"Can Citizens Use Guns Competently?" from "SHALL ISSUE": THE NEW WAVE OF CONCEALED HANDGUN PERMIT LAWS [Internet edition -- also published in book form] By Clayton E. Cramer & David B. Kopel October 17, 1994 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY [of "`Shall Issue'"] About a third of the states have adopted laws requiring that citizens who pass a background check and a safety class must be granted a permit to carry a concealed firearm for protection, if they apply. Critics of carry reform have predicted that blood will flow in the streets as hot-tempered citizens shoot each other in trivial disputes. Analysis of murder rates in carry reform states shows that fears of reform opponents have been unfounded. Careful study of homicide trends in these states reveals that carry reform has not led to an increased homicide rate. In Florida, for example, a murder rate that was 36% above the national average when carry reform went into effect in 1987, fell by 1991 to 4% below the national average. The fact the permits are available does not mean that everyone will carry a gun. Usually only about 1% to 4% of a state's population will choose to obtain a permit. Accordingly, states considering carry reform can enact such laws knowing that reform will not endanger public safety. Carry reform, at least sometimes, allows citizens to save their own lives by protecting themselves against criminal attack. An additional reform, already on the books in California, allows domestic violence victims whom a court has determined to be in immediate danger, to carry a handgun for protection, without need to undergo a months-long application process for a permit. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Can Citizens Use Guns Competently? Ordinary people, even if they have passed a firearms safety class, cannot be trusted to use guns competently, it is sometimes claimed. The guns will be taken away by criminals, or the gun-owners will shoot an innocent bystander by mistake, it is sometimes predicted. Wherever the concealed carry issue is raised in the future, it can be predicted with confidence that these objections will be raised by reform opponents, including many law enforcement professionals who claim expertise on the issue. The existing body of research provides no support for these fears. The best evidence we have about what happens when people have carry permits is the experience of the 1/3 of American states that issue such permits routinely. From these states, the most detailed data are those compiled by the Dade County (Miami) police. As discussed above, the police kept track of every known incident involving the county's more than 21,000 handgun carry permitees over a six-year period. In that six-year period, there was one known incident of a crime victim having his gun taken away by the criminal. There were no known incidents of a crime victim injuring an innocent person by mistake. In some cases the handgun permit holder was successful in preventing a crime, and in some cases not, but in no case was any innocent person injured as a result of mistake by a permit-holder. Another study examined newspaper reports of gun incidents in Missouri, involving police or civilians. In this study, civilians were successful in wounding, driving off, capturing criminals 83% of the time, compared with a 68% success rate for the police. Civilians intervening in crime were slightly less likely to be wounded than were police. Only 2% of shootings by civilians, but 11% of shootings by police, involved an innocent person mistakenly thought to be a criminal.  The Missouri research does not prove that civilians are more competent than police in armed confrontations. Civilians can often choose whether or not to intervene in a crime in progress, whereas police officers are required to intervene. Being forced to intervene in all cases, police officers would naturally be expected to have a lower success rate, and to make more mistakes. Attorney Jeffrey Snyder elaborates: Rape, robbery, and attempted murder are not typically actions rife with ambiguity or subtlety, requiring special powers of observation and great book-learning to discern. When a man pulls a knife on a woman and says, "You're coming with me," her judgment that a crime is being committed is not likely to be in error. There is little chance that she is going to shoot the wrong person. It is the police, because they are rarely at the scene of the crime when it occurs, who are more likely to find themselves in circumstances where guilt and innocence are not so clear-cut, and in which the probability for mistakes is higher.  In addition, the Missouri study was not restricted to "carry" situations, but also included self-defense in the home. Persons using a gun to defend their own home, who know its layout much better than does an intruder, might be expected to have a higher success rate than would persons using a gun in a less familiar public setting. The most detailed information about civilian defensive gun use has been compiled by Professor Gary Kleck (a liberal Democrat, and member of the ACLU and Common Cause) in his book Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. In 1992 the American Society of Criminology awarded the book the Hindelang Prize, as the most significant contribution to criminology in the previous three years. In Point Blank, Kleck studied computer tapes from the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Survey, for the years 1979-85. Analyzing the data from over 180,000 crime incidents in the National Crime Survey, as well from other studies, Kleck found the following: - In no more than 1% of defensive gun uses was the gun taken away by a criminal. - The odds of a defensive gun user accidentally killing an innocent person are less than 1 in 26,000. - For robbery and assault victims, the lowest injury rates (17.4% for robberies, and 12.1% for assaults) were among victims who resisted with a gun. - The next lowest injury rates were among persons who did not resist. Other forms of resistance (such as shouting for help, or using a knife), had higher injury rates than either passive compliance or resistance with a gun.  Again, it should be remembered that the above data do not separate defensive home use (where victim success rates would be expected to be higher) from use in public areas. Still, taken as a whole, the National Crime Survey data, like Missouri data do suggest that uniformed government employees are not the only class of people who can use a firearm successfully to defend self and others. THE WILD WEST, OR "WHAT IF EVERYONE CARRIED A HANDGUN?" To persons opposed to carry reform, the case can be made simply by stating that allowing licensed, trained citizens to carry guns would make modern America like the Wild West. A shorthand version of the statement is simply to raise the rhetorical question, "What if everyone carried a gun?" Asking a question such as "What if everyone did X?" is only a useful contribution to the debate if there is some realistic possibility that everyone might actually do X. What if everyone had fifteen children? What if everyone remained celibate?  Universal celibacy would destroy the human race in one generation, whereas the universal bearing of 15 children per family could cause huge social and environmental problems. If "What if" questions were the guide to public policy, then it would be logical to enact a law requiring every family to have exactly two children, thus preventing the horrible scenarios of universal celibacy or universal over-fecundity. But in the real world, some people choose to be celibate, some people choose to have 15 children, and most people choose something in-between, resulting in a reasonable population growth rate, without the need of government regulation. In the real world, the question "What if everyone carried a gun?" is as meaningless as the question "What if everyone tried to park at the state capitol at the same time?" The research presented above shows that no more than 4% of a state's population is likely to choose to obtain a handgun carry permit. To the extent that the "What if" question has any relevance, the best answer can be found by looking at the most recent era in American history when everyone really did carry a gun. Although late 20th century Americans, basing their views mostly on television and the movies, have one image of the "Wild West," historian Roger McGrath set out to study the West in detail, to try to understand how violent it really was. McGrath's book Gunfighters, Highwaymen, & Vigilantes examines the 19th century Sierra Nevada mining towns of Aurora and Bodie.  Aurora and Bodie certainly had more potential for violence than most other places in the West. The population was mainly young transient males subject to few social controls. There was one saloon for every twenty-five men; brothels and gambling houses were also common. "Sobriety was thought proper only for Sunday school teachers and women," McGrath observed.  Governmental law enforcement was ineffectual, and sometimes the sheriff was himself the head of a criminal gang. Nearly everyone carried a gun. (Aurorans usually carried a Colt Navy .36 six-shot revolver, while Bodeites sported the Colt Double Action Model known as the "Lightning.")  The homicide rate in those towns was extremely high, as the "bad men" who hung out in saloons shot each other at a fearsome rate, in some cases exceeding the homicide rate in modern Washington, D.C. These shootings amounted to consensual violence among disreputable young men who enjoyed getting drunk and getting into fights.  The presence of guns turned many petty drunken quarrels into fatalities. But other crime was virtually nil. The per capita annual robbery rate was 7% of modern New York City's. The burglary rate was 1%. Rape was unknown.  "The old, the weak, the female, the innocent, and those unwilling to fight were rarely the targets of attacks," McGrath found. One resident of Bodie did "not recall ever hearing of a respectable women or girl in any manner insulted or even accosted by the hundreds of dissolute characters that were everywhere. In part this was due to the respect depravity pays to decency; in part to the knowledge that sudden death would follow any other course."  Everyone carried a gun and except for young men who liked to drink and fight with each other, everyone was far more secure than today's residents of cities where ordinary people cannot carry a firearm for protection. The experience of Aurora and Bodie was repeated throughout the West. One study of five major cattle towns with a reputation for violence--Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell--found that all together the towns had less than two criminal homicides per year.  During the 1870s, Lincoln County, New Mexico was in a state of anarchy and civil war. Homicide was astronomical, but (as in Bodie and Aurora) confined almost exclusively to drunken males upholding their "honor." Modern big-city crimes such as rape, burglary, and mugging were virtually unknown.  A study of the Texas frontier from 1875-1890 found that burglaries and robberies (except for bank, train, and stage coach robberies) were essentially non-existent. People did not bother locking doors, and murder was rare, except of course for young men shooting each other in "fair fights" in which they voluntarily engaged.  John Umbeck's investigation of the High Sierra gold fields in the mid-19th century yielded similar results. After the Gold Rush brought on the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848, thousands of prospectors rushed to gold fields in the California mountains. There was no police force. Indeed, there was no law at all regarding property rights, since the military governor of California had just proclaimed as invalid (without offering a replacement), the Mexican land law. There was intense competitive pressure (and greed) for gold, and nearly everyone carried firearms. Yet there was hardly any violence.  Similarly, when much of the Indian territory of Oklahoma was opened all at once for white settlement, heavily armed settlers rushed in immediately to stake their claims, and the settlers with their guns arrived long before effective law enforcement did. Yet there was almost no violence.  In sum, historian W. Eugene Hollon found "the Western frontier was a far more civilized, more peaceful, and safer place than American society is today."  Frank Prassel concludes "this last frontier left no significant heritage of offenses against the person, relative to other sections of the country."  Americans living under gun prevalence conditions of the Old West were far safer than Americans living in modern cities such as San Francisco, Detroit, or Cleveland, where citizens are not allowed to protect themselves when they leave their homes. In modern Washington, D.C., criminals sometimes murder drivers who have stopped at a traffic light, simply for the pleasure of watching them die. Yet the Washington, D.C. government, which cannot protect those drivers (or anyone else) forbids the law-abiding populace to possess a handgun in their car, in their home, or on their person. Columnist Samuel Francis describes the system of government in Washington (and many other cities) as "anarcho-tyranny." The government provides little effective protection against violent criminals, but mobilizes the full power of the state against crime victims who attempt to protect themselves.  Crime flourishes in modern American cities because the American people and their government tolerate it, because much of the government and the populace fear the idea that a victim might carry a gun more than they fear the rapists, robbers, and murderers who rule the streets of so much of our nation. Bodie, Aurora, and the rest of the Old West had little high culture, and their streets were made of dirt and littered with horse manure. But a woman could walk alone safely after dark in those towns; good people did not cower in fear and allow predatory thugs to terrorize the innocent. Perhaps the people of the Old West understood what civilization was all about much better than do modern Americans who choose to accept the current system of anarcho-tyranny. The evidence from Aurora, Bodie, and the rest of America does not prove that guns are an unalloyed good, or that no form of gun control is desirable. Guns in the wrong hands (such as drunken young men) can wreak great harm. Disarming gun abusers would obviously be beneficial. The problem of the laws proposed by the various "gun control" groups, however, is the that very persons who have no compunction about violating substantive laws (such as the law against murder) will also have no compunction about violating lesser laws (such as a ban on carrying guns). As this paper has detailed, the possession of guns by potential crime victims is a nearly unalloyed social good. Blanket bans on the carrying of guns (or licensing systems which are de facto bans) are a virtually unalloyed evil, because such laws disarm the victims while doing virtually nothing to disarm the criminals. In both Aurora/Bodie (where there were no gun control laws) and in modern Washington, D.C. (where owning, let alone carrying, a handgun is illegal), the criminals all carried guns. In both Aurora/Bodie and modern Washington, the homicide rate caused by those gun-toting criminals was astronomical. In Aurora/Bodie, however, the homicide victims were almost entirely other criminals; in Washington, the homicide victims are much more likely to be innocents. POLICE OPINION AND POLICE COMPETENCE Most Americans who believe that use of deadly force for self-defense is immoral conduct, and that society should outlaw such immorality do not really oppose the use of violence for protection. They simply oppose the use of violence by crime victims, as opposed to government employees. If it is agreed that the police may lawfully use force, then the question is no longer whether force per se is legitimate, but who may legitimately use force. As a moral matter, the creature of government cannot have powers greater than its creator the people. If an individual police officer, acting in his own best judgment under his reasonable understanding of the facts of a particular encounter, has the moral authority, on his own, to fire a weapon to protect himself or another person, how can the same act, performed by a crime victim, suddenly become immoral? Or, rather than being immoral, is citizen self-defense simply impractical? Many police lobbyists so insist, as they work at state capitols in opposition to concealed carry reform. To some persons, police opinion about carry reform is dispositive. If the police are against it, the idea must be a danger to public safety. But it should hardly be surprising to find monopolists who favor preservation of their monopoly, and who can convince themselves and others that their monopoly genuinely protects the public good. If a current law gives the police administration unbridled discretion over who may exercise the "privilege" of carrying a gun, then it is not unexpected that many police administrators would vigorously resist any effort to deprive them of their boundless discretion. The opinions of police administration lobbyists, however, are not necessarily representative of the entire law enforcement community. The first survey of police attitudes toward concealed carry was a 1976 poll conducted by Boston Police Commissioner Robert diGrazia, in an effort to find national police support for an initiative to ban handgun ownership in Massachusetts. In the national survey, 51% of chiefs agreed with the statement "Persons who have a general need to protect their own life and property, like those who regularly carry large sums of money to the bank late at night, should be allowed to possess and carry handguns on their person." Fifty-seven percent of chiefs expected their subordinates to be more supportive of such carrying.  Rank-and-file police officers are even more supportive of citizens carrying guns. In 1991, Law Enforcement Technology magazine conducted a poll of all ranks of police officers. Seventy-six percent of street officers believed that all trained, responsible adults should be able to obtain handgun carry permits; 59% of managers agreed.  In fact, the police appear to be more supportive of carry reform laws than is the general public. Carry reform generally garners about 35% support in opinion polls of the general public; the range is between about 20% and about 55%. Since only about 4% (at most) of the public ever obtains a carry permit, it is interesting that carry reform can attract support from a much larger percentage of the public than is likely to obtain a permit. Fundamental rights such as self-defense (or free speech, or reproductive rights), are not dependent on majority vote, or upon police approval. A majority of the public does have the right to prevent the exercise of self- defense (or other fundamental rights) in ways that may inappropriately endanger other people. For example, a majority could appropriately forbid the carrying of grenades for self-defense, since grenades produce an indiscriminate blast with a high risk of injuring innocent bystanders. In contrast, the carrying of firearms for lawful defense by licensed, trained citizens poses no net risk to members of the public who are not carrying. To the contrary, all the data demonstrate the members of the public are made safer (or at least not harmed) by the availability of carry permits to other law-abiding citizens. Accordingly, opinion polls are of little use in resolving the carry permit issue, since a man who does not want to carry has no legitimate moral right to prevent a stranger from defending herself. In regards to police opinion, the police argument is frequently a pretext for politicians who oppose concealed carry, regardless of what the police think. In 1990, during a crime wave in New York City, a retired police officer named Stephen D'Andrilli appeared on a television talk show, and proposed that one million New Yorkers be given permits to carry handguns. The show's host, Dick Oliver, asked New York Governor Cuomo what he thought of the idea. Cuomo denounced the idea, and the exchange continued: Cuomo: "Why don't you ask the cops what they think of everybody packing guns?" Host: "It happens that Mr. Byrne, head of the PBA, walked by before and I asked him. He said, 'It's a good idea.'" Cuomo: "Well, somebody better talk to Mr. Byrne, straighten him out."  Central to the idea that the police, and the police alone, should be privileged to carry defensive firearms is the presumption that the police possess abilities which are not possessed by licensed, trained permit holders. As we have already seen, however, scholarly research and police data both indicate that ordinary citizens are capable of using firearms competently for defense. While the vast majority of police officers are likewise competent, it would be a grave mistake to imagine that police officers are immune from the foibles and stresses can lead to unlawful shootings. ne study of 1,500 incidents involving police use of deadly force concluded that deadly force was not justified in 40% of the incidents, and was questionable in another 20%.  Using evidence from the Chicago Police Department's internal investigations, one scholar found 14% of killings by Chicago officers to be "prima facie cases of manslaughter or murder" and "Several others presented factual anomalies sufficient to suggest that a thorough investigation might well have revealed such prima facie cases." Not a single one of those was prosecuted--or even reprimanded for shootings in plain violation of official policy.  Whenever a New York City police officer fires a gun (outside of a target range), police officials review the incident. About 20% of discharges have been determined to be accidental, and another 10% to be intentional discharges in violation of force policy. In other words, only 70% of firearms discharges by police are intentional and in compliance with force policy.  In Los Angeles, 75% of shootings by police officers led to discipline of the officer or retraining because the officer had made an error.  Many police officers work difficult, stressful jobs for many years. Ordinary citizens, if they find themselves under stress, can simply retreat back to their houses or apartments. If ordinary citizens are not trusted to carry handguns, how can handgun carrying be defended for a group of people who are under significantly higher emotional stress than ordinary people? Not only are police misuses of firearms in the line of duty common, police misuse of guns outside the line of duty is all too frequent. When an off- duty New York City policeman fires a gun, one time out of four the firing will be an accident, a suicide, or an act of frustration.  The rate of substantiated crimes perpetrated by New York City police officers is approximately 7.5 crimes per year per thousand officers. The number of New York police crimes alleged is 112.7 per thousand officers.  Opponents of concealed carry can readily imagine hypotheticals of how an armed citizen might overreact to a particular situation; actual instances of over-reaction by licensed, trained citizens are rare, as we have detailed. But actual instances of police over-reaction are already well known: - In Portland, Oregon, police officers on a drug raid used German MP-5 submachine guns to shoot a grandfather at least 28 times; the autopsy suggested that over 20 of the shots were fired in his back has he lay collapsed face down over a chair. Justifying the police action, the police chief predicted "the shooting was a sign of things to come as criminals become better armed and police try to match their firepower." The grandfather had been carrying an unloaded 2-shot derringer.  - In Tyler, Texas, a police officer who had previously been accused of using excessive force shot a bedridden 84-year-old Black woman during a 2 a.m. drug raid in Tyler, Texas. No drugs were found.  - One Los Angeles officer entered the following message on his computer report: "I almost got me a Mexican lst nite but he dropped the dam gun to quick, lots of wit." [spelling errors in original].  The above incidents are, of course, the exception to the generally high level of conduct of the American police. Anecdotal stories of police abuse do not provide a good reason for believing the police as a whole cannot be trusted with guns. And unsupported hypotheticals about what a licensed, trained citizen might do not provide a good reason for believing the citizens cannot be trusted with guns. In general, police do not receive an amount of training which places them far above ordinary trained citizens. More typically, they receive a few dozen hours of training at the police academy, and may be, at most, required every so often to recertify their ability to hit a target. A deplorably large number of handgun-toting officers have not practiced marksmanship since they passed their firearms certification test as a police recruit. The amount of training which police officers have in defensive gun use rarely exceeds what a civilian could learn at a good firearms instruction academy. With the advent of inexpensive indoor laser target systems and high-technology video trainers for "shoot-don't shoot" programs, and the proliferation of civilian firearms schools, citizens willing to invest some time can be schooled in defensive firearms use to at least the same level of competence as the average police officer.  Few persons who object to ordinary citizens carrying handguns raise the same objections about security guards carrying handguns.  And security guards generally receive even less training than the police. It is true that security guards are visible targets for attack, but so are women who must walk alone at night in dangerous neighborhoods. If law-abiding citizens pass a licensing and training system equivalent to that of security guards or police, there is no basis for denying these citizens a permit. To structure the handgun carry permit system so wealthy owners of jewelry stores can hire security guards for protection, but low-income owners of convenience stores, who cannot afford a security guard, are deprived of protection--even though the convenience store owner is as objectively qualified as a security guard to carry a gun--is economic discrimination, and amounts to valuing the property of the jewelry store owner more highly than the life of the convenience store owner. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- [These endnotes are cut and pasted from the full text of "`Shall Issue'." Some citations are abbreviated (e.g., #145 and 147): earlier notes had given the complete bibliographic information. For complete information, see the full text, obtainable from several sources on the World Wide Web. --K.D.] NOTES: 145. Silver & Kates, supra. 146. Jeffrey Snyder, "A Nation of Cowards," The Public Interest no. 113, Fall 1993. 147. Kleck, pp. 120-26. 148. Blackman, p. 29. 149. Roger D. McGrath, Gunfighters, Highwaymen, & Vigilantes: Violence on the Frontier (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984). 150. McGrath, p. 255. 151. The Lightning was a double action version of the famous Peacemaker or Frontier revolver. Ian V. Hogg, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Firearms (Secaucus, N.J.: Chartwell, 1978), p. 121. 152. The homicide rate in Aurora was approximately 64 per 100,000, and in Bodie as 116. The Washington, D.C. rate is usually somewhere in-between. 153. Bodie had a robbery rate of 84 per 100,000 persons per year. The rate in 1980 New York City was 1,140; in San Francisco-Oakland, 521, and the United States as a whole, 243. The Bodie burglary rate was 6.4 per 100,000 population per year. The 1980 New York City rate as 2,661; the San Francisco-Oakland rate was 2,267. The overall American rate was 1,668. The Bodie theft rate was 180, in contrast to New York's 3,369 and San Francisco-Oakland's 4,571. The American rate was 3,156. All data from McGrath, pp. 247-54. 154. Grant Smith, "Bodie, Last of the Old Time Mining Camps," Calif. Hist. Soc'y Q. vol. 4 (1925), p. 78, quoted in McGrath, p. 157. 155. Robert A. Dykstra, The Cattle Towns: A Social History of the Kansas Cattle Trading Centers (1968), pp. 144-47. 156. Robert M. Utley, High Noon in Lincoln: Violence on the Western Frontier (1987), pp. 173-79. Again, as in Aurora and Bodie, the ubiquity of firearms turned many drunken quarrels into homicides. Id. 157. William C. Holden, "Law and Lawlessness on the Texas Frontier 1875-1890," 44 Sw. Hist. Q. 188 (1940). 158. John Umbeck, "Might Makes Rights: A Theory of Formation and Distribution of Property Rights," 9 Econ. Inquiry 38 (1981). In other parts of the West, citizens also successfully used a variety of private mechanisms to protect property rights in the absence of effective government. Terry L. Anderson & P.J. Hill, "An American Experiment in Anarcho- Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West," 3 J. Libertarian Stud. 9 (1979). 159. Day, "'Sooners' or 'Goners,' They Were Hell Bent on Grabbing Free Land," 20 Smithsonian 192 (1989). 160. W. Eugene Hollon, Frontier Violence: Another Look (1974), p. x. 161. Frank Richard Prassel, The Western Peace Officer: A Legacy of Law and Order (1972), p. 17. 162. Samuel Francis, "Anarcho-Tyranny U.S.A.," Chronicles, July 1994: 14--19. 163. Boston Police, Handgun Control: A Survey of Leading Law Enforcement Officials in the Country (1976), pp. 53ff, discussed in Blackman, p. 31. 164. "The Law Enforcement Technology, Gun Control Survey," Law Enforcement Technology, July-Aug. 1991. The poll was based on readers sending in a survey form to the magazine. Since the polling was not conducted by random sample, the poll might not reflect a true cross-section of all police opinion. Of course a cadre of police chiefs who show up at the state capitol to testify against a concealed carry bill may also not be representative of police opinion, especially the opinion of street patrol officers. 165. Tony Codella, letter to Stephen D'Andrilli, Sept. 21, 1990 (on file with authors). 166. A. Kobler, "Figures (and perhaps some facts) on Police Killings of Civilians in the U.S. 1965-1969," 31 J. Soc. Issues 185 (1975). Internal police department review of Kansas City police shootings in which a person was struck by a bullet found that for the years 1973-1978, 40.2% of the police firearms discharges were unjustifiable. William A. Geller & Michael S. Scott, Deadly Force: What We Know 282 (Wash.: Police Exec. Res. Forum, 1992). 167. Richard Harding, "Killings by Chicago Police, 1969-70: An Empirical Study," 46 University of Southern California Law Review 284 (1973). See also Geller & Karales, "Shootings of and By Chicago Police: Uncommon Crises, Part I: Shootings by Chicago Police," 72 Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 1813 (1981). 168. Gina Goehl, 1989 Firearms Discharge Assault Report (New York: Police Academy Firearms and Tactics Section, April 1989) (BM 369). For 1985-89, the cumulative figures are 1193 total discharges, 824 intentional and not in violation of force policy (69.1%), 112 intentional and in violation (9.4%); 135 accidental but not in violation of policy (11.3%), and 122 accidental and in violation (10.2%). [The percentages and numbers are slightly different from those in the Report itself, due to a Departmental mathematical errors in addition; the Department mistakenly totals the number of intentional lawful shootings as 836 (rather than 824), and mistakenly records the total of all incidents at 1,143, rather than 1,193. As a result, Department reports that the sum of all categories of incidents is 105.4%, rather than 100%.] In Philadelphia in 1989, accidents comprised 27% of police firearms discharges; in Dade County, Florda (Miami) that same year, accidents were 31%. Geller & Scott, p. 196. 169. Licthblau, "LAPD Officers Faultedin 3 of 4 Shooting Cases," Los Angeles Times, Aug. 14, 1994. 170. "The Guns of Kennesaw," N.Y. Times, Mar. 28, 1982, p. A26, col. 1. Some studies suggest that as many as one in four police officers may be an alcoholic. Geller & Scott, p. 288 n.26. 171. Richard Neely, Take Back Your Neighborhood (1990), pp. 74- 75. Other major cities reported similar rates of substantiated allegations. Id. 172. James Crawford, "Police Firepower a Cause for Concern," Oregonian, May 29, 1991; Letter from Hap Wong, attorney for family of shooting victim, to James Crawford (March 16, 1992)(on file with authors). 173. "Texas Grand Jury Fails to Indict Officer Who Killed Elderly Black Woman in 'Cocaine Raid' that Yielded no Drugs or Charges," News Briefs (National Drug Strategy Network), Aug. 1992, p. 8, citing Todd Gillman, "Kilgore Officer Not Indicted in Black Woman's Slaying," Dal. Morn. News, July 11, 1992, p. 1A; Lee Hancock, "Gnawing Question: Grand Jury in East Texas will Consider Case of Officer who Killed Black Woman in Drug Raid", Dal. Morn. News, July 7, 1992, p. 1A. 174. Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Dept. ("Christopher Comm."), Report of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department (1991), pp. 72-73, cited in Geller & Scott, p. 205. 175. For a good analysis of giving the police special handgun privileges, see James B. Jacobs, "Exceptions to a General Prohibition on Handgun Possession: Do They Swallow Up the Rule?" 49 Law & Contemporary Problems 1 (1986). 176. "Private security guards are simply vigilantes for the rich," observes West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Richard Neely. Neely, p. 51.