Sunday, August 12, 2007

Where are the civil libertarians on this issue

Two lessons from this story: When guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns: taxes affect economic behavior. One more liberals love criminals since they are willing to make more excuses for the than they love second amendment types.
The number of licensed gun owners in Massachusetts has declined by more than a quarter in the past six years, a falloff driven by restrictive laws, higher licensing fees, and cultural change, according to police officers and gun owners.

The drop is especially dramatic in the eastern part of the state and in urban areas. The number of licensed gun owners fell at least 30 percent in Boston, Springfield, Quincy, Fall River, and Waltham. It dropped at least 20 percent in more than 220 of the state's 351 communities.

The number of licensed owners climbed in about 40 mostly smaller communities in the central and western parts of the state. It also rose in a handful of eastern suburbs and cities, such as Weston and Brockton, according to data from the state's Criminal History Systems Board, which tracks licensed gun owners.

Overall, the number of people in Massachusetts with a license to carry a weapon has declined from about 330,000 to about 240,000 from 2001 to 2007. Over the past three years, the number of licensed owners has declined by 15,000.

While some law enforcement officials praise the decline, police, politicians and antigun advocates caution that there are still plenty of illegal guns on the streets, contributing to a steady pace of violence.
The story gets a bit ridiculous.
The law in Massachusetts was changed in 1998, and in later years, so that anyone convicted of a violent felony is disqualified from ever obtaining a state license. Those convicted of a misdemeanor or a nonviolent felony are also disqualified for five years following conviction or release. People convicted of assault and battery on family members, or crimes involving drugs or guns, are also disqualified.

"A slew of people are now prohibited," said Dennis Collier, a police captain in Revere.

Even before the new law, license applications were filed with local police chiefs, who have some discretion for granting or denying licenses. For instance, a person whose state and local background check shows he or she has been on trial for violent crimes, but not convicted, can be denied a license by the chief.

With even tighter restrictions, some gun owners have been infuriated, considering it an unjust and a transparent attempt to deny honest hard-working residents their right to own a gun.

Edward Arsenault, 70, of Fairhaven, was turned down for his license renewal earlier this year because he had been convicted in juvenile court of stealing a chicken from a chicken coop when he was 9 years old, in 1946.

Arsenault said he barely remembers the incident.

"I have no problem with gun control or background checks, but let's not get ridiculous," said Arsenault, a gun license owner since the 1980s. "Something done when someone is 9 years old carries over until they are 70? We're not talking about robbing a bank; we're talking about stealing a chicken."

This is a rather atrocious assault on civil liberties. Can someone call the ACLU?

No comments: