Friday, June 29, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: What Criminal Profiler Pat Brown REALLY thinks about Guns

Just so that I can’t be misquoted or misunderstood or have my words taken out of context, I thought I would put in writing exactly my position on gun ownership. Then, if you disagree with me or think I am an idiot, at least you will be basing your conclusions on what I really believe and not some distorted version of my opinion.

1) American citizens should have the right to protect themselves from criminals. It would be a lovely world if we did not have to worry about being harmed by others. While there are some people who feel their communities are extremely safe and have no desire to own a gun, many other citizens feel the need to protect themselves and their family members. Just as no pioneer would have lived on the plains or in the forests of America without a gun and no one would walk without a rifle through the Serengeti in Africa unless he didn’t mind a lion making dinner of him, some citizens feel they are simply sitting ducks if they are not able to defend themselves.

2) Our country is rife with criminals with guns. Washington DC had the strictest gun laws in the country until recently (nobody living in the District was allowed to own a gun unless he was a police officer) and also had the highest number of guns per capita (mostly owned by criminals). If criminals have guns, it makes no sense to prevent honest citizens from purchasing them.

3) All citizens who have clean criminal records and do not have a mental history should be permitted to purchase a firearm.

4) All citizens who purchase a firearm should be required to register said firearm and pass a gun safety exam. For all those who think that no citizen should have to let the government know he owns a firearm needs to grow a brain and realize that no tiny pocket of armed citizens is going to have any hope against the military might of the United States Armed Forces. It may have worked in the 1800s but those days are long gone. Sorry.

5) All citizens who purchase firearms ought to sign a legal contract (or we need a law to be passed) that the owner of the weapon accepts all responsibility for the proper discharge of that weapon and that the weapon will only be used in a legal manner. This means if a gun lying on a table, stuck in a drawer hidden under the mattress or left about in an unlocked car is used in a crime (like a school massacre) or discharged by another accidentally causing bodily harm or death, the owner will be charged with aiding and abetting the crime or contributing to manslaughter. By signing this form, the owner acknowledges that he is responsible for the firearm at all times meaning the gun is either in a lock box or on his person. Guns stolen from locked containers or vehicles should be reported immediately to the police. The owner is not responsible for the misuse of a weapon no longer in his possession due to theft.

6). Concealed carry should be permitted in all fifty states with federal permits so that a citizen does not run into a legal problem every time his car crosses into another jurisdiction. Concealed carry is better than open carry in that it does not antagonize others or cause fear for those citizens uncomfortable around guns. Furthermore, it is good for criminals not to know which citizens are carrying thereby making the criminal unwilling to take the risk of getting shot by the unexpectedly armed citizen.

6) Gun child safety locks are idiotic. The gun shouldn’t be accessible to the child and the adult needs a gun that works instantly. Since no one can be sure the owner is using the safety lock after the gun is purchased, this feel-good law is a joke.

7) “No Guns Permitted” signs are stupid (except to prevent companies from getting sued in this litigious country). Criminals are happy that no one entering the building will be armed except them.

8) Because of disparity of force, a gun may be the only protection for a female fighting a male even if he has no weapon, or for a male fighting more than one male (or a larger male) even if he has no weapon.

9) Calling 911 is no substitute for a firearm when seconds count.

10) The anti-gun people need to recognize the citizens’ right to protect themselves. The pro-gun people need to recognize the citizen’s responsibility to monitor gun sales and gun security. There should be no objection to providing both citizen safety and gun safety. If we could all get on the same page, then we could finally focus on the major contributor to firearm deaths: criminals.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Sean said...

Way more people saw CNN than what will read this blog. The damage was done. She came off as saying guys who were really into weapons was a big red flag.

Levi said...

Well maybe guys that have a weird obsession with guns and spend more time with guns than they do with people, maybe that is a red flag. Rather than someone who has a gun to go hunting, or someone who has a gun for protection.

I really don't see what was so controversial about what Pat said.

Titus Petronius said...

I would take issue on #4&5. Not that they are unreasonable, but I would argue the following:

#4 The less the gov't knows about me or my family, the better. If they want tax, population and demographics, fine, but what I keep in my home is private within the limits of the law. Secondly, a small band of armed citizens does not typically go head to head with their own military. Rather the idea is that if a gov't agency decides to kick in our doors at night and openly violates the Constitution and the civil rights of Americans, we have a means of resistance. Sure, this is an extreme, but it's the intention. Safety classes...leave it up to the individual state, I would support it.

#5 This sounds a little too open ended. There would be endless situations of gunshop owners and actual robbery victims being sued into poverty because some junky broke open a gun case with a crowbar. There's too much room for an argument that any gun is "unsecure" when the criminal has a crowbar/lock pick/blow torch.

Jim said...

1) Correct.

2) Makes perfect sense.

3) So far, so good.

4) Sorry, everywhere this route is taken, it is eventually used to confiscate firearms from private citizens and to slowly choke off the number of people eligible for ownership. Neither England nor Australia believed this would come to pass and they are now paying the price for it.

5) I'm guessing you aren't a lawyer. Criminal and civil law already make allowances for people who allow weapons to be misused.

One problem (of many) is that 99 percent of the people who misuse guns or provide guns to criminals are judgment proof- they don't own property or have salaries that can be attached to satisfy a judgment against them. Someone who is willing to risk committing murder doesn't care about being in breach of a contract.

The last thing we need is another poorly written gun law that equates to "we can't catch criminals so we will catch a scapegoat instead."

6 (first one) I agree with this, but don't agree with national level licensing. Just mandate state level reciprocity like we do for driver's licenses.

6 (second one) Yeah, they are idiotic.

7) More common sense.

8) True.

9) Yes.

10) You're half right. The anti-gun people need to shut up and go away. Here is why. "Monitoring sales" is just one step away from "controlling sales" which is usually another word for "preventing sales." Other countries have been down this path before, forgive me or not wanting to follow.

Anonymous said...

If the NRA would stop insisting on the right to sport-hunt, they would run into far less resistance.