No, there shouldn’t have been more guns in Tucson.

Adirondack property rights activist Don Sage sent an email to a colleague of mine, arguing that the big problem in Tucson, Arizona was the lack of enough firearms at the event where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot and six others were killed.

“The shooting in Arizona is just further proof that every citizen must have the right to concealed carry in all 50 states and between states. If the people attending this rally had been armed then Bloomberg/King/McCarthy/Slaughter’s pot-head lunatic would not have been able to kill or injure so many people.”

Sage then veers off into a rant against “constitution, bill of rights hating pro-communists, leftists” and others.

But rather than wrestle with his political views I want to question the basic science and logic of his premise.

First, I do think it’s fair to argue that the Tucson event should have had better security of some kind. Members of congress aren’t usually attended by a police detail, but Giffords had been the subject of repeated threats.

A trained law enforcement officer might, conceivably (I know, I’m being optimistic here) have detected the shooter’s erratic behavior before he began his rampage.

But regardless of whether it was a cop or a civilian, would it have helped if someone other than Jared Loughner had been armed in that crowd after the first shot was fired?

Obviously, we can’t be absolutely sure, but the answer is almost certainly no.

Jared Loughner wielded a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol with an extended 33 round clip. The weapon is popular in part because it’s easy to draw and fire quickly and efficiently.

He was stopped by unarmed civilians before he was able to reload.

Could a “good samaritan shooter” have gunned Loughner down before he emptied that first clip? It’s very, very doubtful. In this video, a man is able to fire fifteen well-aimed and chosen shots with an identical firearm in about six seconds.

I can’t find details of exactly how long the Tucson shooting lasted, but I’m guessing that it was not much more than ten seconds.

For a good-guy shooter to have intervened effectively, they would have needed to a) draw their weapon and release the safety; b) accurately identify the shooter, not always easy in a chaotic situation; c) find a clear shot that wouldn’t have threatened other innocents; and d) fire accurately enough to hit or disable Loughner without accidentally shooting someone else.

All that in ten seconds, with very little margin for error. The vast majority of armed civilians would have no training in this kind of combat-like setting, especially one that involves a crowd of civilian innocents. In Afghanistand and Iraq, our best-trained soldiers have struggled to avoid “collateral” damage in situations that are far less confusing.

If we followed Sage’s suggestion to the letter, the situation would have been even more chaotic, with multiple individuals wielding (and possibly firing) weapons at the same, with little clear understanding of who might be a perpetrator and who might be another armed innocent.

Bluntly, it’s possible that in the mayhem, those unarmed heroes would have been unable to subdue Loughner. He might have been able to reload and continue his rampage.

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75 Comments on “No, there shouldn’t have been more guns in Tucson.”

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  1. phahn50 says:

    This is another example of magical thinking. People carrying guns feel safer even though it is well known that they are in fact in much more danger. If Mr Sage had to walk around a dangerous neighborhood, where there are lots of heavily armed bad guys, he would get rid of his guns.

  2. oa says:

    Look, liberals want to limit guns. Liberals are bad. Therefore, guns are awesome, and everyone should be forced to carry.
    Jeezum, what part of this do you people not understand?

  3. Bret4207 says:

    Brian, with all due respect to your opinion, you are doing nothing more than the same “what if” exercise that Sage is doing. You are applying your opinion (and your evident lack of firearms knowledge) to something you and I can’t possibly answer. It’s just as likely as not that someone may have been able to fire effectively at the shooter. To say it couldn’t happen or is unlikely is just as much a reach as thinking that if everyone was armed there would be no crime.

    Also, could you please provide a link or at least your source info on the 33 round magazine. I would also appreciate any info you might have on how this guy obtained and kept the gun. As I noted in another post, under Federal laws and some State laws anyone with a mental history is barred from obtaining a gun of any kind legally and IME the local courts will often force the surrender of any weapons. All I find using my google-fu are reports of reports “alleging”, no first hand info.

    For those of you getting all worried about this, NY has a 10 round mag limit.

  4. Fred Goss says:

    I read that about 30 911 calls were received in Tucson at the time of the shootings. If, instead of grabbing for the cellphones people reached for their weapons…I can picture 10 or 12 folks firing in the general direction of what they think is happening….does this scenario seem reassuring?

  5. Paul says:

    Brian, I will makes sure I don’t send you any comments via email. It doesn’t sound like they remain very private at NCPR? What is up with that.

    I agree that it would have been difficult for a cop or other person with a firearm to have changed the outcome in this situation. I suspect that, if close, they could have had some minor impact on the result. But they would need to be the type of person to have “secret service” type of training and have been very close to the shooter.

    But with that said the arguments for the other side are not without some merit. You mentioned that “security” could have been better. My guess is that one of the keys to ‘security’ is deterrence. I heard that there were military aircraft flying low over Tucson yesterday. I doubt that this was being done to be ready if we had to take out a bad guy with a missile. The object seems to be to create an atmosphere of deterrence. If a would be shooter, that maybe hopes to get away, knows that he is not the only person in the area that is armed would it have changed his actions or made him think twice about his plan? In this case probably not, but in others perhaps. I am not sure I buy my own argument but it does hold some water.

  6. JDM says:

    Fortunately, the people of Arizona know better than the politicians on what to do.

  7. Brian Mann says:

    Paul –

    Sage’s statement, emailed to a journalist, was clearly meant as a public statement. He’s a known activist and public figure. When people of this sort send me professional emails (as a opposed to a personal note) I consider them “on the record” unless otherwise specified.

    Bret –

    I included all the information I could find on Loughner’s weapon. I know that he acquired it legally. I’m not a firearms expert, by any means, but I’ve been a hunter and a gun-owner all my life. You say I have an ‘evident lack of firearms knowledge.’ So correct me. What specifically did I get wrong here?

    –Brian, NCPR

  8. verplanck says:

    AZ has a concealed carry law. Why is he arguing that a CC law would have saved lives? It didn’t.

    I don’t see how concealed carry protects a crowd of people unless it mandates that everyone carry a handgun and is trained until they are as competent as a secret service agent. Otherwise, a crowd of people will likely be unarmed or under-trained.

  9. Josh says:

    None of this is hypothetical speculation. There was another person with a gun there. And he almost shot the good samaritan who wrestled the gun away from Loughner.

    The additional gun saved no lives; the first gun ended six.

  10. newt says:

    The article Josh referenced should end this debate.

  11. dave says:

    “constitution, bill of rights hating pro-communists, leftists”

    I love that this came to you during a time when we are discussing whether or not the rhetoric can be toned down and which side more often perpetrates it.

    And Josh, thank you so much for posting that story. It confirms what many of us have been saying. If multiple people in a crowd pull weapons and start blazing away, how on earth do they know who the good guys are, who the bad guy is, and who might be a second shooter or an accomplice? Innocent people are just as likely (if not more likely) to be shot by additional armed novices. I think some people around here watch too many movies.

    From the mouth of the armed civilian… on nearly killing an innocent person, “I was very lucky.”

  12. Pete Klein says:

    The heroes were those who stopped the killing without use of a gun.
    Sage? Well, he’s never been known for being much of a sage.

  13. JDM says:

    Josh references an article.

    The author writes accurately what happened, then adds his own apprehensions:

    “Zamudio had released his safety and was poised to fire when he saw what he thought was the killer still holding his weapon. Zamudio had a split second to decide whether to shoot. He was sufficiently convinced of the killer’s identity to shove the man into a wall. But Zamudio didn’t use his gun.”

    The author’s conclusion: “Bang, you’re dead. Or worse, bang bang bang bang bang: a firefight among several armed, confused, and innocent people in a crowd”

    Zamudio apparently, modestly, confessed after doing the right thing, “I was very lucky” [I did the right thing].

    As many Americas do, when called upon in an emergency, the right thing.

    It was the author of the article, and not the gun-carrying American, who made the wrong conclusions.

  14. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I lived in Arizona for a while. Went to the University and my son was born at the Medical Center where Gifford and the others are being treated. I also worked with a guy who’s brothers were playing with their father’s handgun. It discharged and killed one of them.

    In Saratoga just recently a 112 year old boy was killed in a very similar incident.

    As a teenager I’ve been in situations where a friend fooling around has pointed a gun at me on several occasions. One friend was playing with an “unloaded” bb gun (fortunately nothing higher caliber) who pointed it at my face then at my foot and pulled the trigger–loaded. I had a friend who later became a police officer who got drunk one night and started waving a pistol around and i had to talk him into handing it over to me. I could go on.

    I’ll bet most people have stories like this. But I don’t know anyone who stopped a crime with a handgun.

  15. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Sorry, 12 year old boy.

  16. JDM, He came very close to not doing the right thing. He admitted he was lucky. There have been numerous reported cases of police and others with training in handling these situations making mistakes like the one he nearly made. Like the guy in NYC who was shot 20 some times by police when he reached for his wallet to get his ID. Or the soldier on leave who was shot by LA cops. Or the numerous “friendly fire” deaths that happen in every war. The more people who have guns in a situation that requires lightning fast decisions, the more difficult it is for each of them to make the right decision of who the bad guy is. Imagine that you hear gunshots nearby, pull your gun, take off the safety and rush to a crowd of 10, 15, 20 people all of whom are holding guns. Which one do you shoot? This has taken 7 or 8 seconds already. You have 2 seconds left to make the right decision, 3 if you are lucky.

  17. JDM says:

    James Bullard:

    My point is that in a moment of emergency, we are all called to do the right thing. Whether it is saving a life in a drowning incident, or whatever.

    If someone fails to reach a drowning victim, we don’t outlaw swimming for the rest of society.

    This guy did do the right thing in a moment of emergency. Good for him. He could not, nor did he, react fast enough to save 6 lives. He did what he could, and had this madman reloaded, who knows, he may have saved 15 more lives.

    If the Congress passes a law that says you can’t have a gun within 1000 feet of an elected official, would that have changed this situation one iota? Of course not. It’s a “feel good” law.

    This hero came a lot closer to actually doing some good that this silly law ever will.

    Regardless of what we say here, Arizonians know what they need to do, and they are doing it.

  18. Bret4207 says:

    Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Look, if you guys want I can supply you with hundreds of reports where people used guns to prevent or stop a crime. Yes, people die in gun accidents each year. But, more people die in car accidents, sports accidents, etc. Yes, you have the responsibility to prevent your kids from playing with them, etc. That’s called parenting last I heard, we don’t let out kids play with power saws, knives, lawn mowers or hang out with the bulls and rams either.

    I’ve seen people do stupid things with guns, cars, chainsaws, power tools, heavy equipment, snowmobiles, ATVs, boats, swimming pools, rocks, beer cans, glass…the list of stupid things people do is endless. What you guys are doing is trying to somehow justify your views that conflict with law and the Constitution and common sense. You state opinions and provide anecdotal evidence to support your view. You don’t like guns, you see no reason for people to have them, so no one should have them. End of story. Very open minded.

    James, in your 5:45 post- no, you don’t have 2 or 3 seconds to make the decision. You don’t fire until you are sure of your target, if you aren’t sure, like the guy in Tuscon, you don’t shoot! (BTW, you don’t “take off the safety” until you are ready to fire- range rule #1) You guys act like everyone is running around just waiting for the chance to shoot someone. I’ve been there and made the choice several times. I never fired and it worked out. I still needed the gun to stop the crime, but the presence (and my bubbly personality no doubt) stopped things before deadly force was needed. The assumption you make that people will start firing aimlessly into crowds like so many gangbangers on a drive by goes against my experiences with people using guns to protect themselves or families. People don’t tend “open fire”.

    Brian, HOW did he acquire the gun legally? I can’t find that. Federal law prohibits anyone from purchasing a gun of any type while under mental care, so if he got it recently he lied to get it (a crime) and if he got it before he was under care then why weren’t the mental health people up on his weapons and why weren’t they seized? More to the point, since this guy made numerous death threats, was so off his rocker that everyone he came in contact with considered him nuts, why didn’t Sheriff Dipwad or whatever his name is take action to seize his weapons or arrest him for his threats? That guy is playing CYA big time and has been since it happened. If this had happened around here the blame would be aimed at the cops.

    On the gun thing- there’s no safety to release on a revolver, a Glock or it’s copies and clones and with the vast majority of other modern handguns typically carried (single actions excepted) the safety is so easy to release as to not even be a consideration. Your description of things made it sound like someone would have to go through some involved process to release the safety. Sorry, it’s probably just my perception and standards at play. I shouldn’t expect journalists to be up on everything they write about.

  19. Bret4207 says:

    Let me take this off in another direction. Take the event in Tuscon- now, despite the fact this clown was bonkers, do you think if concealed carry was very common there that even this space cadet would have taken the chance of running into an armed crowd? Maybe he was so far gone he would have, I don’t know. But it seems to me that sane people would weigh the risk and decide otherwise if they know the odds of getting shot are high. People rarely attack police stations, rarely try and rob gunshops or shooting ranges. Places like Kennesaw Ga that have mandatory gun ownership laws enjoy very low violent crime rates. Vermont, which has extremely liberal gun laws, has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. Meanwhile the cities with the highest crime rates often have the most strenuous gun laws- Washington DC, Chicago, LA, NYC, Boston.

    I’m not claiming gun ownership reduces crime directly, but apparently gun laws don’t reduce crime either.

  20. Bret, He wasn’t under mental care. He had not been put into that database. That was part o the reports within a day or two of the shooting. Read . It wasn’t had to find but I did have to use Google.

  21. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Bret, how many of your reports are you personally aware of?

    My point is that having a gun is probably more dangerous than not having a gun. I didn’t say that nobody should have them. Another case of someone reading what they think is being said than what is actually said.

    More innocent people are killed by guns than innocent people are saved from a crime by a gun. Of course I am excepting law enforcement. Don’t try to deny or obfuscate the issue.

    As for people doing stupid things, yes it happens all the time with all sorts of things but all of the other things you mention were not designed to kill as their primary function.

  22. Phil says:

    It would be interesting to see the statistical correlation between gun ownership and violence in other nations. Does violence decrease as gun ownership increases? I doubt it.

  23. jeff says:

    The cops arrive and half a dozen good samaritan’s have weapons drawn pointing somewhere- who, which one, where- is the bad guy? Like Afghanistan- the bad ones look like the good ones. One person interviewed was carrying and intentionally did not draw although he reached. Good second thought.

  24. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Phil, there are statistics both ways. The gun crowd will point to places like Switzerland where most every house has a weapon because they are part of the military reserve and violence is pretty low. What they fail to point out is that the Swiss abhor violence as a culture and that all the gun owners are highly trained and don’t take their guns out in public.

    Then there is Afghanistan where guns don’t seem to make anyone free–or conversely maybe there is more freedom in Afghanistan than almost anywhere else. But it is freedom without security. Of course it is statistically more dangerous to go to some areas in American cities than it is to go to Afghanistan. And forget about the Mexican border.

    Let’s face it, Americans are some of the most violent and bloodthirsty people anywhere.

  25. Mervel says:

    Phil I don’t know I am sure there are some studies internationally. Within the US there does not seem to be a direct correlation either way. You have localities that have very strict gun laws and very high violent crime and the inverse is also found. Most of the violent gun crime in the US is committed using illegally owned guns.

    I think violence is a function of culture not the tools available. The fact is just like dope if there is a demand for guns people will have them legally or illegally. For example look at North America, Canada, Mexico and the US. Canada and Mexico have stricter gun laws than the US with Mexico having the strictest of the three. Yet gun violence in Mexico is out of control with a virtual war going on using all illegally owned guns.

    Its not about guns its about the culture of the country and the acceptance of violence.

  26. marcus aurelius says:

    Here is a link to some interesting statistics about gun deaths

  27. Mcculley says:

    Brian, would you be happier if he had driven an SUV over them to kill them. Always remember more people die at the hands of their Doctor, than from a gun.

  28. Bret4207 says:

    Marcus, I have a real hard time with the authors conclusions in some areas. Obviously those places where kids carry guns to school have problems. Gang violence is always a problem. But the author ignores the fact that schools are supposed to be “gun free” zones to start with! I would also take issue with his assertion that places with more restrictive gun laws enjoy the lowest incidence of gun deaths, his own statements regarding DC as the #1 place for gun deaths refutes his alter assertion.

    As with most surveys like this, they lump all gun deaths together- criminal acts, police shootings, accidents, etc. That skews the results obviously. And I simply can;t understand how he equates voting for Obama with lower gun deaths when all your major metropolitan areas, the same places with such high crime rates and restrictive gun laws, carried Obama. Something is amiss there.

  29. phahn50 says:

    areas (in the US) with a lot of gun violence are the areas that are going to propose strict gun laws.

  30. Bret4207 says:

    Violence in the culture is surely a contributor. So, instead of addressing the violence in our culture with it’s rap music, gangbanger wannabes, coddling of criminals, the wink and nod given to drug use, the extreme violence in movies and TV, we attack instead the law abiding citizens rights.

    Makes sense to me.

    Knuck, off the top of my head I can think of several instances where people I know personally have used a gun in defense of persons or property. The reports I referred to are newspaper reports collected each month and published.

    James, I’m slowly finding more information. No, apparently he wasn’t under mental care which is even more of an indictment of the LE agencies in that area, the mental health system in that area and our cultures refusal to recognize some people need institutionalization or supervised, intensive care. I never understood the concept of turning the mentally deficient or disturbed loose onto our streets. I never saw it benefiting them or society. I certainly am not advocating abusive conditions, etc., but neither can I approve of the complete lack of recognition of the disturbed we have walking the streets in every town across our nation.

    This particular individual had a long history of unlawful acts and obviously deranged behavior. I would have no problem with a data base of such people being created and maintained with the caveat that there most certainly has to be an appeals process and penalties for false reports. Link it to whatever other databases need it nationwide. We already do that with orders of protection and driving records as well as criminal records. That would take some of the weight off the legitimate, law abiding and responsible gun owners.

    The largest issue for me, and I realize not every see things as I do, is the disconnect so many people seem to have regarding our Constitutionally recognized rights. This subject morphed over from freedom of speech, a very simple concept to me. The 1st amend. refers to free political speech in it’s various forms. Not yelling “Fire” in a movie house, but political speech. Just because some people find one sides exercise of that right to be troubling, inflammatory or otherwise bothersome to them does not void those persons right to that speech. Same with guns. It’s a RIGHT- period. What part of “shall not be infringed” is so hard to grasp? Yes, there are costs and responsibilities that go with all our rights, but that’s the price for living here. To punish people by restricting their rights when they aren’t the ones misusing that right just goes against everything I believe in.

  31. Bret4207 says:

    Phan, that doesn’t wash since DC and NYC have had very strict gun laws for decades and the crime rate rises despite those laws.

  32. oa says:

    NYC’s crime rate has plummeted over the last two decades. You could look it up.

  33. Pete Klein says:

    Going back to Brian’s original post, the answer would be that Sage’s opinion was plain old goofy. It makes sense only if one wants to buy stock in gun manufacturers. Guns cost money. A lot of money. Maybe Sage would like the government to provide everyone with a gun? What? Welfare for gun manufacturers, dealers, etc.? Everyone should own and pack a gun? Why? Are we a nation of cowards, afraid of our own shadow?
    Going off the deep end may be fun but it isn’t very smart.
    I have never been threatened by a person who had a gun but once spent about 15 minutes trying to convince someone to remove a knife from my throat. Boy, that was fun. Happy to report he did remove the knife. He went on his way, I went on my way and that was that. No police report was filed. Every time I saw him after that incident, I would say hi and he would look away.
    I’m saying, I don’t care if you carry a gun. If you carry one and it makes you feel safe, wonderful. But if anyone ever decides they want to kill you, they will and you probably won’t see it coming. There are many ways to kill and guns are only one of the many options to do it.

  34. phahn50 says:

    Bret – you have the causation arrows in the wrong direction. gun violence leads to the proposal of strict gun control laws, which in turn hopefully reduces gun violence.

    the major use of guns in civilian crime “protection” is within the illegal drug trade at all levels. The problem is that they frequently miss each other and kill children walking home from school.

  35. Bret4207 says:

    Okay, lets look it up.

    Interesting facts- “In New York City, long known for strict regulation of all types of weapons, only 19 percent of the 390 homicides in 1960 involved pistols. By 1972, this proportion had jumped to 49 percent of 1,691. In 1973, according to the New York Times, there were only 28,000 lawfully possessed handguns in the nation’s largest city, but police estimated that there were as many as 1.3 million illegal handguns there. ”

    “According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF), 93 percent of the guns used in crimes are not obtained through lawful purchase, so waiting periods, registration, and licensing schemes don’t work anyway. ”

    “In 1976, Washington, D.C., instituted one of the strictest gun-control laws in the country. The murder rate since that time has risen 134 percent (77.8 per 100,000 population) while the overall rate for the country has declined 2 percent. Washington, D.C., politicians find it easy to blame Virginia’s less-stringent gun laws for the D.C. murder rate. Yet Virginia Beach, Virginia’s largest city with almost 400,000 residents, has had one of the lowest rates of murder in the country — 4.1 per 100,000. ”

    From Wikipedia-
    Violent crime in New York City has decreased in the last fifteen years, and the murder rate in 2007 was at its lowest level since at least 1963, when reliable statistics were first kept and the city had half a million fewer residents.[1][2] Crime rates spiked in the 1980s and early 1990s as the crack epidemic hit the city. During the 1990s the New York City Police Department (NYPD) adopted CompStat, broken windows policing and other strategies in a major effort to reduce crime. The city’s dramatic drop in crime has been attributed by criminologists to these policing tactics, the end of the crack epidemic and demographic changes.[3][4] There is evidence that the data may have been manipulated to create the sense of a more secure atmosphere.[5]

    NYC’s Sullivan law, in existence since 1911! Would you argue the last 15 years falling crime rate is due to a gun control law enacted in 100 years ago??? And I’m sorry to refute you, but the murder rate is way up in NYC-

    Phan, put the arrows whichever way you want. Gun laws don’t appear to be effective in reducing crime. Full employment, social pressure, cultural values (darn right, those stupid 10 Commandments breed violence! “Thou shalt not murder/steal/covet! What stupid ideas!), good policing and probably a lot of other things play into reducing crime. Since criminals by their nature ignore laws, I still can’t grasp why punishing those who obey the law makes sense.

  36. Walker says:

    A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting, a criminal assault or homicide, or an attempted or completed suicide than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.

    — Journal of Trauma, 1998

    85% of Americans want a background check and 5-day waiting period before a handgun is purchased.

    — 1998 National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago

    The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children aged less than 15 years was nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.

    American children are more at risk from firearms than the children of any other industrialized nation. In one year, firearms killed no children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada, and 5,285 in the United States.

    — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    Every year 29,000 people in the US die from injuries caused by hand guns. As someone else has noted, if those deaths were caused by terrorists, we would have invaded another country by now. Instead, we coddle the gun industry.

    And Bret, yes, I want you to provide “hundreds of reports where people used guns to prevent or stop a crime.” I don’t buy it.

  37. Dave C says:

    Should I get a handgun? I already own a 20 gauge shotgun but that seems slow and antiquated compared to the Glock 19. It’s more of a farm tool. I once shot my swarm of bees out of a tree using the gun.
    I just heard my neighbor fire off a few rounds. He always does. Good guy. Now he’s running his chainsaw.
    I have a friend on Long Island who likes gold and when he comes up to visit he always brings a new weapon to shoot off on my property. I never let him.
    He likes to say when *#@! hits the fan he’ll be ready. “For what” I ask? “to shoot your way over the Throgs Neck Bridge?”
    He kind of scares me.
    Just cant decide whether to get a handgun or vote for candidates who propose banning guns across the board, no exceptions, even the police.
    Sounds like I should get the gun.

  38. oa says:

    Bret, calm down. You just said that NYC crime had increased, when in fact, over the last two decades, it’s declined. I did not comment on whether it had anything to do with gun control. I corrected an inaccuracy posted on a comment thread.

  39. Walker says:

    Oh, yeah, New York City’s gun control. Problem there I believe is that Georgia, where a handgun can be purchased easily, is just a few hours away. That’s why you need a federal law.

    If you look at the difference between European statistics and the US, it’s pretty clear gun laws work.

    An even clearer example is Australia, which outlawed handguns after a multiple victim shooting a while back– gun deaths fell dramatically. The story is at

  40. Bret4207 says:

    Sorry Walker, both the link I provided earlier and people I correspond with in Australia refute your claim.

    “What about the experience of other countries? In 1997, just 12 months after a new gun law went into effect in Australia, homicides jumped 3.2 percent, armed robberies 44 percent, and assaults 8.6 percent. In the state of Victoria, homicides went up 300 percent. Before the law was passed, statistics showed a steady decrease in armed robberies with firearms. In 1998, in the state of South Australia, robbery with a firearm increased nearly 60 percent. In 1999, the assault rate in New South Wales rose almost 20 percent.”

  41. Bret4207 says:

    Walker, here’s page 1 of 19 for my query on New York alone. There are records going back to 1958. According to statistics Americans use firearms in self defense of persons or property 2.5 million times a year. Seems a bit high top me, but then so do most of the numbers you provided. Liars, damn liars and statistics I guess.

    Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 08/02/04
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 11/1/2004
    Two men, posing as prospective gem buyers, held up a couple trying to sell their diamond through a local newspaper advertisement. The Webster, New York, couple had advertised the “loose diamond,” and subsequently had several phone calls from two gentlemen who said they were interested in purchasing the stone. When the “buyers” showed up for a 4 p.m. appointment, they held the couple at gunpoint, bound them with duct tape, and stole the diamond and other jewelry from the home. The two suspects attempted to escape in their Geo Tracker, but were soon pursued by the local police, — who had received a distress call from the victims. An officer followed the vehicle to a cul-desac, where the suspects fled on foot. A woman in the neighborhood, seeing one of the suspects heading straight for her house, warned her husband. He, in turn, armed himself with a .45-caliber handgun and prevented the man from entering. This allowed the police to corner the suspect, Robert L. McKnight, who was arrested and charged with robbery. Brian K. Moton was arrested later and the jewelry was recovered.

    Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 05/26/04
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 8/1/2004
    A Bergen, New York, homeowner returned to his house around 10 a.m. to discover two men and a woman in the process of burglarizing his home. The resident drew a handgun on the trio. When the men attempted to escape in a van, the homeowner punched out one of its windows. One of the men then threw gasoline at him from a can and the men took off. The homeowner continued to hold the woman at gunpoint until police arrived. Police later arrested the two men, and all three suspects were charged with burglary.

    Newsday, New York, New York, 11/22/03
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 2/1/2004
    A Freeport, New York, woman has her boyfriend and his brother to thank for rescuing her from a rapist. First Squad Det. Lt. Andrew Fal of Nassau, New York, reported that the suspect was believed to have been hiding in the basement of the home for some time. When the woman’s boyfriend left for work, the intruder hid his face with a surgical mask and went upstairs. He attacked the woman in her bedroom, punching her repeatedly in the face, and then tried to rape her. The boyfriend’s brother, who also lives in the home, heard the commotion and thought his brother was having a fight with his girlfriend. He called the brother on his cell phone to see what was going on, and when his brother told him he was driving to work, the two realized the woman was in real trouble. The brother called the police and retrieved a 9mm pistol. The woman’s boyfriend returned to the house where he and his brother confronted her attacker, holding him at gunpoint until authorities arrived and placed her attacker under arrest.

    The Buffalo News, Buffalo, NY, 1/11/02
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 4/1/2002
    A Niagara Falls, New York, shopkeeper defended himself against a knife-wielding robber by grabbing a shotgun from behind the counter. Teddy Patronski was working in his Memory Lane Gift Shop one afternoon when a man entered holding a 6-inch knife. The suspect lunged over the counter and demanded money from Patronski, cutting the shopkeeper on the nose, according to Officer Lisa Marrone. Patronski then grabbed a shotgun from behind the counter, and the suspect fled the store.

    The Times Herald Record, Middletown, NY, 8/26/99
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 11/1/1999
    Richard Stein, a Monticello, New York, veterinarian, was at home one night when a knock came at the front door. When Stein found no one there, he reached for his .22-cal. rifle. His instincts turned out to be dead on. Moments later, a man appeared in the rear of Stein’s house and began attacking him with a vacuum cleaner handle. Stein attempted to warn his attacker off, but to no avail. Police arrived to find the intruder dead with a single gunshot wound to the chest.

    The Times Union, New York, NY, 10/30/97
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 3/1/1998
    After being held up several times, a Bronx, New York, music store owner got a 9 mm Beretta pistol to thwart further attempts. Late one morning he buzzed a supposed customer into his store, but once inside, the man produced a pistol and demanded money. A struggle ensued, and the owner drew his own firearm, whereupon he fatally shot the bandit.

    The Times Herald Record, Middletown, NY, 1/25/97
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 4/1/1997
    A New Paltz, New York, delivery driver entered an apartment building to deliver a pizza when he was grabbed by the two masked thugs who had placed the order. A scuffle broke out, and the driver was able to get a hold of the gun he was carrying. He fired several shots at his ski-mask- clad assailants as they hastened off into the night. It was unknown whether either man was hit.

    The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 8/29/96
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 2/1/1997
    The bandit brazenly barged into the Rochester, New York, market, shoving a gun into the face of the owner’s wife, who was working behind the counter, and demanding cash. The owner witnessed the confrontation and quickly pulled his own handgun out, shooting the armed robber. Hit in the arm, the suspect ran outside to a waiting car and went to a nearby hospital where he was arrested. Neighbors said the store had been held up several times in the past two years.

    The Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 8/27/96
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 1/1/1997
    A Rochester, New York, homeowner grabbed his shotgun after witnessing a gang of men armed with guns and clad in dark hooded sweatshirts and pants storm a neighboring duplex. After hitting the man’s neighbors, the roving band of marauders descended upon the armed citizen, who was determined to protect himself and his children. As the assailants forced their way into his home, the man opened fire, trading shots with as many as seven suspects. The man was able to successfully fend off the attack, killing two of the intruders and wounding a third. Police were still looking for the other suspects. Police were searching for links between this attack and similar home invasions earlier in the summer that had left two citizens dead. The man’s neighbors were considering following his lead and arming themselves for protection.

    The Times Union, Albany, NY, 8/24/96
    State: NY
    American Rifleman Issue: 1/1/1997
    In what was deemed a “rare” attack by a rabid Eastern coyote, an Albany, New York, woman required stitches to her head, back and legs after being repeatedly bitten by the creature while working in her garden. Hearing her screams, neighbor Giles Bullock shouted at the animal, hoping to scare it away. When that failed, he retrieved his 12-ga. shotgun and killed the animal with a single blast. “It was a good thing [Bullock] was here to help her,” the thankful woman’s husband said.

  42. Bret4207 says:

    I was mistaken, there are 317 entries for events occurring in NY State alone on the searchable file, but that only goes back to 1987.

  43. Bret4207 says:

    More from another standpoint- armed citizen assisting police officers-

    There is NO evidence to support the assertion that law enforcement officers are put at risk by law-abiding citizens carrying concealed firearms in their car. There are no studies, even ones with twisted statistics, that draw this conclusion. How can that be? Because there is NO record of a law enforcement officers having been injured by a CCW permit holder during a traffic stop, anywhere in the 44 CCW states.

    We can, on the other hand, offer numerous examples of armed citizens coming to the aid of officers in peril:

    Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, FL
    Driving to work one morning, Jim Povia, of Sarasota, Florida, saw a state trooper with his service pistol drawn, confronting a trio of male suspects during a traffic stop. Povia, a right-to-carry permit holder, pulled over and grabbed his .40 cal. pistol and went to the aid of the officer. The two held the men until backup arrived. The driver of the vehicle was driving with a suspended license and a gun was found in the rear of the vehicle. The three men were charged with felony weapons possession.

    The Post, Houston, TX
    In the finest tradition of armed citizens who take on crime in their communities, Texan Travis Neel helped save a wounded Harris County deputy sheriff’s life. Witnessing the shooting by one of a trio of Houston gang members after a traffic stop just west of Houston, Neel–who was on his way to his pistol range–pulled his gun and fired, driving the officer’s assailants away. An off-duty sheriff’s deputy also came on the scene and joined Neel in covering the deputy, whose life was saved by his body armor. The trio was captured after a manhunt.

    The Bulletin, Norwich, CT
    While the situation ended without incident, armed citizen Michael Acree stood ready to lend a hand when a police officer stopped a carload of unruly teenagers outside his Salem, Connecticut, home. Noticing the youths scuffling with the officer, Acree retrieved his pistol and went out onto his lawn. When the youths saw Acree and his handgun, they calmed down and the situation ended peaceably. Acree earned the appreciation both of town officials and the officer.

    The Daily Commercial, Leesburg, FL
    Vincent McCarthy wasn’t afraid to lend a hand when he noticed a police officer struggling with a man and woman at the side of the road. He tried to help subdue the man who was kicking the officer in the face. Despite McCarthy’s warnings, when the man pressed his assault, the tour boat captain shot him once in the leg with a pistol he is licensed to carry and stopped the attack. Neither the officer nor McCarthy were seriously injured.

    The Observer, Charlotte, NC
    A North Myrtle Beach, N.C., citizen was credited by the city’s public safety director with possibly saving the life of Police Officer Richard Jernick. Jernick had pulled over a suspected bank robber’s car after a chase, when the suspect charged the cruiser and pointed a gun at the officer, who was still behind the wheel. At that point authorities said, the robbery suspect saw that James Beach, a semi-retired electrician who had joined the pursuit, had a pistol pointed at him. Startled, the robber ran for his car, and Officer Jernick was able to shoot and wound him.

    The Star-Banner, Ocala, FL
    When a drug-trafficking suspect fleeing a state police traffic stop ran through an Ocala, Fla., campground, he was spotted by the manager. Leonard Hicks armed himself and held the man at gunpoint for pursuing officers. An officer later commented, We wouldn’t have caught the suspect if it hadn’t been for him.

    The Valley Daily News, Renton, WA
    The armed man who intended to rob a Renton, Wash., gunshop should have been forewarned by the police cruiser he had to walk past to enter the store, and the uniformed officer standing just inside the door. Belatedly noticing the policeman, the would-be robber began shooting at him. The officer and a store clerk armed with a semi-auto pistol returned fire, fatally wounding the man.

    The Press-Herald, Minden, LA
    During a drug arrest in Webster Parish, La., a sheriff’s deputy and a state trooper found themselves struggling with their two suspects. But four citizens observed the battle and, armed with shotguns, they came to the officers’ aid–enabling them to make the arrests.

    The Chronicle, San Francisco, CA
    Dave Storton, a San Jose, Calif., police officer, was doing off-duty security work at an apartment complex when two burglars knocked the officer down and attempted to grab his revolver. During the struggle, one of the assailants bit off part of Storton’s ear, but the two attackers were run off by an apartment resident who came to the rescue, armed with a shotgun.

    The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK
    Miami, Okla., motel owner Oba Edwards witnessed two policemen struggling with a man they were attempting to arrest and saw the man wrest away one officer’s revolver, shoot and kill him. Edwards armed himself and fired a shot that allowed the remaining officer to recover his partner’s revolver and fatally wound the attacker. The dead man was on probation for assault of a Texas police officer.

    The Morning Herald, Hagerstown, MD
    Police officer Chris Haldeman entered a Chambersburg, PA gold and silver exchange to arrest a suspect in a stolen property case, but the man resisted and a struggle ensued. The 220-lb. suspect had Haldeman pinned to the ground and was choking him when storekeeper Ken Cummings pulled his pistol and shot the officer’s attacker in the leg. The man, a known felon, managed to escape, and Det. Haldeman was treated at a local hospital and released.

    The Morning News, Dallas, TX
    A stolen car bearing three escaped convicts was stopped on a Kansas highway by a state trooper. When the officer ordered the men from the vehicle, they sped away. With the trooper in pursuit, the escapees crashed in the town of Gorham; two were captured as they crawled free of the wreckage. The third convict attempted to flee on foot, only to be collared by several onlookers who had secured rifles from their pickups at the trooper’s call for assistance.

    The Times-Tribune, Corbin, KY
    Corbin, Ky., motel operator Ray Miracle came upon state trooper James Phelps attempting to subdue two drunken occupants of a stopped auto and, carrying his revolver, went to the officer’s aid. At that point, another car stopped and one of two men inside levelled a gun on Trooper Phelps. Seeing Miracle’s drawn gun, however, they hastily drove off. Kentucky State Police rewarded Miracle with their highest civilian honor.

    The Post, Houston, TX
    Ralph Festavan watched as a heroin peddler attacked a Shreveport, La., policeman and grabbed the officer’s gun. Festavan ran to the patrol car parked nearby and got a shotgun with which he shot and killed the pusher.

    The Times-Union, Rochester, NY
    Dennis Koch was putting storm windows on his fiancee’s house when he observed a youth run into nearby woods. He passed the information on to a police officer who stopped by minutes later and told Koch he was searching for a burglary suspect. He gave Koch permission to assist him. Carrying his pistol, for which he has a permit, Koch found the youth hiding and held him in custody until the officer could place him under arrest.

    The Memphis Press-Scimitar, Memphis, TN
    A Missouri state trooper had been shot three times by two armed robbery suspects when armed citizen Robert Riley of Tiptonville, Tenn., rushed to his aid. Riley fired a small caliber pistol at the assailants until they surrendered. The law officer was then rushed to a hospital.

    Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Ontario, CA
    Inland Valley, California, Humane Society officer Amy Murillo, 27, was responding to a local resident’s pleas when she attempted to call off a vicious dog. But the animal turned on Murillo, jumping at her and causing her to fall against her vehicle. She suffered several bites to the head and chest from the crazed animal. Witnessing the young officer’s plight, the resident who had summoned her help returned the favor by running to his house and retrieving a handgun. The dog then turned on the man who shot twice, killing it.

    The Daily Facts, Redlands, CA
    Redlands, California, sheriff’s deputies credited an armed citizen with helping them capture four men and two juveniles who had just robbed a convenience store and pointed a gun at a plain clothes police officer as they made their initial getaway. Following a short chase all the suspects were captured. “One of the guys was detained at gunpoint by a resident who really helped us,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Bobby Phillips said. “He kept him there on the ground until we got there.”

    The Review Courier, Alva, OK
    Things had turned ugly for Oklahoma Highway Patrol Officer Rick Wallace. He had found marijuana on a speeder, but was overpowered by the man before he could cuff him. Passerby Adolph Krejsek witnessed the altercation and came to the rescue, using his own firearm to help the trooper control the suspect. After helping subdue the assailant, Krejsek used the injured trooper’s radio to call for help.

    Associated Press, IN
    In Indianapolis 17-year-old Gerald Watson stood near a policeman who questioned a robbery suspect when the suspect’s accomplice appeared on the scene and shot the officer down. Watson, who had taught marksmanship at the YMCA, grabbed the fallen policeman’s service revolver and shot the felon dead.

    UPI, AL
    In Saraland, Ala., the berserk husband of a woman charged with possession of illegal whisky killed one police officer and wounded another but, as he tried to make his escape, was shot dead by Carlos McDonald, the proprietor of a nearby shop.

    UPI, AL
    Two gunmen kidnapped an Eclectic, Ala., town policeman and used the officer to gain admittance to the home of Carl Ray Barker in the early morning hours. Barker, an Eclectic banker, was taken by one gunman into town to open the bank’s vault, his wife, child, and the town policeman being held hostage by the armed companion pending a safe return from the bank. When the time-vault resisted opening, the gunman returned Barker to his house and, after some debate, took the policeman away with him to get tape for binding all hostages until morning, when another attempt was to be made on the vault. Barker, now held in his home with wife and child by the second armed man, asked if he could make coffee. The robber assented and Barker put water on the stove and got it boiling. “I took the scalding water to the living room,” said Barker. “When he held his cup, I just poured the water in his face and grabbed his gun.” Barker pistol-whipped the robber into submission, loaded a shotgun and waited for the return of the other bandit. When the door opened, the captive policeman dived out of the way and Barker killed the would-be bank robber with two blasts. Barker said he feared for his family’s safety and, “I didn’t want my bank to get a bad name about being robbed.”

    Article used by permission from the Ohioans For Concealed Carry PAC

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

  44. Bret4207 says:

    More from another source for 12/10-

    December, 2010

    Two female joggers were enjoying a morning run when three dogs viciously attacked them. Blood-curdling screams rang out. Onlookers dialed 9-1-1, but Gary Paqueknew there was no time. He grabbed his 9 mm handgun and ran to the scene. “[One of the women] was on the ground and there were three dogs trying to pull her apart,” he said. “I shot the one dog, and he just dropped. … The other dogs stopped, then continued to attack her.” Paque’s gun malfunctioned, but neighbor John Bettencourt arrived with a.45-cal. pistol and shot the two remaining dogs. The most badly injured jogger was taken to the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. “[The armed citizens] probably saved her life,” said Police Officer Joseph Holecek. (Daily Republic, Fairfield, CA, 09/11/10)

    His delivery completed, a pizza driver began to drive away when a masked man accosted him with a shotgun and announced a robbery. The driver drew a handgun that he was licensed to carry and shot the suspect. After asking a passerby to call 9-1-1, the compassionate driver reassured the wounded suspect that help was on the way. “He kept saying, ‘They’re coming!’ like he was encouraging him to be okay,” said witness Dana Trader. The suspect will be arrested after his release from the hospital. (WTVR-TV, Richmond, VA, 09/20/10)

    Retired schoolteacher Larry Goldstein was awakened by a loud noise and quickly obtained his .38-cal. Smith & Wesson revolver. As he reached the first floor of his Brooklyn, N.Y., home, two men confronted him carrying what appeared to be a pistol and an M-16 rifle. Fearing for his life, Goldstein shot one of the intruders three times. The wounded intruder was arrested. His accomplice fled the scene. Both guns carried by the men proved to be toys, but according to a police spokesman, they “were very realistic looking. If someone pointed them at you, you would light them up, too,” he said. (The Wall Street Journal, 09/16/10, New York, NY)

    A woman was tending a convenience store register when a convicted felon burst through the door and put a gun in her face. The woman’s husband, who’d been sitting on a stool at the end of the counter, drew his handgun and shot the suspect three times. The suspect will be arrested upon his release from the hospital. “I hope that it sends a really strong message to anyone that’s thinking about going out and doing something stupid that there are people out there who are legally carrying firearms and that they have the right to protect themselves or another person,” said County Sheriff Graham Atkinson. (The Mount Airy News, Mount Airy, NC, 09/23/10)

    Ethel Jones, a 69-year-old grandmother, heard a ruckus at her front door one evening while she was home alone. “He started shaking [the door],” she recalled, “and I said to myself, ‘Somebody is fixin’ to break in!’” The burglar removed an air conditioner from a window and crawled inside. Jones quickly obtained her revolver, walked out of her bedroom and came face-to-face with the intruder. “I shot three times,” she explained, “and he ran away hollering.” The wounded suspect was arrested at the hospital. “I hope this will make people have second thoughts before they break into a home in our neighborhood and stop some of the crime we’ve had around here,” Jones said. (The Decatur Daily, Decatur, AL, 08/31/10)

    Casey Bartram returned home with his girlfriend and 2-year-old son after an evening of bowling, but grew suspicious when he noticed the house was darker than normal and the door wasn’t locked properly. Unbeknownst to Bartram, two intruders wearing ski masks lurked inside. One of them, who had a gun, sprang upon Bartram who also had a gun (carried legally). In the ensuing struggle, Bartram fired a shot, killing the assailant. The second suspect fled and was arrested. “It’s a good Second Amendment case,” said County Sheriff Greg Farley. “A man was able to defend his girlfriend, child and home.” (The Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, WV, 09/21/10)

    When an unexpected knock at the door roused a homeowner from bed, he holstered his handgun. Two men at the door told the homeowner they had caught someone tampering with his vehicle. After a brief chat he began to close the door, but the men quickly asked for the homeowner’s help jump starting their vehicle. He said he could not help. Then the men asked for a drink of water and the homeowner grew very suspicious. He tried to close the door, but before he could do so, one of the men stuck his arm through the door and fired a gun. The homeowner shot one of the suspects, who was arrested when police arrived. The suspect’s accomplice was still being sought. (KMOV-TV, St. Louis, MO, 09/23/10)


  45. Bret4207 says:

    Do you want me to post more? There are literally thousands and thousands…

  46. PNElba says:

    The stats cited above come from a letter written by Ed Chenel, a police officer in Australia. For some of the underlying numbers check here:

    and comments here:

    For actual Australian homicide rates it’s probably safe to look here:

  47. Bret4207 says:

    QA, I will repeat from my 12:15 post that while the crime rate fell for 15 years- “I’m sorry to refute you, but the murder rate is way up in NYC-


    My point is that while crime fell for 15 years it’s absolutely absurd to claim that gun control laws were the cause of it since NYC’s Sullivan law has been in existence since 1911! Considering it’s one of the most restrictive laws in the nation, if gun control really worked then NY should have practically no gun crime. Why is that not the case? Because crooks don’t obey the law! So the people that end up obeying the law are the people who weren’t the problem in the first place. A resident from outside NYC cannot legally carry a gun in NYC! You have to have a NYC permit and that means you’re hooked to someone in the system. Even as a retired police officer I can’t carry in NYC! The law is about as restrictive as you can get and yet the violent crime rate is back on the rise. The overall crime rate from 1911 surely hasn’t fallen either.

    You know, I can understand the feelings you guys have on this. It just simply strikes you as wrong or stupid or ignorant for people to want to have guns, and since it seems none of you has ever used a gun or known anyone who’s used a gun to protect themselves or their property then it must seem outlandish to think it happens regularly. I get it guys. It seems so simple- outlaw guns or severely restrict them and the problem will go away. Simple as that. Unfortunately reality doesn’t work so simply. Criminals don’t care what the law says. It makes no sense. It’s like the people that got their panties in a wad when some airline pilots wanted to be armed. It makes NO sense.

    And to be clear, I would be more than willing to make any reasonable accommodation in reducing gun crimes and certainly gun accidents. I have a feeling my definition of “reasonable” might differ from some of yours.

  48. Walker says:

    Well, that’s 39 so far, and the ones that are dated go back as much as 14 years. Meanwhile, EVERY year 29,000 people in the US die from injuries caused by hand guns. So to reach comparable numbers, you’d have to come up with 406,000 LIVES SAVED in 14 years.

    Most of your stories appear to involve PROPERTY saved. And incidentally, a number of your shopkeepers (who, in some areas, probably SHOULD be armed) favored long guns, not concealed carry handguns. As for the dog/coyote stories, ever hear of Mace? In fact, quite a few of these stories could have had the same outcome with Mace.

    As for Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 1997 there were 2,185 robberies that involved firearms. In 1998, that number fell to 1,910. The number of murders committed with firearms also fell, from 99 in 1996 (the year of the Port Arthur massacre) to 54 in 1998.

    Anyway, I find it hard to argue with the statistic that “A gun in the home is 22 times more likely to be used in an unintentional shooting, a criminal assault or homicide, or an attempted or completed suicide than to be used to injure or kill in self-defense.” – Journal of Trauma, 1998

    I have little doubt that you disagree.

  49. Bret4207 says:

    So you’re going to close your eyes, put your hands over your ears and start shouting “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”??? Cool. And so what if it is property? Are you possibly trying to say I should let coyotes eat my livestock or the neighbors mutt run my horses through a fence? I’ll give you a call next time there’s a pack of coyotes dragging off a lamb and you can come right up an attempt to mace them. Good luck with that.

    Open your eyes man, just because you refuse to accept the realities of life doesn’t mean they don’t exist. People die every day from cars, no one talks about outlawing them or restricting them. Same for booze, lawnmowers and chainsaws- 3 other items whose only purpose is “to kill something”.

  50. Mervel says:

    But Bret come on you don’t need an assault rifle or a Glock semi-automatic with a 33 round clip to kill some coyotes, at least no the ones I have killed.

    To me that is the point, some of these weapons really don’t belong in the hands of civilians. If military weapons are okay then bazookas should be okay so should flame throwers etc, .

    I just don’t think we need these types of weapons and they kind of cross a line in my mind.

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