article 2, § 12

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