December 29, 2012

Joyce Lee Malcolm: Two Cautionary Tales of Gun Control

After a school massacre, the U.K. banned handguns in 1998. A decade later, handgun crime had doubled.

Americans are determined that massacres such as happened in Newtown, Conn., never happen again. But how? Many advocate more effective treatment of mentally-ill people or armed protection in so-called gun-free zones. Many others demand stricter control of firearms.
We aren't alone in facing this problem. Great Britain and Australia, for example, suffered mass shootings in the 1980s and 1990s. Both countries had very stringent gun laws when they occurred. Nevertheless, both decided that even stricter control of guns was the answer. Their experiences can be instructive.
In 1987, Michael Ryan went on a shooting spree in his small town of Hungerford, England, killing 16 people (including his mother) and wounding another 14 before shooting himself. Since the public was unarmed—as were the police—Ryan wandered the streets for eight hours with two semiautomatic rifles and a handgun before anyone with a firearm was able to come to the rescue.
Nine years later, in March 1996, Thomas Hamilton, a man known to be mentally unstable, walked into a primary school in the Scottish town of Dunblane and shot 16 young children and their teacher. He wounded 10 other children and three other teachers before taking his own life.
David Klein
Since 1920, anyone in Britain wanting a handgun had to obtain a certificate from his local police stating he was fit to own a weapon and had good reason to have one. Over the years, the definition of "good reason" gradually narrowed. By 1969, self-defense was never a good reason for a permit.
After Hungerford, the British government banned semiautomatic rifles and brought shotguns—the last type of firearm that could be purchased with a simple show of fitness—under controls similar to those in place for pistols and rifles. Magazines were limited to two shells with a third in the chamber.
Dunblane had a more dramatic impact. Hamilton had a firearm certificate, although according to the rules he should not have been granted one. A media frenzy coupled with an emotional campaign by parents of Dunblane resulted in the Firearms Act of 1998, which instituted a nearly complete ban on handguns. Owners of pistols were required to turn them in. The penalty for illegal possession of a pistol is up to 10 years in prison.
The results have not been what proponents of the act wanted. Within a decade of the handgun ban and the confiscation of handguns from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in the past, now is. Armed street gangs have some British police carrying guns for the first time. Moreover, another massacre occurred in June 2010. Derrick Bird, a taxi driver in Cumbria, shot his brother and a colleague then drove off through rural villages killing 12 people and injuring 11 more before killing himself.
Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens who have come into the possession of a firearm, even accidentally, have been harshly treated. In 2009 a former soldier, Paul Clarke, found a bag in his garden containing a shotgun. He brought it to the police station and was immediately handcuffed and charged with possession of the gun. At his trial the judge noted: "In law there is no dispute that Mr. Clarke has no defence to this charge. The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant." Mr. Clarke was sentenced to five years in prison. A public outcry eventually won his release.
In November of this year, Danny Nightingale, member of a British special forces unit in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced to 18 months in military prison for possession of a pistol and ammunition. Sgt. Nightingale was given the Glock pistol as a gift by Iraqi forces he had been training. It was packed up with his possessions and returned to him by colleagues in Iraq after he left the country to organize a funeral for two close friends killed in action. Mr. Nightingale pleaded guilty to avoid a five-year sentence and was in prison until an appeal and public outcry freed him on Nov. 29.


Six weeks after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, Martin Bryant, an Australian with a lifelong history of violence, attacked tourists at a Port Arthur prison site in Tasmania with two semiautomatic rifles. He killed 35 people and wounded 21 others.
At the time, Australia's guns laws were stricter than the United Kingdom's. In lieu of the requirement in Britain that an applicant for permission to purchase a gun have a "good reason," Australia required a "genuine reason." Hunting and protecting crops from feral animals were genuine reasons—personal protection wasn't.
With new Prime Minister John Howard in the lead, Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement, banning all semiautomatic rifles and semiautomatic and pump-action shotguns and imposing a more restrictive licensing system on other firearms. The government also launched a forced buyback scheme to remove thousands of firearms from private hands. Between Oct. 1, 1996, and Sept. 30, 1997, the government purchased and destroyed more than 631,000 of the banned guns at a cost of $500 million.
To what end? While there has been much controversy over the result of the law and buyback, Peter Reuter and Jenny Mouzos, in a 2003 study published by the Brookings Institution, found homicides "continued a modest decline" since 1997. They concluded that the impact of the National Firearms Agreement was "relatively small," with the daily rate of firearms homicides declining 3.2%.
According to their study, the use of handguns rather than long guns (rifles and shotguns) went up sharply, but only one out of 117 gun homicides in the two years following the 1996 National Firearms Agreement used a registered gun. Suicides with firearms went down but suicides by other means went up. They reported "a modest reduction in the severity" of massacres (four or more indiscriminate homicides) in the five years since the government weapons buyback. These involved knives, gas and arson rather than firearms.
In 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported a decrease of 9% in homicides and a one-third decrease in armed robbery since the 1990s, but an increase of over 40% in assaults and 20% in sexual assaults.
What to conclude? Strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia haven't made their people noticeably safer, nor have they prevented massacres. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. don't provide much evidence that strict gun laws will solve our problems.
Ms. Malcolm, a professor of law at George Mason University Law School, is the author of several books including "Guns and Violence: The English Experience," (Harvard, 2002).
The left has set up thousands of fake twitter accounts to attack conservatives and conservative causes. One guy alone had 500 twitter accounts that was exposed. They do this to overwhelm the opposition and get the conservative twitter account shut-down by reporting them for spam.

I lost 12 twitter accounts because of this very tactic  Remember Twitter was founded and is controlled by people in San Francisco. One of the most liberal whacked out cities in the world.



To Silence Opposition-

To Silence Opposition
The liberal’s assault on free speech continues. Attacks on conservatives– ordinary citizens who are only using Twitter as a platform to share their opinion. The cruel reality is that the liberals are determined to silence us and they obviously do not have plans to stop. They want us off of Twitter. They won’t stop at minimizing our voices, they want total domination of the social network.
They not only bully, but they feel they may suspend as well. Well over one hundred accounts have been sent to #TwitterGulag in the past couple months. The process they use is relatively simple. Nearly everyone on Twitter has used the ‘block’ button. These leftists discovered that it’s easy to suspend conservatives by getting a group together and mass spam-blocking and reporting those they hate to Twitter. Often a liberal will drag the prospective victim into a conversation. Then another leftist joins. The conservative replies, is retweeted and the rest of the gang pounces, report-spam/blocks and the account is sent to #TwitterGulag. A reply trap is also used on some. The liberal will ‘randomly’ pick a conservative to tweet to, then when the conservative replies the leftist will turn it in to Twitter for excessive mentions and the user will be suspended.
This began quite some time ago. Remember the days when #tcot took over hashtags like #IlikeObamaCare and #Gen44? This made the leftists furious. And in April they struck back by mass suspending conservatives. I didn’t really notice it until the Chris Loesch issue. These liberals wouldn’t even let a husband defend his wife when she was attacked and threatening comments were made! After this the suspension issue was publicized and #TwitterGulag became a common term for free speech suppression against conservatives on Twitter. At least one account suspended at that time for fighting alongside Chris Loesch in defense of his wife was not reinstated until this month.
During interviews for this article I learned much more about how these suspensions occur and how conservatives are silenced. Most reasons for suspensions have something to do with one of the following:
  • Tweeting about Obama using the #Obama hashtag or @BarackObama and attacking his liberal policies that are destroying our country.
  • Pushing for the reinstatement of another account (Chris Loesch’s in particular).
  • Defending Rush Limbaugh on the hashtag #StopRush and encouraging his sponsors to stay loyal.
  • Defending a fellow conservative blogger.
  • Confronting the Socialistic, Communist leaning Occupy movement.
  • Sharing one’s conservative stance on the leftist attack on women, #UAWOW, #WLF, etc.
  • Criticizing the union’s failed policies and tweeting to the #wiunion hashtag.
  • Taking a stand against Islam.
  • Any trending or popular hashtag is dangerous when the liberals think they’re beginning to look bad; nothing like losing a battle to cultivate the desire for revenge in a leftist.
  • Getting into conversations with any of the following leftists, @Lizardoid (or #LGF), @BlazePhoenix_, @Shoq, @GottaLaff, @KeithOlbermann to name a few.
These people with suspended accounts were not threatening people or other accounts. They were just voicing their opinion and the leftists hate them for that.
There are a couple ways that accounts can be suspended.
  1. The report-spam/block button. Instead of using the standard block that most of us would use on a disagreeable liberal these suspension teams orchestrate mass report-spam/block on an account to have it suspended.
  2.  Reply trap. The leftist will tweet an account in hopes that the admin will reply. If there is a reply they can file a report with Twitter and/or spam-report/block you.
  3.  Physically report the account to Twitter. Contacting @Spam and/or filing a ticket against an account.
The liberals love to target particular conservatives and have them suspended repeatedly. The same patterns are reoccurring. Reinstated then suspended; again and again. I have seen some accounts suspended four, five times. Sometimes after reinstatement the admin doesn’t even have time to tweet before the account is suspended. Reinstated by Twitter and suspended again in ten minutes with no new tweets and no changes made to the account in any way has occurred.
At other times the ‘spam reporting team’ follows the administrator to the next account (often the victim’s backup). They don’t seem to mind that the administrator hasn’t been spamming anyone or violating any Twitter rule. They don’t care that the person has been simply voicing his/her opinion. Liberals only want to silence another conservative voice, another patriot who wants to share an opinion is to be taken out of public view.  For tips on how to avoid #TwitterGulag please see my list here.
Suspension Cases
One of the most startling things is the discovery that it’s possible to be suspended with no tweets, no excessive following (accounts that followed ten or less conservative and Republican celebrities). The accounts did not break any rules. No reason given for the suspensions below, which must have been victims of spam-report/block:
@EggPatrol1 (now reinstated):
This clearly shows that there is more to this suspension than one of the theories the liberals are circulating saying conservatives are suspended because we attack the liberals and annoy or spam them. The accounts shown above did nothing.
For the most part leftists disregard these suspensions and brush them aside as irrelevant. It’s easy to understand. They are not victims and if it means opposition is silenced they naturally would not find a problem with it.
One conservative account @inGodwetrust76 replied to @utaustinliberal and was spam-blocked. The conservative hadn’t been spamming. One tweet to the liberal, then the angry leftists admits to spam blocking the account:
Though now reinstated @PinkySinclair did suspend @mrgeology.  Thankfully @mrgeology was reinstated quickly.

@PinkySinclair attacks
A discussion with a lib then the B & R is used and somebody is sent to #TwitterGulag (I worked to get him reinstated).
My Suspension
On June 13th I was pulled into a discussion with a liberal after tweeting numerous tweets to the hashtags #LiberalismIn4Words and #ConservatismIn4Words when I was suspended.  To my knowledge @PolitixFireball is the largest account ever suspended for political opinion, free speech and disagreement with a liberal.
Below is the bulk and main line of our discussion:
During the process of posting another tweet I received a message that I was suspended. Pink ribbon appeared, disappeared and didn’t appear again for over an hour:
@StumblingBlock blocked @PolitixFireball:

An hour and a half after my suspension I was able to get reinstated. Twitter forced me to admit that I was at fault if I was to have @PolitixFireball reinstated:

I did not make unsolicited replies. The leftist @StumblingBlock, started the entire episode when he angrily replied to my tweets. He also mentioned me a total of 27 times while I replied to him only 19 times. Who should have reported who?
@utaustingliberal had contact with @StumblingBlock about the time @inGodwetrust76 was spam-blocked and before @PolitixFireball was suspended. They both had contact with conservatives, each other, and blocked conservatives at approximately the same time:
@utaustinliberal connection with @StumblingBlock.
How They Work
From those with guilty consciences these tweets were posted:
@BlazePhoenix_ congratulates @Lizardoid.

Spam-block/report for reasons other than spam:
Racial issues reported for spam, instructions on how to report someone and anti-Obama reported for spam.  These aren’t ‘spamming’ issues.  This is disagreement in beliefs.
GottaLaff Condones B & R
@GottaLaff instructions on how to report for spam.
Moron Watch supports B & R.

The three screen shots above came from Twitter Gulag Spam Blockers.
@Lizardoid condones block and report in this April screen shot taken from Diary of Daedalus.
Although it has not happened to a great degree some account have been completely banned from Twitter because they were suspended so many times.  Not an account disobeying Twitter rules, but an account attacked and ruined because automated leftist run accounts suspended it time after time.
As mentioned earlier there are a variety of people responsible for these suspensions. They come from different liberal groups who support leftist ideals. Most are loosely (a few closely) united with the goal to silence opposition. Some conservatives on Twitter would suggest that there is a deeper reason for these suspensions. The leftists certainly do not hurt Obama and his administration with their actions– quite the opposite and it is likely that this is at the heart of this.
But it goes beyond the suspension of relatively obscure conservatives on Twitter sharing their personal views. There is an agenda. The entire purpose is to silence anyone who does not laud what is deemed ‘politically correct’ and is not supportive of the current Obama administration. Recently we have learned of other ways liberals are seeking to silence alternative new media. Red State’s Erick Erickson and other bloggers received surprise visits from law enforcement after being falsely reported for committing violent crimes.  Someone (believed to be the same person in each case and likely to be instigated by Brett Kimberlin Bomber turned left-wing activist) called 911 impersonating the particular blogger claiming he had killed his wife.  The SWAT team then shows up at the family’s home.  Of course this was illegal and could easily have led to the death of a family member in one of those households. Quite a dirty trick which shows how the leftists are playing this year: win at all odds, forget the means and casualties.
To many it may seem these events are widely dispersed, but these attacks are increasing.  Suspensions on Twitter are little more than another front for the left to terrorize.  We are supposed to praise Obama and the socialistic policies of this administration or we risk the attack of liberals on us; offending leftists has already lead to life threatening situations for the bloggers mentioned above.  Similar tactics and not only unethical, but cutthroat, activities have been taking place on our favorite social network– Twitter.  Many of those who have been targeted are on the grassroots level, but it is clear that others who are better-known are experiencing attacks not dissimilar.  There is even a possibility of a direct tie between the suspensions and Kimberlin.  Are any of us safe?
The patterns are interestingly similar.  By now it has become well-known that these liberals don’t appreciate being criticized.  If you haven’t noticed this read their statements below.
From @Lizardoid:
Lizard recommends B & R for those he deems ‘Phsyco Stalkers’ aka conservatives, libertarians and patriots who don’t agree with him.
From @Shoq:
These people want free speech on their side, but when we speak out because we don’t agree with their political views they call it ‘stalking’ and ‘trolling.’  I have had my own share of ‘fans’ since getting on the internet.  In April a liberal  asked me to name the four accounts I had interacted with that were his in the last month and warned me that if I blocked he would be back with another of his fifty or so accounts.  Ohh…and he loves Google.  Okay, I haven’t done anything (except post political tweets).  The above liberals are obsessed with those that allegedly ‘stalk’ them (doubtless we all have these issues), but those doing the spam-report block appear to be doing exactly what they cry against and blame conservatives such as you and I for doing!!
I would recommend that you read this article by Patterico.   Interestingly enough his detailed experiences with SWATting shows that those who are attacking us ruthlessly on Twitter are using the similar tactics and even have interaction with those responsible for these swattings.  To justify their attacks on us they use the ‘stalking’ accusation.  They, in truth are the stalkers and cyber bullies trying to push around and shut us up.  Both the people behind the swatting and those who are part of these suspension teams.
But it goes beyond tactics.  Neal Rauhauser is a good friend of Brett Kimberlin.  Earlier this spring there was close Twitter correspondence between Rauhauser and Charles Johnson, the latter is well-known for his denial of #TwitterGulag despite strong evidence showing he’s a part of it.  So right here we see a loose connection through tactics and friends.  Those that were targeted also give a connection.  The best known suspended account was Chris Loesch, who has connections with,  a primary group that the SWATters and stalkers have gone after.
An LGF contributor did brush away the SWATting issue as a conspiracy trumped by right-wing bloggers themselves.  Really?  Why would anyone pull a prank like that?  We are not insane and I would not even wish that on my enemies. Others claim it hasn’t occurred at all. They forget that there would be police records I suppose.
Now it seems the liberals are even spying and attacking each other.  One blogger released an interesting group of sound bites.  According to this, @Shoq admits he has 500 accounts used in the #StopRush effort.  It would be easy to also use these accounts to suspend conservatives as well as bully Rush supporters.
Where will these liberals stop? It has yet to be seen. These activities appear to be increasing and the heat of a summer election presidential election year has not yet arrived.
Cases of conservatives being suspended from Twitter have not been going away.  We need to prepare for this summer.  Much of what I have seen points to the idea that there will be an even greater onslaught of suspension activity happening in the future.  Probably even endeavoring to reach higher profile accounts and conservative celebrities.  They won’t stop suspending and intimidating us because they seek to silence us.
But we will not be stopped. We will persist in our cause.
Cross-posted on my blog and Tun Tavern Patriots


The debate on gun control is only gaining momentum. On Thursday, Senator Diane Feinstein outlined her plans to introduce sweeping legislation that includes fingerprinting and registration of all those who currently own so-called semi-automatic “assault” weapons.
Those in favor of a total ban on firearms often point to countries like England and Australia where firearms are banned or virtually impossible to possess. A look into the statistics might offer some clarity, though, about how safe such a move actually makes a country.
Let’s start at home. From 2009 to 2011, homicides overall declined slightly according to a 2011 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, with a corresponding drop in homicides by firearms.
In fact, the report says homicide is not among the top 15 leading causes of death in America. (As recently as 2009, the CDC reported that homicide was in the top 15 at #15.) Instead:
  • Accidents (unintentional deaths) were #5 and Suicide (intentional harm) has held solid as the 10th leading cause of death for several years.
  • The stats from 2009 show that homicides totaled 16,799, with 11,493 of those attributed to guns.
  • During that same year, motor vehicle deaths were nearly triple that of gun-related deaths — 34,485 vs. 11,493.
  • Death from accidental falls totaled 24,792, almost double the firearms homicide total.
The stats for gun deaths have actually shown some significant declines in the past two decades.
Homicide and Gun Statistics from England and Australia Show Banning Guns Doesnt Work
Image: National Institute of Justice
Looking at the above graph, it is worth noting that deaths caused by “other guns” has been relatively flat since 1985. The assault weapons ban was in place from 1994-2004.
And what about the argument most often made by the Left quoting the success of oppressive gun laws in countries like Australia and England? A recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Joyce Lee Malcolm shows that argument to be hollow: “After a school massacre, the U.K. banned handguns in 1998. A decade later, handgun crime has doubled.”
Malcom’s article details what happened after Australia banned many guns following a 1996 mass murder of 35 people by a madman with assault rifles. The country tightened registration laws, banned assault rifles, pump-action shotguns, and also forced a buy back of more than 600,000 guns. What effect did this have on crime?
“A 2003 study published by the Brookings Institution, found homicides “continued a modest decline” since 1997. They concluded that the impact of the National Firearms Agreement was “relatively small,” with the daily rate of firearms homicides declining 3.2%.”
During the same period in America, deaths attributed to firearms dropped by nearly ten times the decline seen in Australia. Restricting or confiscating handguns seems to have had almost no effect on homicides in Australia and the stats also show that the law had no real effect on suicides.
“Suicides with firearms went down but suicides by other means went up,” Malcom notes.
And what about the oft-cited British gun laws? Have they done the job?
Restrictive gun laws have been around for almost 100 years in England, and Malcolm reports that getting a permit requires proving to police that you have a “good reason” for needing a gun. Self defense is not considered to be a good reason in England. Following a 1987 shooting in the British town of Hungerford, the Brits enacted stricter controls. And in 1998, a near-total ban on gun ownership followed another mass shooting. Were these moves a success?
Within a decade of the handgun ban and the confiscation of handguns from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in the past, now is. Armed street gangs have some British police carrying guns for the first time.
There is little doubt that the Senate will soon put forth new legislation regarding gun ownership, especially as it relates to so-called assault weapons. However, those making the argument that banning guns has worked in places like Australia and England might be advised to check the statistics or risk looking foolish if they encounter someone armed with the facts.
Additional Blaze coverage on the firearms debate:
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter @stuntbrain