"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. [145]

   

   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. [146]

       



   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. [147]

   

   

   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? [148] 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. [149]

   

   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. [150] 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.") [151]

   

   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. [152] 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. [153] "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." [154] 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. [155] 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. [156] 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. [157]

   

   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. [158] 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. [159]

   

   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." [160] Frank Prassel concludes "this last frontier

   left no significant heritage of offenses against the person, relative

   to other sections of the country." [161] 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. [162]

   

   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. [163]

   

   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. [164]

   

   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." [165]



   

   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%. [166] 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. [167]

   

   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. [168] In Los Angeles, 75% of

   shootings by police officers led to discipline of the officer or

   retraining because the officer had made an error. [169]

   

   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. [170] 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. [171]

   

   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.

          [172]

          

          - 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. [173]

          

          - 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]. [174]

          

   

   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. [175]

   

   Few persons who object to ordinary citizens carrying handguns raise

   the same objections about security guards carrying handguns. [176] 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.