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The legal availability of handguns makes for a better-prepared police force and a safer citizenry:

Ed Nowicki (head of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association) and I explain why in an op-ed in today's Baltimore Sun. The Nowicki-Kopel amicus brief is here.

Lautius (mail):
David,

The "op-ed" link isn't working. FYI
2.27.2008 2:41pm
santas helper:
2.27.2008 2:48pm
santas helper:
better fixed link

shoulda previewed :)
2.27.2008 2:49pm
zippypinhead:
OK, the op-ed lays out the arguments in the amicus brief. No shock there. More interesting are the reader comments on the piece -- total astonishment that the B'more Sun would actually print something different from the anti-gun position the paper usually takes.

Keep up the PR campaign, Dave... even if one of the few negative reader comments did call you a "hack at one of the key right-wing think tanks." ;-)

Incidentally, there is a thread on the Civilian Marksmanship Program forum that says a just yesterday MD legislative committee held public hearings on a bizarre scheme to force all ammunition sold -- or possessed -- in the state to have encoding of unique serial #s on both the casing and the bullet. Including apparently reloads. Good grief!

Once again make me glad I live on the south side of the Potomac.
2.27.2008 7:25pm
Cold Warrior:
I love it when Kopel descends into self-parody.

I'm sure the military would also find that a recruiting pool familiar with the use of rocket launchers would be most beneficial.

[And before anyone jumps all over me: I am supportive of the right to private handgun ownership. I just think that silly arguments do little to advance that position.]
2.27.2008 7:25pm
Cone:
Sounds more like an argument for better training for police department cadets.
2.27.2008 7:28pm
zippypinhead:

I'm sure the military would also find that a recruiting pool familiar with the use of rocket launchers would be most beneficial.

Oh, you're so old school! The military is actively going after recruits with well-honed video game skills, the better to run all those nifty new standoff e-gadgets they're burning our tax dollars on!

And we must remember to thank Dave for being such a wonderful straight man. Good setup lines are always to be appreciated...
2.27.2008 7:38pm
James Gibson (mail):
Rockets are actually quite easy to fire. Its hitting a target with a bullet over a distance of 400 yards with consistency and open sights that takes practice.

Private Firearm ownership has been know for over a century to help military and Police recruitment. During the Civil War Union Army recruiters constantly recruited in the Mid-west states because the recruits were better with a gun then Urban New-englanders. It got so bad the Mid-west states protested to Washington that they were being force to provide more than the required quota of men.

In the Spanish American War who were the volunteers most regarded for their capability with arms. The rich East Coast men who hunted for sport and the western cowboy types.

Prior to World War one the Government created the CMP and through Sec 113 of the 1916 National Defense Act ordered the building of rifle ranges for use by civilians in time of peace. During war the civilians become a pool of marksmen for possible military service and the ranges (as stated by the 1916 law) were used to train additional conscripts.

The CMP is revamped and supported by FDR at the start of the second world war. FDR even sent out a picture of two girls practicing with a .22 rifle to emphasize that everyone should learn how to shoot. The picture is still available in the Franklin archives.

In the years that followed the Army was talked into Spray and Pray and a Rifle that couldn't hit anything at 300 yards. That lasted two decades until in 1986 the Army dropped full-auto from the M-16. Now skill with a rifle is back and its been paying dividends in Iraq. In afghanistan, the Marines are bringing the old M-14 back because it can hit the target at 600 yards, just the thing for those mountains regions.

But training a newbee 20 year old in a rifle takes a lot longer then training one who's been hunting deer in Montana since he was 16. And with fewer ranges thanks to gun controlists shutting them down we have fewer resources for a possible draft. The ROTC and JROTC programs have seen their primary small arm training either curtailed or ended in the name of no guns on campus. So now the young, up in coming, officers will have to receive small arms training prior to entering service (slowing their deployment). And these officer cadets are essential to any conscription.

Even the National Guard has been effected. Guardsmen prior to 9/11 only practiced with their military arm twice a year. Many couldn't recertify every year because their shooting scores were so bad. Others, purchased a rifle or pistol of the same model as the one they used in service, and practiced on their own time and at their own expense. This was even possible during the Federal Assault weapon ban since the AR-15 was modified to get around the ban and then mandated for upper level CMP shoots. Only in the states that ban the AR-15 is there trouble with Guard retention: namely California.

Police also feel the pinch. Two decades ago California exported men to Eastern Police departments. Now, after 20 years of gun control, California imports new Police recruits from the Mid-west. Civilian ranges Police used have been shut down, as have Police ranges by Gun control purists. Police are spending more time waiting for range access, or in transit to ranges, all while on duty.
2.28.2008 4:54am
aces:

In the Spanish American War who were the volunteers most regarded for their capability with arms. The rich East Coast men who hunted for sport and the western cowboy types.


That explains Teddy Roosevelt, who fit both categories!
2.28.2008 10:55am
DonP (mail):
"Oh, you're so old school! The military is actively going after recruits with well-honed video game skills, the better to run all those nifty new standoff e-gadgets they're burning our tax dollars on!"

Roger that.

I was down at Ft, Rucker Alabama a couple of years ago to visit my son.

He gave me a tour of the facility and took me to the drone training area (Old hangar type building filled with training cubicles) where guys that would have looked more at home in the parent's basement on the old couch with a joystick in their hand and a Jolt cola handy, were flying helicopter drones equipped with virtual Hellfire missiles through narrow canyons, very similar to some of the territory in Afghanistan and parts of Western Pakistan.

The actual drones are very, very quiet have full IFR night flight capabilities and carry up to 4 hellfire missiles each. These guys had no problem dropping one in a cave mouth less than a meter square. Think of a cross between "The Last Starfighter" and "Use the Force Luke" to hit that surface vent.

On the other hand, as good as they were with the joystick and fire button, I wouldn't want most of those people with an M-4 in their hands on a regular basis either.
2.28.2008 11:10am