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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Self-Defense vs. Municipal Gun Bans

Self-Defense vs. Municipal Gun Bans

An article from Reason:

It’s a matter of contention whether there are more defensive gun uses or criminal misuses in the United States, but it’s clear that armed self-defense occurs on a regular basis. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck has concluded, based on national telephone surveys, that up to 2.5 million defensive incidents occur each year. This figure compares favorably to the roughly 350,000 firearm-related murders, robberies, and aggravated assaults the FBI reports yearly. In the vast majority of defensive uses, the victim simply brandishes the gun and the offender leaves—which is why one rarely hears about such incidents, Kleck argues.
It is rare for an American to get into legal trouble after using a gun defensively, but it has happened before. In 1986 prosecutors charged Oak Park, Illinois, gas station owner Donald Bennett with violating the village’s handgun ban after he shot at armed robbers. A jury acquitted him later that year despite his obvious guilt. In 2003 Brooklyn computer engineer Ronald Dixon spent three days in jail after shooting a home invader. Dixon’s handgun permit had not yet been approved.


At least Pennsylvania's Constitution leaves no room for ambiguity:

Article 1
That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and unalterably established, WE DECLARE THAT -

Right to Bear Arms
Section 21.
The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.