In London, England last month, lawmakers
voted overwhelmingly to pass a
bill outlawing all handguns, apparently
signaling the end of pistol ownership in
The Firearms Bill passed the House
of Commons by a vote of 384 to 181.
Because of the new Labor Governmentâ€™s
solid 179-seat majority, the billâ€™s passage
through two more stages in the House
of Commons seems assured.
â€œIt will in general no longer be possible
to practice handgun sports in the
mainland of Britain,â€ said Home Secretary
Jack Straw, although the country
occasionally will host world shooting
Prime Minister Tony Blair has thrown
his support behind the bill. Once through
the House of Commons, the bill will be
debated by the House of Lords, Parliamentâ€™s
unelected upper chamber. If
approved there, the legislation will be
presented to Queen Elizabeth II to be
signed into law.
The bill extends the ban that the
government of former Prime Minister
John Major passed through Parliament
in November. That bill did not outlaw
.22 caliber handguns, though it said
they could be kept only at gun clubs.
â€œAll the law does is lock up the gun
and remove your right to self-defense,â€
THE WASHINGTON POST quoted Alan
M. Gottlieb, CCRKBA Chairman, as commenting.
â€œItâ€™s a scapegoat. It picks on
gun owners who donâ€™t break any laws.â€
According to a recent survey conducted
by Americaâ€™s Research Group,
shoppers say for the fourth consecutive
year they have less fear of crime
while they shop. Since 1994, reports
the Group, thereâ€™s been more than a
72 percent increase in the number of
consumers who carry some type of
â€œprotective device,â€ including firearms.
The survey noted that over half of all
Americans believe Americans should be
allowed to carry â€œconcealed weapons.â€
In Woodbridge, Virginia, D. R. Coveny
is upset with U. S. Sen Herb Kohl of
Wisconsin for wanting to mandate â€œchild
He states â€œpeople donâ€™t need a
federal law to keep their kids out of the
street and away from matches. Why
canâ€™t it be the parentsâ€™ responsibility to
teach their kids not to play with guns?
â€œMr. Kohl should go back to appropriating
and leave my guns alone. Or he
should focus on passing laws requiring
judges to put people in jail for breaking
the laws we already have.â€
In Sacramento, California, pro-gun
forces are watching anxiously legislative
developments regarding A. B. 136,
which would repeal the state preemption
of local firearms laws.
In Kensington, Maryland, Berle
Cherney is complaining about proposed
local legislation dealing with location
of firearms stores, admission to people
under 18, transportation of firearms and
The proposals have been made by
the Montgomery County Council and by
County Executive Douglas M. Duncan.
â€œIs the proposed legislation based
on substantive research,â€ asks Cherney,
â€œor is it driven by well-meaning but otherwise
nonrational emotion? Responsible
firearms owners could be penalized,
while the community gains nothing.
â€œWhere does the governmentâ€™s
responsibility to protect begin and end?
ï·ï·ï· â€œThere are many more accidents in
the home from other causes than firearms.
Is there proposed legislation to
require bathrooms to have hold handles
on all the walls, or padded walls, floors
and bathtubs? What about accidents
related to bicycles, skateboards and
â€œA lot more people are killed and
harmed in motor accidents than firearm
accidents. Do we need more motor
vehicle laws to save more lives? Probably
not. Behavior that leads to harming
people – DWI, speeding, reckless and
aggressive driving, driving without a
permit – is already unlawful.
â€œAnd do we need more regulations
regarding firearms? Again, probably
not. Other than self-defense, harming
or threatening another person with a
firearm is unlawful, as is (in Maryland)
the possession of a loaded firearm outside
of a home or authorized hunting or
â€œAs for the location of firearm stores,
we can look at our neighbors in Washington,
D. C. where there are none. We
all know that Washington, D. C. prohibits
ownership of handguns, yet it has one of
the highest firearm shooting and death
rates in the country. With few exceptions,
if any, this awful destruction is caused
by people who intend to inflict harm and
have acquired their weapons unlawfully.
â€œAs for trigger locks, their effectiveness
is in dispute. They seem just as
likely to give a false sense of security as
to protect against accidents. Is there
â€œAll the proposed legislation will only
punish responsible, safety-conscious,
legal firearms owners.
â€œSo how can the government protect
the community? Perhaps with more
harsh penalties, more strict enforcement,
more efficient courts, more and better
â€œAll sides of gun-issues arguments
would like to do away with gun violence.
Letâ€™s find ways to objectively study the
problem and come up with substantive
solutions based on logic rather than
In London, England last month, lawmakers