CODDLING CRIMINALS - Congress Action by Kim Weismann 8-15-99

CONGRESS ACTION:                 August 15, 1999

CODDLING CRIMINALS: Do Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Janet Reno have a
secret fondness for criminals? Given several recent events, that possibility
has to be considered. It is no longer news that, every time some crazy goes
on a rampage with a gun, Bill Clinton and Janet Reno (Hillary also joined
the gun control chorus this time) will get on their soapboxes and decry "gun
violence" -- which, we are supposed to believe, is worse than "non-gun
violence" which also kills and maims -- and push for more and stronger, yet
"reasonable", gun laws. As opposed to more and stronger unreasonable gun
laws, presumably. But "reasonable", like beauty, is in the eye of the
beholder. If you lived in Atlanta when the news broke that the stock trader
had killed a number of people and was still at large; or if you lived in Los
Angeles this week and learned that someone had shot up a Jewish Community
Center and was still at large, you might not consider it "reasonable" that
you, as a law abiding citizen who obeys all of the leftist gun control laws,
had no means to defend yourself or your family if those violent criminals
showed up at your doorstep. Thanks to the Clinton-Reno-democrat troika, you
are unarmed. But the criminal was armed. Because, by definition, criminals
do not obey the law. You gun control extremists in Atlanta and Los Angeles,
be honest. Admit it: Wouldn't you have felt just a little bit safer if you
had a loaded handgun in your nightstand drawer instead of that copy of the
Brady Bill?

     According to media reports, the shooter in Los Angeles had a prior
criminal conviction for assault, spent time in a mental institution, and
admitted to harboring violent urges. Yet he had guns. And among those guns,
according to the London Telegraph, was one Uzi submachine gun, an assault
weapon which, thanks to Bill Clinton and the democrats in Congress, was
supposed to be banned (actually, despite the hoopla from the Clintonoids and
the propaganda from the media, a person with a criminal record and mental
problems could not legally buy such a weapon since 1934). California has
some of the toughest state gun control laws in the country, and no doubt
over the next few days and weeks we will hear about all the other state and
federal gun control laws which were violated and proven totally ineffective.
Yet there stood Bill, Hillary, and Janet, demanding more laws, including a
national registry of all handguns, even while admitting that no laws, and
certainly not those laws now before the Congress, would have stopped the
carnage which was the alleged basis for demanding those laws. No matter.
More laws on the books, that's what is needed. Useless? Of course. But more
laws can't do any harm, can they? Well, actually, they can. And do.

     Whenever one of these shooting incidents occurs, there is much talk of
cultural influences, the loss of values and personal responsibility, the
victimology culture, the violent and pandering media, and in keeping with
our increasingly therapeutic culture, other so-called root cause
explanations. And the usual political panderers blame the "widespread
availability of guns". Never is that claim examined, it is simply taken on
faith that guns are easier to obtain than ever. The reality, however, thanks
to the proliferation of gun control laws, is that it has never been harder
in the history of this country to legally obtain a firearm. Contrary to the
media and gun-banner hype, school shootings, kids bringing guns to schools,
and violence in general is going down. But high profile shooting sprees are
increasing. There is one undeniable fact that is rarely mentioned: As gun
control laws have increased, so have these high profile shooting rampages.
Dare we consider the possibility that these shootings are increasing
precisely because of the growing proliferation of gun control laws? Could it
be that the mass shooters are getting bolder precisely because they know
that their intended victims are increasingly less likely to be able to
defend themselves? The dirty little secret of the gun control debate is that
criminals, even more than leftist politicians, love gun control laws. To the
extent that criminals vote, they probably vote in overwhelming numbers for
democrats and gun control advocates. Because with each new restriction on
gun ownership, fewer of their victims will be able to shoot back. And there
is nothing that a criminal fears more - even more than being arrested for
his crime and facing a revolving-door justice system -- than a potential
victim who can shoot back. For the most part, criminals aren't fools. They
can estimate the costs and risks of their criminal activities. And when they
face the potential of being shot by their intended victims, the cost and
risk of their criminality goes up drastically. This is why there is a drop
in violent crime in every jurisdiction that allows its citizens to carry
concealed weapons. Criminals prey on the helpless, the more helpless the
better. A citizen disarmed by gun control laws is helpless against criminal
attack, and Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Janet Reno, democrats,
gun-banners, and other leftists are doing all they can do to render as many
people as helpless as possible. Bill Clinton loves victims. He would like to
turn our entire country into a nation of victims. Enough! We have the right
to defend ourselves!

     So do the Clintons and Janet Reno have a secret fondness for criminals?
By disarming the victims, and by failing to prosecute and jail criminals who
are caught violating gun laws, one might conclude that the answer is yes.
Then look at the judicial appointments of the Clinton administration.
According to a study from a University of Houston political scientist,
Clinton judicial appointees make liberal rulings in criminal cases 33% of
the time, more often than judges appointed by Presidents Bush, Reagan, Ford,
and Nixon. Only the judges appointed by Carter exceed the liberal record of
Clinton's appointees. A political scientist at the University of
Massachusetts - hardly a conservative bastion - concluded that Clinton's
judicial appointees are "primarily moderate to liberal." And a larger
percentage of Clinton nominees have garnered the American Bar Association's
top professional rating than the nominees of any president since Eisenhower.
That would be the same ABA which saw nothing wrong with inviting Bill
Clinton - determined by a court to have committed perjury and obstructed
justice, and referred by the judge of that court for disbarment
proceedings -- to address their annual convention last week. So much for
their commitment to the Rule of Law.

     And consider this additional fact. On the very same day that Bill
Clinton was on his soapbox demanding more gun control laws, he took another
significant action. Over the objections of the Justice Department, the FBI,
and the U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the them, Clinton offered to commute
the jail sentences of a number of criminals who had been convicted of, among
other things, gun law violations. These convicts, members of the Puerto
Rican group FALN, had been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 35 to 90
years in the early 1980s. According to law enforcement authorities, the FALN
was responsible for 130 bomb attacks in the United States, and at least six
killings. According to administration officials, none of those offered
clemency were involved directly in any deaths. No doubt those maimed and the
relatives of those killed in FALN attacks were happy to hear that. It has
even been suggested that the clemency offer was made to pander to New York's
Puerto Rican voters, so they will support Hillary's Senate run. One wonders
how New York's citizens of Puerto Rican descent, the vast majority of whom
obey the law, like being lumped in with a group of convicted felons by Bill
Clinton. There is a possibility that this clemency will never actually
happen, however, because the convicts are objecting to the conditions of the
clemency, which include renouncing the use of violence, obeying a weapon
ban, and avoiding meeting with leaders of the Puerto Rico independence
movement. Given Clinton's opposition to the Second Amendment rights of
people who have never been convicted of any crime, it will be interesting to
see what he decides about the Second Amendment rights of convicted felons.

     New York Democrat Jose Serrano praised Clinton's offer of clemency to
those convicts, whom he called "political prisoners". Serrano also, it must
be noted, voted in favor of amendments to the recent House gun control bill
that would impose additional restrictions on law abiding citizens, such as
mandatory child safety locks, and even voted against an amendment which
would allow qualified retired law enforcement officers from carrying
concealed weapons. Releasing convicted felons onto the streets of America,
now there's something that any good democrat can get behind! But law abiding
American citizens owning and being able to use guns for self-defense? Never!

     "States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the
largest drops in violent crimes. . Criminals are deterred by higher
penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does
the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to
defend him or herself. .as more people obtain permits there is a greater
decline in violent crime rates. . Concealed handgun laws reduce violent
crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes
because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend
themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to
defend themselves." -- John R. Lott, Jr., professor of criminal deterrence,
law, and economics at the University of Chicago Law School; author of "More
Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws" (1998).

     Professor Lott, quoted above, was merely validating with data a fact
which the Founders of our nation, and those of past, wiser and more rational
generations, instinctively knew:

     "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that
those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of
humanity...will respect the less important and arbitrary ones... Such laws
make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they
serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may
be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -- quoted from
Enlightenment philosopher Cesare Beccaria's "On Crimes and Punishment",
1764, translated by Thomas Jefferson and copied into his "Commonplace Book"
of great quotations.

LEFT-WING HYPOCRISY: One has to wonder how leftists manage to keep from
getting just a little bit queasy from the constant flip-flops of their
ideologues as they try to justify their contradictory ideology. The
hypocrisy of the feminist movement in vociferously attacking sexual
harassment when it suited their political purpose, and then giving Bill
Clinton a free pass because it suited their political purpose, has been
endlessly commented upon and needs no further elucidation. Anything they say
in the future has already been rendered irrelevant because of it. Less noted
is the hypocrisy of the so-called "Constitutional experts" who crept out
from under their rocks to defend Bill Clinton during the impeachment drama.
Because they thought it suited their purpose at the time - preserving
Clinton in office -  they scoured the writings of the Founders to cull
quotes which, they believed, reinforced their claims that Clinton's conduct
should not have been the basis for impeachment (they studiously avoided
anything the Founders wrote about integrity in office, of course). Suddenly,
they became strict constructionists. This from the bunch which has led the
charge in re-interpreting the Constitution when that suited their purpose,
giving us the ludicrous concept of a "living Constitution" which changes to
fit the politically correct fashion of the moment. Impeachment? Let's see
what the Founders had to say, and scrupulously abide by their literal words.
Well then, lets see what the Founders had to say about the right to keep and
bear arms. Oh, no, we can't do that! Whatever the Founders said about that
is irrelevant. We must re-interpret the Constitution to bring it into
conformity with "enlightened" modern times. Some entrepreneur could make a
fortune selling airsickness bags to the left; that is, if leftists had any
sense of integrity or honor. They don't.

Mr. Kim Weissman