Henry wants your opinion

Yesterday, 7:29 AM, in my continuing discussion with Henry he asks:

 It would be interesting to hear from others, who follow this blog, as to whether they have a view on what I have just stated.

If you have the energy and the interest why don’t you say a word or two to him?




3 thoughts on “Henry wants your opinion

  1. I’m hoping Henry will read this comment, because I’m not sure where the link to his email address is.

    The idea of restrictions on firearms ownership is a slippery slope.

    For instance, in California, it is possible under the existing laws for the average citizen to obtain a concealed handgun licence (CHL). In practical terms, it’s nearly impossible because they don’t _have_ to issue the license to anyone that applies and meets the requirements. This gives those Police Chiefs/Sheriffs that are politically appointed (almost all of them in CA) to deny the permits unless the applicant is a politician or Hollywood big shot or other person with clout. The common person on the street is denied the ability to defend themselves with “the great equilizer”. A .38 Special revolver would go a longer way towards protecting the 90 lb. woman from the 200 lb. rapist than a cell phone will. In my home state of Oregon, the “authorities” _have_ to give the CHL to anyone that meets the requirements [take a safety class, not be mentally unstable, not have a criminal background (including misdemeanor domestic violence), and come up with the cash, baby]. So I, Joe Citizen, have in my wallet a CHL, and I’m allowed to protect myself except in schools, like the recent example in Minnesota, or in court houses, like the recent example in Atlanta where a criminal took a Deputy’s handgun and shot several people in and around the courthouse…

    The examples of Canada and Australia apparently don’t bother you in the least. In Australia, a few years ago they required mandatory registration of all lawfully owned firearms. Now they’re going to all those nice folks that obeyed the law and confiscating the firearms of those folks that don’t “properly” store the firearms. One guy had his in an approved gun safe, but since the keys were kept in the same house as the safe, he lost all of his firearms because it wasn’t “safe enough”. Without reimbusement. That would be the same as the government saying that since red cars are ticketed for speeding more often than other colors, that red cars are now illegal and they’re going to confiscate all the ones that are in the DMV registration database. Totally ignoring the lawbreakers that drive unregistered cars…

    One of the comments I saw on the thread was about all the “accidents” that happen with firearms. My personal opinion is that folks that don’t follow the safety rules (every gun is loaded, don’t point the gun ata anything you don’t want to destroy, don’t put your finger on the trigger until ready to fire) and subsequently shoot someone should be prosecuted for manslaughter. Just the same as drunk drivers. Start putting people in prison for years over that stuff and the smart ones will start being more careful. This may slow down the rate of accidents, but I don’t think so, I believe most people are stupid. Some time in the past couple of weeks someone drove a car off a downtown bridge because she was talking on her cell phone. That’s just one example of stupid people.

    One of the things you can do to gain more information is visit http://www.gunfacts.info/index.html and actually READ the information there and follow the links to the sources of his information. Places like the Center for Disease Control’s statistics on causes of death, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Statistics, etc. Little things like the Journal of Quantitive Criminology saying that about 11% of police shootings kill an innocent person but less than 2% of shootings by citizens kills an innocent person. In less than 8% of the defensive uses of a firearm are the attacker wounded, and in less than 1 in 1000 instances is the attacker killed. Lots of interesting information there.

    There are a plethora of examples and arguments to be made on all sides of the gun ownership and carrying debate. But do you want to be like Germany in the 1930’s when guns were banned beacuse of a rise in crime, then a few years later, after the rise of Adolph…

  2. [Whoops — I originally posted this in the wrong location. Here it is again, in the appropriate feedback niche. Best, Stephanie]

    Dear Mr. Boitel:

    I recognize that you have good intentions. I once thought that gun registration, regulations, and more laws were “reasonable” and no big deal.

    After being shot at, assaulted (separate incident), experiencing two break-ins while home alone (two other occasions), and, after hearing the stories of various friends of mine were held at gunpoint, I began thoroughly question my thoughts that gun restrictions were reasonable, and no big deal…

    All of the above incidents happened in Chicago – a city with some of the nation’s strictest gun laws. For example, Chicago has a full ban on hand guns. It’s illegal to even maintain a hand gun in one’s own home.

    After enduring disturbing levels of crime and gun violence, I began to ask – and I’ll ask you the same: If gun laws are so successful, then why so much violence, crime, and guns in Chicago? The same goes for other cities with highly restrictive gun laws, such as DC, NYC, LA… Shouldn’t these places be extraordinarily safe, and free from guns, period?

    Not so.

    Because, no matter how well-intentioned, gun laws do more harm than good. We could pass another 20,000+ more guns laws, to go with America’s existing approx. 20,000 gun laws, and it still _will not_ stop “bad guys” from getting guns. The law is irrelevant to criminals.

    Gun restrictions, do, however, disarm citizens, thereby putting guns only in the hands of cops and criminals. Unarmed people are easy prey for thugs.

    The beauty of legal concealed carry (the discreet carrying of hand guns) is that the surrounding population benefits as a whole. _Everyone_ need not conceal carry a firearm to deter thugs; the mere thought that someone _might_ be armed serves as a deterrent to would-be attackers.

    There is a wide array of glaring data online and in print demonstrating the perils of, and unintended consequences of, “reasonable” gun laws. I encourage you to visit this link to an excellent .pdf book that recaps some of the topics you and Joe Huffman have discussed:


    In the abovementioned book, all data is backed up with reliable sources.

    We (you, Joe Huffman, supporters/opponents of gun control, me) all share in a desire to reduce violence. We disagree on how, exactly, to do that.

    Education is better than passing more laws. I became a certified firearms instructor so I could teach others how to follow gun safety protocol. This knowledge isn’t solely for future gun owners – it’s helpful even for those who don’t plan to own a gun.

    For example, what would you do if you happened to stumble across a gun by accident? Would you know how to remove the ammunition? Would you even know if it had ammunition in it, period? Would you know how to turn on the safety switch? What would you do if a child had found a gun, and s/he brought it to you? (That’s kind of a trick question because a child trained in gun safety would know not to touch or carry a gun – they would instead stop, refrain from touching it, but tell an adult about the gun immediately.) Would you even know how to safely hold the firearm?

    Learning how to handle firearms isn’t just for gun owners.

    Back in my Chicago days (long before I’d been trained in firearms), the cops were scouring my neighborhood, looking for a gun that had been thrown aside by a gang banger who’d just committed a crime. It was then that I realized if I were to stumble across a gun – whether on the street or who knows where – I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to hold it, or how to make it inoperable. Sure, I could just not touch it, but what if a child brought a gun to me? Or what if a gun was found in a “public” place, and it would be negligible to leave it, rather than move it to a safer location?

    Furthermore, my first visit to a gun range wasn’t for the intention of owning a gun. Rather, I’d previously received gun-free self-defense training in which we were taught how to perform weapons retrieval – in other words, how to get a gun in your hands if you were held a gunpoint. My intentions in my first visit to a gun range were to learn how to handle a firearm, if I were to retrieve it from being held a gunpoint.

    Again, learning how to handle firearms isn’t just for gun owners.

    I know you are unfamiliar with firearms. As a certified firearms instructor, I offer to you and your wife the same invitation that I offer to my students who are survivors of assault: free gun training.

    Please note that my specialty is not in marksman (er, markswoman?) training whatsoever. I teach Guns 101 to beginners. My class is geared towards people like you who’ve never handled a gun before. The majority of the curriculum focuses on safe handling of firearms, followed by learning how to operate a hand gun.

    Also, if you were to join us at Boomershoot (a very different kind of shooting – more geared towards recreational fun), I’d be happy to satiate the concerns you’ve expressed regarding “safety” at the event, for I serve as a Range Safety Assistant at the shoot. You’ll quickly learn that there is no need to feel threatened. Gun owners at Boomershoot are polite, respectable people.


    Hopefully you will turn around your opinions, just as other proponents of gun control have reversed their beliefs after encountering facts, rather than knee-jerk emotions. This includes people such as Ms. Paxton Quigley, author of _Armed and Female_ and other publications. http://www.paxtonquigley.com/



  3. Dear Freddie and Stephanie,

    I was not aware until a few moments ago that the “I have invited the enemy” page sprouted a shoot over here.

    Freddie, I am glad to see you agree that the negligent use of firearms should be treated severely. I hope you also agree that it ought be a high priority to keep accurate records concerning the negligent use of firearms. We may well be in agreement on this area.

    Of course, there would be an exception for children and incompetents. In those cases, the people who failed to safeguard the weapons ought be treated severely.

    I hope you also agree that no one should be permitted to have a firearm unless they have the necessary firearms safety training and pass an appropriate test.

    I think it is quite wrong to argue that that gun restrictions in Germany led to the rise of Hitler. Are you aware of any reputable authority that any such ban materially contributed to his rise to power or the formation of the Third Reich?

    Some would argue that a totalitarian state is more likely to arise from a militarist enviornment, particularly one that encourages private preparedness groups.


    I think I replied to your message on the “enemy” page.

    Almost all of my experience with firearms has been in defending or prosecuting persons for the results of alleged misuse.

    Best wishes,


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