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1 Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1963 [1764]), pp. 87-88.back

2 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Lifetime Likelihood of Victimization," BJS Technical Report, Washington, DC, U.S. Government Printing Office, March 1987. back

3 Gary Kleck, Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America (Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991), p. 203. back

4 Not all 18 came to this conclusion. But some earlier studies that did not were shown to be defective by later studies. See Kleck, Point Blank, pp. 185-203. back

5 Philip J. Cook, "The Influence of Gun Availability on Violent Crime Patterns," in Michael Tonry and Norval Morris, eds., Crime and Justice: An Annual Review, Vol. 4 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), pp. 49-90; and David McDowall, “Gun Availability and Robbery Rates: A Panel Study of Large U.S. Cities, 1974-1978, - Law and Policy, 1986, Vol. 8, pp. 135-48. back

6 Gary Kleck, "Lifesaving Benefits to Use of Weapons for Self-Defense," Houston Chronicle, May 31, 1992, p. 1E. back

7 David B. Kopel, The Samurai, the Mountie and the Cowboy (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1992); and Kleck, Point Blank, pp. 188-91. back

8 Martin Killias, "Gun Ownership and Violent Crime: The Swiss Experience in International Perspective," Security Journal, 1990, Vol. 1, pp. 169-74; and Kopel, The Samurai, the Mountie and the Cowboy, ch. 8. back

9 The same is true of weapons of war and international aggression. While weapons serve aggressors, they also serve to deter aggressors. Most students of war doubt the value of mutual arms reductions as a device to reduce the chance of war. See James L. Payne, Why Nations Arm (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989), p. 166. back

10 Kleck, Point Blank, p. 44; U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, Handgun Crime Victims, July 1990. back

11 H. C. Brearly, Homicide in the United States (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1932), p. 68; and Kleck, Point Blank, p. 20. back

12 Since there are 650,000 crimes involving guns each year and 201 million firearms, the maximum number of guns that could be used to commit a crime each year would be 650,000/201,000,000 or 0.3 percent. back

13 Long guns are twice as numerous as handguns, yet account for only a sixth of gun crime. back

14 See Kleck, Point Blank, pp. 44-45; and Gary Kleck, "Evidence that ‘Saturday Night Specials’ Not Very Important for Crime," Sociology and Social Research, 1986, Vol. 70, pp. 303-07. back

15 The Gun Owners, December 1991, p. 3. back

16 The New Gun Week, January 17, 1992, p.3. back

17 Reported in the New American, June 15, 1992, pp. 14-15. In another incident during the Los Angeles riots, merchant Byung Kim and his sons abandoned their south Los Angeles appliance warehouse after gunfire hit two Korean-American friends helping to protect the property. The undefended property was burned to the ground. Their well-defended Koreatown store " where the Kims and others stood on the roof with rifles " wasn’t touched. (Wall Street Journal, June 16, 1992, p. A5.) back

18 New American, June 15, 1992, p. 15. back

19 Morgan O. Reynolds, Crime By Choice: An Economic Analysis (Dallas: Fisher Institute, 1985), pp. 165-68. back

20 Kleck, Point Blank, p. 397-99 back

21 Ibid., p. 408-11 back

22 Ibid. back

23 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, International Crime Rates, May 1988; and Ministry of Supply and Services, Canada Yearbook, 1980-81 (Ottawa, Canada: 1981), p. 55. back

24 Kopel, The Samurai, The Mountie and the Cowboy, ch. 7. back

25 U.S Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Statistics 1991, p. 432. back

26 David T. Hardy, "Gun Control: Arm Yourself with Evidence," Reason, November 1982, p. 41. back

27 "Trust the People: The Case against Gun Control," Cato Policy Analysis No. 109, July 11, 1988, p. 29. back

28 Kleck, Point Blank, ch. 4 and pp. 170-73. back

29 Kleck, Point Blank, and Gary Kleck, "Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force," Social Problems, 1988, Vol. 35, pp. 1-21. back

30 Gun Week, June 15, 1990; National Association of Chiefs of Police, American Law Enforcement Officers Poll, 1989. back

31 Handloader Magazine, no date available. back

32 Carol Ruth Silver and Don B. Kates, Jr., "Self-Defense, Handgun Ownership, and the Independence of Women in a Violent, Sexist Society," in Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out, Don B. Kates, Jr., ed. (Croton-on-Hudson, NY: North River Press, 1979), p. 152. back

33 Kleck, Point Blank, p. 116. back

34 Kleck, Point Blank, pp. 111-17. back

35 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, International Crime Rates, Special BJS Report, May 1988, pp. 1, 3. Australia, Canada, Denmark, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Sweden all have much lower overall crime rates but higher reported burglary rates than the United States. Also see Kleck, Point Blank, p. 140. back

36 George Rengert and John Wasilchick, Suburban Burglary: A Time and Place for Everything (Springfield, IL: Charles Thomas, 1985). back

37 Ibid., p. 30. back

38 James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter, 1986). The true percentages are likely to be higher because they were obtained from interviews with self-conscious "tough guys." back

39 Kleck, Point Blank, Chapter 4. back

40 Unpublished study reported in Carol Ruth Silver and Don B. Kates, Jr., “Gun Control and the Subway Class,- Wall Street Journal, January 10, 1985; and Don B. Kates, Jr., "Some Remarks on the Prohibition of Handguns," St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 23 (1979). back

41 Ibid; Kleck, Point Blank; Kleck, "Crime Control Through the Private Use of Armed Force," Social Problems, 1988, Vol. 35, pp. 1-21; and Gary Kleck and Karen McElrath, "The Effects of Weaponry on Human Violence," Social Forces, Vol. 67, No. 3, March 1991, pp. 669-92. back

42 Sporting events also feature the firing of machine guns and so-called assault weapons. back

43 For example, some people hunt deer with pistols. back

44 Barry Bruce-Briggs, "The Great American Gun War," The Public Interest, 1976, Vol. 45, pp. 37-62. back

45 Kleck, Point Blank, pp. 25-26. back

46 Ibid., p. 117. back

47 Kleck, Point Blank, p. 23. back

48 Ibid., p. 24. back

49 Ibid., pp. 35-38; and Jo Dixon and Alan J. Lizotte, "Gun Ownership and the ‘Southern Subculture of Violence’" American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 93, September 1987, pp. 383-405. back

50 Of the "good Samaritans" who came to the aid of victims of violent crime, 81 percent are gun owners because they are "familiar with violence, feel competent to handle it, and don’t believe they will get hurt if they get involved." Ted L. Huston, Gilbert Geis and Richard Wright, "The Angry Samaritans," Psychology Today, June 1976, p. 64. back

51 Legal gun ownership is unrelated or negatively related to gun crime rates, even after statistical control for urban locales. See Kleck, Point Blank, pp. 201-02, and studies cited therein. back

52 Wright and Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous; and D. E. S. Burr, Handgun Regulation (Tallahassee: Florida Bureau of Criminal Justice Planning and Assistance, 1977). back

53 Charles F. Eckhardt, "Debunking the Wild West Fantasy," Guns & Ammo, September 1973, pp. 36-37. back

54 W. Eugene Hollon, Frontier Violence: Another Look (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974). back

55 Terry L. Anderson and P. J. Hill, "An American Experiment in Anarcho-capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West," Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. III, No. 1, pp. 9-29. back

56 Robert R. Dykstra, The Cattle Towns (New York: Knopf, 1968), p. 44. back

57 Ibid. back

58 Roger D. McGrath, Gunfighters, Highwaymen and Vigilantes (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), p. 247. back

59 Frank Prassel, The Western Peace Officer: A Legacy of Law and Order (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1972), p. 22. back

60 New York Times, June 28, 1992. back

61 Wright and Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous. back

62 The 40 to 70 percent gap represents the inmates’ own uncertainty about the source. back

63 DMI (Decision-Making Information), Attitudes of the American Electorate Toward Gun Control (Santa Ana, CA: DMI 1979), p. 71. back

64 Roper Survey 1985, DIALOG database, cited in Kleck, Point Blank, p. 117. back

65 Lee R. McPheters, Robert Mann and Don Schlagenhauf, "Economic Response to a Crime Deterrence Program: Mandatory Sentencing for Robbery with a Firearm," Economic Inquiry, 1984, Vol. 22, pp. 550-70. back

66 Wright and Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous. back

67 A study conducted at Case Western University concluded that a gun in the home is six times as likely to kill family members as it is to kill an intruder. Among other defects, the study: (1) included suicides (which accounted for most of the incidents) as "killings," (2) focused exclusively on that category of crime (home burglary) which almost never results in a criminal’s being killed and (3) ignored the number of times that guns were used to defend a home without resulting in a killing. The study results were published in Norman Rushforth et al., "Accidental Firearm Fatalities in a Metropolitan County," American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 100, 1975, p. 499. For a critique of the study, see Kleck, Point Blank, pp. 127-29; and Don B. Kates, Jr., "Guns, Murders and the Constitution," Policy Briefing, Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1990, pp. 24-32, 43. back

68 Cynthia K. Gillespie, in Justifiable Homicide: Battered Women, Self-Defense and the Law (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1989), estimates that there are as many as 500 homicides each year in which women kill their husbands or men with whom they live intimately; she concludes that the majority are self-defense, saving innocent lives. back

69 This means that of the one million instances of the use of firearms for self-defense, 400,000 were against another member of the same family. back

70 Kleck, Point Blank, p. 110. back

71 See Don B. Kates, Jr., Gary Kleck and David J. Bordua, "The Factual Foundations for Certain Key Assumptions of Gun Control," Law and Policy Quarterly, 1983, Vol. 5, pp. 271-98; Murray A. Strauss, Richard J. Gelles and Suzanne K. Steinmetz, Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family (Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1980); and Gary Kleck and David J. Bordua, "The Assumptions of Gun Control," in Don B. Kates, Jr., ed., Firearms and Violence (San Francisco: Pacific Institute for Public Policy Research, 1984), pp. 39-44. back

72 See G. Marie Wilt et al., Domestic Violence and the Police: Studies in Detroit and Kansas City (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977); and Glenn D. Walters, The Criminal Lifestyle: Patterns of Serious Criminal Conduct (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1990). back

73 Wright and Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous. back

74 There are also other reasons why handguns are preferred by criminals. The ammunition fired by semiautomatic rifles is smaller than average and has milder wounding effects than civilian hunting ammunition or regular infantry rifle cartridges. While a semiautomatic can easily fire six rounds within 1.5 seconds, an ordinary revolver can be fired equally fast. Military-style semiautomatic weapons can use large ammunition magazines, but so can civilian-style weapons. Gun assaults usually involve only a few shots being fired, anyway. In shoot-outs with New York City police, suspects average only 2.5 shots fired at the police. See Kleck, Point Blank, p. 79. back

75 Purdy fired 110 rounds in three or four (or more) minutes " about 30 rounds per minute " a rate of fire available with an ordinary double-action revolver. No higher rate of fire was necessary for Purdy to carry out his murderous aim - he did all the shooting he wanted in four minutes, then killed himself. See Kleck, Point Blank, p. 70, and Kopel, The Samurai, the Mountie and the Cowboy, p. 390. back

76 Kleck, Point Blank, p. 73. back

77 New York Times, April 7, 1989. Cited in Kleck, Point Blank, p. 73. back

78 Don B. Kates, Jr., and Patricia Terrell Harris, "How to Make Their Day," National Review, October 21, 1991, p. 31. back

79 Morgan O. Reynolds, "Why Does Crime Pay?" NCPA Policy Backgrounder, No. 110, National Center for Policy Analysis, November 6, 1992. back

80 Editor & Publisher, August 1, 1992, p. 20. back

81 FreeMarket, July 1992, p. 1. back

82 Reuters dispatch, Dallas Morning News, September 21, 1989. back

83 For further discussion of this point, see "The War on Gun Ownership Still Goes On! Dial 911 and Die!" Guns & Ammo, July 1992, p. 23, p. 87; and "Police Protection or Self-Defense?" New American, April 20, 1992, p.16. back

84 New American, April 20, 1992, p. 16. back

85 South v. Maryland, 1856. back

86 Bowers v. DeVito, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 686F.2d 616 [1982]. back

87 New American, April 20, 1992, p. 16. back

88 See Don B. Kates, Jr., “Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment,- Michigan Law Review, Vol. 82, November 1983, pp. 205-75; Bernard J. Bordenet, "The Right to Possess Arms: The Intent of the Framers of the Second Amendment," Journal of Firearms and Public Policy, Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1992, pp. 127-58; J. Neil Schulman, "The Text of the Second Amendment," Journal of Firearms and Public Policy, Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1992, pp. 159-63; and Sanford Levinson, "The Embarrassing Second Amendment, " Yale Law Journal, Vol. 99, December 1988, pp. 637-59. back

89 The "militia" was the entire adult male citizenry, who were not simply allowed to keep their own arms but were required to do so. The duty to keep arms applied to every household, not just those containing persons subject to militia service. In 1792 Congress, meeting immediately after adoption of the Second Amendment, defined the militia to include all able-bodied military-age male citizens of the United States and required each to own his own firearm (First Militia Act, 1 Stat. 271, 1792). The founders invariably defined militia in some phrase like "the whole body of the people," while their references to organized military units as militia were invariably termed "select militia" and were strongly pejorative, dating back to the reign of Charles II, who was believed to have used "select militia" to disarm and tyrannize the people. back

90 Writing in Federalist Paper No. 46, James Madison says: Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the Federal Government: still, it would not be going too far to say that the State Governments with the people on their side would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country is not to exceed 100th part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the U.S., an army of more than 25 or 30 thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near a half million citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidences. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the late successful resistance of this country against British arms will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which militia officers are appointed, forms the barrier against enterprises of ambition more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. back

91 The Federal Gazette and Pennsylvania Evening Post, June 18, 1789, p. 20. back


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