Showing papers in "Journal on firearms and public policy in 2004"
TL;DR: In this article, a brief review of gun laws shows that disarming the public has not reduced criminal violence in any country examined here: not in Great Britain, not in Canada, and not in Australia.
Abstract: This brief review of gun laws shows that disarming the public has not reduced criminal violence in any country examined here: not in Great Britain, not in Canada, and not in Australia. In all cases, disarming the public has been ineffective, expensive, and often counter productive. In all cases, the means have involved setting up expensive bureaucracies that produce no noticeable improvement to public safety or have made the situation worse. The results of this study are consistent with other academic research, that most gun laws do not have any measurable effect on crime (Kleck 1997: 377; Jacobs 2002). As I have argued elsewhere (Mauser 2001a), the history of gun control in both Canada and the Commonwealth demonstrates the slippery slope of accepting even the most benign appearing gun control measures. At each stage, the government either restricted access to firearms or prohibited and confiscated arbitrary types of ordinary firearms. In Canada, registration has been shown to mean eventual confiscation. As well, police search powers have been increased. The expansion of the state’s search and seizure powers should be taken very seriously by all civil libertarians concerned about the erosion of Canadians’ individual rights. Canada’s democratic institutions may also have been damaged by the transfer of what many would consider legislative powers to both the police and cabinet under firearm legislation. The demonizing of average people who happen to own a gun lays the foundation for a massive increase in governmental intrusiveness in the lives of ordinary citizens. Firearm registration and owner licensing threatens long-standing Canadian liberties and freedoms. The type of gun control Canada has enacted is not consistent with many democratic principles and the protection of civil liberties. Nevertheless, Canada is spearheading a move in the United Nations to impose a similar regime of draconian restrictions around the world. Disarming the public greatly increases cynicism about government among much of the population and it diminishes their willingness to comply with other, future regulations that might even be more sensible. The sense of alienation grows with the severity of the restrictions and with the ineffectiveness of their result. Unfortunately, policy dictates that the current directions will continue and, more important, will not be examined critically. This last is a guarantee of the increase of that future alienation.
TL;DR: The results of a comparative ethnographic study of self-professed gun enthusiasts living in the San Francisco Bay area during 1997-1998 and in Sydney, Australia, during 2002-2003 are reported in this article.
Abstract: This Article reports the results of a comparative ethnographic study of self-professed gun enthusiasts living in the San Francisco Bay area during 1997-1998, and in Sydney, Australia, during 2002-2003. Data consisted of participant observation at shooting ranges and shooting competitions, and semi-structured interviews with male and female sport shooters in both geographic areas. While shooters from both the U.S. and Australia professed a pleasure in guns and shooting, and engaged in similar types of shooting sports, the gun as a symbol of American freedom and individualism does not translate “Down Under.” Whereas American shooters perceive gun ownership to be a firm part of their identities as Americans, symbolizing self-reliant individualism, Australian shooters perceive guns simply as sporting equipment. They do not overtly link guns to identity or Australian citizenship. While Australian shooters are skeptical of the efficacy of gun control measures, they are largely comfortable with the idea that guns should be tightly regulated by government. Implications for gun control in both nations are discussed.
TL;DR: This article conducted a survey of the broad field of firearms-related magazines and concluded that American gun culture is well-entrenched, and that many gun owners have a very high commitment to gun ownership and the shooting sports.
Abstract: In the past two decades, scholars have begun to examine various aspects of American gun culture. This article is the first scholarly survey of the broad field of firearms-related magazines. Examining the 78 diverse firearms magazines which are published in the United States, the authors conclude that American gun culture is well-entrenched, and that many gun owners have a very high commitment to gun ownership and the shooting sports.
TL;DR: This article examined how the Codex Justinianus, one fourth of the Corpus Iuris Civilis, regulated the private individual's ability to own and engage in self defense and found that provisions in the Codex are generally very supportive of an individual's right to self defense.
Abstract: The Corpus Iuris Civilis -- a collection of ancient Roman statutes and juristic writings since the age of Cicero -- has had a profound effect on the development of modern law. This article examines how the Codex Justinianus, one fourth of the Corpus, regulated the private individual’s ability to own weapons and engage in self defense. The Article finds that provisions in the Codex are generally very supportive of an individual’s right to self defense. Though the Codex’s treatment of the private possession of weapons is mixed, the Article draws on historical context (widespread slavery, constant threat of barbarian invasion) and identifies background assumptions behind many Codex provisions to argue that private ownership of weapons must in fact have been commonplace. The Article offers new English translations of many Roman laws for which no adequate English translation currently exists.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the laws of the American colonies and demonstrate that at least for the free population, gun control laws were neither laissez-faire nor restrictive.
Abstract: Recently published scholarship concerning the regulation of firearms in Colonial America claims that because Colonial governments distrusted the free population with guns, the laws required guns to be stored centrally, and were not generally allowed in private hands. According to this view, even those guns allowed in private hands were always considered the property of the government. This Article examines the laws of the American colonies and demonstrates that at least for the free population, gun control laws were neither laissez-faire nor restrictive. If Colonial governments evinced any distrust of the free population concerning guns, it was a fear that not enough freemen would own and carry guns. Thus, the governments imposed mandatory gun ownership and carriage laws.