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"A gun is a tool." — Alan Ladd in the Movie Shane

A few recent news items reminded me that it’s been a while since I’ve confirmed my status as a certifiable gun nut. Here once again, my credentials.

Victim Disarmament Continues in Queens

World improvers in the largest borough of New York City were bursting with pride at having raised the already dauntingly high bar to self-defense even higher. Legislation now requires ammunition buyers to show a license and prove ownership of the exact weapon for which they want to buy ammo.

Thankfully, violent crimes have been on the decline in New York as they have been in the entire country since the mid-nineties. Gun banners in New York are quick to point to victim disarmament as the reason, though the looming geezerhood of the Boomers is an equally likely reason. But despite falling everywhere, rates for violent crime in the most completely disarmed regions of the country remain many times greater than they are in places where granny can pack heat. The evidence is too lop-sided to be coincidence — the states with the lowest rates of violent crime are also the states with the most user-friendly gun laws.

States where law-abiding adults can carry weapons have, on average, 24% lower violent crime rates — 22% lower homicide, 37% lower robbery, and 20% lower aggravated assault compared to other states and D.C. My home state, Florida, is one of the right-to-carry states. Florida’s crime has fallen every year since the concealed carry law passed. All this and good weather too.

Fewer Guns, More Crime – Dissing Bill Blackstone

According to an article in the British newspaper, The Express, since banning gun ownership in Great Britain, crime in London has overtaken that of New York. Crimes involving guns have risen dramatically, as have all flavors of violent crime.

A man was recently murdered with an ax on the street in a posh London suburb. Neighbors, all of whom were as helplessly disarmed as the victim, reportedly asked the murderer, whom witnesses described as “smartly dressed, tall and thin,” to stop as he coolly and methodically beheaded his victim. He politely declined.

The great British jurist, William Blackstone, in his famous Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769), discussed "the principle, absolute rights which appertain to every Englishman" under the English Bill of Rights of 1689. He wrote, "[T]o vindicate these rights . . . the subjects of England are entitled . . . to the right of having and using arms for self-preservation and defense."

I’m sure the now headless victim would agree.

Handgun Handwringers Spread Fear and Disinformation.

A recent editorial reprinted from a Pennsylvania paper in our own local daily read like a press release for Handgun Control Inc. It called for a ban of the new Belgian pistol called the Five-sevenN. A cop killer, they called it. It shoots through armor and parked cars, they said. My inner gun nut said, “Wow! Why don’t I have one of these?” I did a little research.

It turns out the “cop killer” is just an ordinary, though wildly expensive, pistol. Even the BATF, not a notably pro Second Amendment outfit, called it “particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes” when it approved the weapon for import.

It fires a new cartridge with a 22 caliber bullet that comes in an armor piercing version. But that round is already illegal for import or manufacture in the U.S., as are all “armor piercing” cartridges (except, of course, for police.) While such a bullet would make serving a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night more adventuresome, no such bullet will be available to Americans soon.

The rounds that are available for the pistol are well suited for destroying squirrels, rats and rapists but pose no danger to armored SWAT officers. In the eyes of hoplophobes everywhere, however, banning any weapon for which a law-abiding person has “no need” is better than banning none.

Dear Mrs. Brady, it’s a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs.

Audubon Goes Gunning for Bambi

"I can’t look at myself in the mirror anymore," said Eric Stiles, vice president for conservation and stewardship of New Jersey Audubon Society. "As stewards of the forest, we have to do something to stop this disaster."

He was referring to the exploding white tail deer population in New Jersey and his organization’s recommendation for hunting them to control their numbers. The Bambi glut has illuminated the neglected back hallways of common sense in the Audubon Society’s rabidly pro-cute-creature bureaucracy.

New Jersey’s 200,000 deer are pulling the vegetation from the Garden State like a Newark stripper taking off layers of sequins. They are down to the pasties and G-string. Other birds and beasts are starving to extinction.

The Audubon Society finally admits that optimistic birth control efforts (What day is it, Thumper?) and speeding cars are not doing the job.

I live in hope that a similar epiphany of good sense will enlighten managers of the Key Deer herd here in the Florida Keys. I hope it happens before a plague of our peculiar stunted white tails strip our beautiful islands of ornamental shrubbery, potato chips and bird life.

The new Five-sevenN might be just the tool for that job.