Cesare-Beccaria“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… 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.”

Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishment, quoted by Thomas Jefferson in Commonplace Book


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43 Responses to Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… – Cesare Beccaria

  1. This is very truth but also some members of the Law Enforcement Family believe that other Law Enforcement Members who do non-Peace Officers jobs are not allowed to carry. even with the Law enforcement Federal Laws that have passed.

    Posted by Yosef R. Salvador-kessler via LinkedIn

  2. Jeffrey Rush says:

    In the words of Marshal Sam McCloud, “there yuh go” (c. l973).

    Posted by Jeffrey Rush via LinkedIn

  3. Depends on the start point. There is a marked absence of firearms in the UK and police fatalities are very low – some years none. Arming would mean great cost in training and purchasing etc and no doubt would lead to police suicides going up, use of weapons against offers, negligent discharges = more deaths. It would also change the nature of policing in the UK. In the USA where you are at now creates real and different challenges.

    Posted by Brian Mitchell via LinkedIn

    • Sheriff Ray says:

      It’s interesting because I traveled to Sierra Leone to train their National Police and military a few years ago and they were telling me about all of the atrocities that had been committed against their people during 10 years of civil war. Then they asked me about the violence in America.

      From their perspective, America was a very violent country because there are so many firearms, unlike Sierra Leone where violent crime was now very low and gun ownership is illegal.

      When I inquired further about the civil war period, they told me how villagers had tried to defend their communities and families against AK-47s and RPGs with pitch forks and spears. When I asked them if it would have been different had they been armed, I was told, “Oh yes. If we had guns we could have defended ourselves…”

      It is, in fact, a matter of perspective on what poses the greater risk…

      Sheriff Ray

      • Ray, I am very mindful of a story from the US. A woman was with her parents in a diner when a man entered and started shooting people. He killed the woman’s parents. She had a gun but it was outside in her car………..her regret..she didnt have it with her…. the tension is we know that less guns on a big scale saves lives, but maybe not the ones most precious to you…..for the greater good of society overall will mean bad news for some people..I don’t see a right answer.
        regards

        Posted by Brian Mitchell via LinkedIn

        • Sheriff Ray says:

          Brian:

          While we will likely still disagree on this issue, my point is: what if the criminal knew there was a good chance that not one, but several people, in that diner were likely to be armed? Could the entire incident have been prevented? And if not, what would the likelihood be that someone else could have intervened and prevented further bloodshed?

          I fall cleanly on the side that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is a good thing. Think about the times that a gunman has gone on a killing spree. What is it that almost invariably brings it to a halt? It’s the arrival of people with guns!

          Of course, none of these points are what our Founders had in mind with the Second Amendment. They were concerned about citizens being able to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. Being able to protect oneself from a criminal is just an added benefit to being armed. A gun is, in fact, the great equalizer.

          I have also heard of America’s and Britain’s historical foundings being an issue. America was founded with firearms while Britain, being much older, was founded by swords and other non-ballistic weapons. If you go to someone’s house in America, you may well find their grandfather’s shotgun or musket hanging on the wall. While in Britain you are much more likely to find a sword displayed as a family heirloom…

          Sheriff Ray
          http://www.PoliceDynamics.com

          • Hi Ray, in fact that was the point I was making – a gun in that individuals hand may well have made a difference. A question: the arrival of people with guns – the police? How often has possession of a gun by a citizen prevented crime against the misuse of these privately held weapons? How many incidents are there of suicide or child related death due to private possession of firearms or vigilante killings in “self defense”.. Again the argument seems to revolve around the individual v the societal greater good. It will forever be a heated issue as both sides have a good case.

            regards

            Posted by Brian Mitchell via LinkedIn

  4. Mike Hanlen says:

    Amen to that Ray. Weakness is almost always exploited by those with less than honorable intent. One thing the Government cannot take from me is the warrior soul that will fight for what is right no matter what obstacles are thrown in my path (Some people call it stubborn Irish). If we do not learn from history we are destined to repeat it.

    Posted by Mike Hanlen via LinkedIn

  5. Andrew Downs says:

    My father was shot and killed in 1971. He was the first captain in the US to be killed in a hijacking.

    I get so tired of people assuming that because my father was shot to death that I automatically fall in some category of being anti-gun. I wish my father had had a pistol with him on his last flight.

    • Sheriff Ray says:

      Andrew:

      That’s terrible about your father. But thank you for using his story to put this issue in the right perspective. I have long been an advocate for locking the cockpit door and arming the pilots. That alone will cut down on potential hijackings…

      Sheriff Ray

  6. Having been in law enforcement officer with 29 years of expirience in both NYC, Orange County Sheriffs and having work with the DEA, FBI, ICE and MBI Task Forces I can firmly state with no hesitation that the gun laws have been basterized by the various courts! No one who utilizes a firearm of any kind in the commission of a CRIME should receive any lienuncy with respect to incarceration! There must be a National sentencing guild line that has a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 5 years, period! No probation or pre-conditions! If the public understood the consequences and the mandate across this nation there will be a reduction in crime! Career criminals, violent criminals and repeat offenders should get life! There is NO city that is Crime Free! We are all in danger, because of the easy accessibility of firearms! If you want to possess a gun get the training and licenses, we have too! The various law enforcement organization should demand legislation to impose strick sentencing guild lines for criminals!

    Posted by Joseph Espanol via LinkedIn

  7. A truth I hope none in this great country soon forget, if we do it will be at our own peril. (Though there are several states and/or municipalities who have adopted such social programs and witnessed increased violent crime as a result.) A further enhancement would be to provide enhanced weapons/defense training for the public by our well-equipped and expertly-trained public safety professionals. I have seen it done, but only rarely.

    Posted by Joshua Papenfuss via LinkedIn

  8. Sheriff Ray says:

    Israel has taken that approach and I think it is working well for them. As has Switzerland with a VERY low violent crime rate…

    Sheriff Ray
    http://www.PoliceDynamics.com

  9. Martin Ayiih says:

    Just as all other laws, laws that forbid the carrying of guns are made to guide all, irrespective of whether one has a higher propensity to use guns than others. Such laws are made for the public good.However, people disobey or violate laws for various reasons. For example ,traffic laws are made for all road users without discrimination, yet we see on daily basis violation of some traffic laws. Does it mean these laws were made to encourage those who violate them? I DON’T THINK SO! neither are they made to “make things worst” for the non-violaters. In any case, violaters of laws invariably know the consequencies [penalties] of their voluntary act and should be ready to face them when caught.

    Martin

    Posted by Martin Ayiih via LinkedIn

  10. Sheriff Ray says:

    Brian:

    I can’t quote the numbers but there are a number of pro-gun ownership sites that track them. From what I remember, they are quite impressive in favor of citizens carrying guns…

    Ray
    http://www.PoliceDynamics.com

  11. Sheriff Ray says:

    You might also like this short video I did on the US Second Amendment which deals with gun ownership. It approaches the issue from a slightly different perspective…

    http://policedynamics.com/a-primer-on-the-second-amendment/

    Sheriff Ray

  12. John Tucker says:

    It is not just the use of the firearm as a deterent but just the fact that people are possibly armed deters and I believe keeps down some of the statistics. At the rodeo in Calgary several years ago there were seven robbery’s by edged weapons my first night and five resulted in injury or death. I live in a much larger city where hand guns are permitted and robberys to individuals with anything never reach seven a day.

    Posted by John Tucker via LinkedIn

  13. Mike Cox says:

    Isn’t it ironic that a government that seems to be intent on eliminating the 2nd Amendment (and most other items in the Constitution) has complicit knowledge and involvement in flooding Mexico with guns? Or was the first thing the whole reason for the second thing? Just askin’.

    Posted by Mike Cox via LinkedIn

  14. Jim Bragg says:

    It seems considering the SCOTUS ruling yesterday that the Constitution isn’t as important as it once was and it can be nullified with a simple ruling. I am no longer willing to bet that the 2nd Amendment is safe.

    Posted by Jim Bragg via LinkedIn

    • I agree Jim, it also makes me question the weight our voices actually have as a society.

      Gregory Conley via LinkedIn

      • Jim Bragg says:

        Should the right to carry a firearm be taken away, I will still carry a firearm. I will just be much more careful that it is better concealed. I carry now under the HR218 authority which is a great law but honestly, I still would to protect myself or others. I refuse to be a victim.

        Jim Bragg via LinkedIn

  15. Len Fatica says:

    WE as legal gun owners are protected by the 2nd Amendment. I would pray we would never lose that right, then only crimals will have guns and we will defenseless against them. Canada crime rate is also low, and 82% of the population have some sort of firearm.
    What is going on in the United States should be viewed as a crime against our rights.

    Posted by Len Fatica

  16. Rick Yerby says:

    There are situations where the mere presence of a firearm prevents violence. There have been personal situations where the bad guys found I was armed and went the other way. These were not reported. There are no statistics on this type of encounter. All gun control means to me is taking away my options on defending my family. I refuse to do this ,just because my country refuses to control it’s inner city youth.

    Posted by Rick Yerby via LinkedIn

  17. Whilst I agree that a firearm is a great equalizer for the weak or infirm and that with proper training, checks and balances that some additional civilian ownership might well be justified.

    Unfortunately the harsh reality of the matter is that society generally has deteriorted to a point where respect for life and tolerance to others is now at a point where people have resorted to the use of force for a variety of unjustified reasons and adding a firearm into the mix may not be advantageous.

    After saying that the judiciary needs to rigidly enforce legislation already enacted and the licensing authorities need to gave the necessary due diligence to actually vetting firearm ownership applications.

    Also people’s understanding of the responsibilities as to firearm ownership need to be instilled into them from an early age. Rural communities where children are taught from an early age that firearms are just another tool that need to be used responsibilly generally have less illegal incidents of firearms misuse than their suburban counterparts.

    Finally you don’t penalise good honest people who wish to have a way protect themselves.

    Posted by Stephen Coles via LinkedIn

  18. On the other side of the coin, being armed is as much a mind set as it is a an act of possession. With the proper mind set (and maybe just a little training), you can improvise a weapon that will serve your purposes. Victims are occasionally armed, or have had some form of training, but are not prepared mentally to use the force necessary to protect themselves – or others. Weapons can come in many forms – recently here in CO a burglar (repeat offender, grocery store heists) was threatening to beat in his victims’ heads with a rock unless they gave him all the money in their til. A rock…
    I’ve heard it said that when you take away the guns, only criminals and cops will have them – I opine that those so inclined will arm themselves with whatever form of weapon they may find or fabricate, some of us just will not be victims, just as some of us will always seek protection of others.

    Posted by Joshua Papenfuss via LinkedIn

  19. Harry Howell says:

    This can be a very debatable topic with accurate and logical arguments from each perspective. I consider myself fortunate to live in a country that allows it law abiding citizens the right to own/possess firearms. As a police officer I see the destruction a gun can inflict, however the responsibility is that of the individual who uses the gun. Not the government’s responsibility to over regulate those who are law abiding. Yes, the US is a violent nation but at least I have a choice in my destiny and a means of protection.

    Posted by Harry Howell

  20. The Bible does not indicate the weapon of choice that Cain used to kill Able with…Yet I watched a documentary in which a group of chimps killed an intruder with sticks… Ladies and Gentlemen how far should we go to ban weapons?
    All of the do gooders of the world would do well to ban together in one place, and see just how long their wonderful society would hold up! IT IS Not the implement used to kill BUT THE Heart and mind of man. If you want a very civilized society…then arm everyone with the ability to properly protect themselves. All else is an exercise in domination by someone or some group… Freemen, can rule themselves, and give me my 357 mag. For all the rest. I agree with the comments outlined above.

    Posted by Harald Schillinger via LinkedIn

  21. Lance Powers says:

    In agreement with you 100% Ray and it is time for America to wake up, before more innocent lives are lost. Law Enforcement today is outgunned and limited to their crime fighting capabilities due to ridiculous budget cuts and those individuals that are put in administrative positions that shouldn’t be.

    Criminals do not need a any permit to kill or harm anyone taking into consideration that over the years more innocent people have been killed in actual gun safety zones.

    Posted by Lance Powers via LinkedIn

  22. Somewhere I saw an email that showed a bank sign on the front window that said concealed carry allowed in this establishment, they had experienced some robberies in the past and when they posted this sign: guess what, no more robbery attempts.
    Just thought I’d share this thought………………..

    Posted by G.L. Rittenhouse, CAS via LinkedIn

  23. We’ve seen many examples in the past of governments bowing to the vocal minority and creating poor legislation in response to cries for gun control (people control). In Canada we have had a several bouts with gun control which was a veiled precursor to confiscation. Although our Charter of Rights gives us the right to life, liberty and the security of the person, it does not guarantee the right to “bear arms”. This we reserve for the police and the armed forces who, as you are aware, will not be there when the “incident” occurs. While many do own firearms in Canada, owners are often viewed as pariahs in the community (primarily in cities).

    As for our crime being low, I would suggest that the primary reason for that is our level of social welfare. We pay a rather large percentage of tax in one form or another (in some cases tax on tax) and this money is distributed to the more needy in our community (how efficiently, or effectively, is a matter for another discussion). As a result, the disparity of wealth here is less than in the United States, and I would suggest, so is the desperation of those in the lower end on society.

    Crime will always exist. For some it is a way of life, a career, in the same way firefighting, policing, accounting or vacuum sales is for the rest of us. The simple fact is that when crime occurs, as mentioned, those charged with protecting us will not be there. Just as it’s important to install a smoke alarm to warn of fire in the home and having a practiced escape plan to evacuate, or the knowledge of how to use an extinguisher, could save your life before the firefighters get to your home, perhaps the same could be said for having some manner of self defense and/or weapons training.

    As for everyone having a firearm in the home, I will quote Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Unfortunately not everyone understands this and some use this power with reckless abandon. If common sense is so “common” why doesn’t everyone have it?

    Posted by Arthur Herscovitch via LinkedIn

  24. A phrase that I use, and many other also use, to address those who would argue to ban all firearms is, “If you take firearms out of the hands of law abiding citizens, the only people that will have firearms are the law breakers.” I agree with Mr. Schillinger in that if you want a civilized society make sure the individual can properly protect themselves.

    Posted by Earl Howerton via LinkedIn

  25. It is always harder to disprove a negative. How many crimes were prevented by the suspect’s fear of going up against an armed victim? We will never know. I do know that when Florida started their concealed carry law violent crime and carjackings of Florida residents declined. Conversely, the crimes against drivers of rental cars and out of state visitors increased in the Miami area. While the violent crime rates in my county is relatively low (Maryland), the sister county in Virginia (a right to carry state) across the Potomac moat is half of ours with a slightly larger population. In nearly every American city with very tight gun controls or outright bans, firearms crimes pervade. Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Washington DC are prime examples.

    Brian, I agree about the starting point. As a culture, the UK has never had the firearms violence experienced in other countries. But it does exist. And, as more foreign based gangs vie for power and territory, I think you will see more of it. And, in most cases just as in the US, the likelyhood of the police encountering a firearms related crime in progress is not the norm. There is also a misconception furthered by 24 hour news media and Hollywood in the US that firearms violence pervades every community. I also agree with the comments that this country was founded on the firearm. From merely hunting food to protecting ones home or interests, the vastness of the American wilderness was filled with dangers from two legged to four legged predators. It is part of the heritage.

    I do want to comment on suicides. I have seen more suicides from hangings, sharp instruments, carbon monoxide, motor vehicles (many of which are reported as an accident) and of course, overdosing on medications or drugs. A determined individual will always find a way.

    It is funny that I am commenting on this on July 4th. (No offense to Brian) The founding fathers of the USA were a rebellious lot. The were also individuals that despised oppressive government and the need include the second amendment as part of the Constitution that the people would be forever free from an oppressive government. There are those that believe that the founding fathers never envisioned the country’s growth to its form today. And, there are those who also feel that their wisdom is timeless.

    Posted by Alan Goldberg via LinkedIn

    • Alan…BINGO! The Second Amendment is part of the Constitution. It’s not about hunting and target shooting and all that sporting stuff. It’s to protects us from an oppressive government. Would the people ever resort to violence against the government? Probably not. Are we as strong as are founding fathers were? It’s a question each American has to ask of theirselves.

      The United Kingdom has no written constitutional document, and no Act of Parliament can be unconstitutional, “for the law of the land knows not the word or the idea”. What? No wonder they have taken all the guns away…whatever Parliament says is the law. I bet some people are not happy.

      Contrary to popular believe outside the US, crime rates have declined in states that permit civilian carry of firearms.

      And about police suicide increasing if they are armed…Don’t they screen applicants?

      Ronald Conway via LinkedIn

  26. Whilst I agree that a firearm is a great equalizer for the weak or infirm and that with proper training, checks and balances that some additional civilian ownership might well be justified.

    Unfortunately the harsh reality of the matter is that society generally has deteriorted to a point where respect for life and tolerance to others is now at a point where people have resorted to the use of force for a variety of unjustified reasons and adding a firearm into the mix may not be advantageous.

    After saying that the judiciary needs to rigidly enforce legislation already enacted and the licensing authorities need to gave the necessary due diligence to actually vetting firearm ownership applications.

    Also people’s understanding of the responsibilities as to firearm ownership need to be instilled into them from an early age. Rural communities where children are taught from an early age that firearms are just another tool that need to be used responsibilly generally have less illegal incidents of firearms misuse than their suburban counterparts.

    Finally you don’t penalise good honest people who wish to have a way protect themselves.

    Stephen Coles via LinkedIn

    • Lori Cole says:

      Stephen: I agree that we need to enforce the laws already on the books. Guns are here, guns have always been here (at least since they were invented, whenever that was), and they will always be here whether they are legal or not. As Martin pointed out above, people that abide by laws will usually abide by them, and people who don’t, won’t. If one person is determined to harm or kill another person, he or she will do it and it doesn’t matter whether there is a gun available or not. A person has been beaten to death by a piece of firewood that a man picked up beside the front door. Cesare Beccaria’s quote above is probably the most articulate I’ve seen.

      Lori Cole via LinkedIn

  27. Stephen Coles says:

    Thanks for your comment Lori and I agree that if someone really wants to inflict injury or death on another person then they probably will.

    I still beleive that for firearms to provide safety there needs to be instilled in people carrying them a respect for firearms, proper training on how to use and store them and a vetting a system is in place to ensure that firearms are owned by responsible law abiding citizens.

    Will criminals get firearms illegally? Probably. But lets try to have the balance tilting on the side of good.

  28. Steve Mandas says:

    The comment about mind set is an important one. The working assumption is “You respond how you train.” Unfortunately for many Americans the training that supports their intimate relationship with violence is sitting on the couch watching. When seconds count and the police are minutes away, the first thing you must to do is MOVE.

    Posted by Steve Mandas via LinkedIn

  29. Brian Cohen says:

    Yea Ray I have heared the same, and I do love my law enforcement bothers and sisters but they can not do it all alone.

    It is our right and just like they couldn’t control alcohol, this is a losing battle.
    We forget the basics of self-defense and that is to refuse to be a victim and be aware of your surroundings, make eye contact and trust your gut.

    We always get caught up in whatever is our distraction of the day. Our politicians forget who they work for and let their personal believes get caught with what the majority want. Like they know better!

    If someone has a gun pulled on you, you may or may not be able to pull yours. But just like a fair fight not everyone is committed. If I pull mine gun it is not to have a conversation with you it is a last resort.

    I will not let myself or my family be a victim if I can help it and as the saying goes “I will gave up my gun when they pry it from my dead cold hand.”

    We are at a time in history when anything can happen and yet we are so unprepared.

    Posted by Brian Cohen via LinkedIn

  30. The most important thing any kind of training must instil in the trainee is to never hesitate, DO NOT STOP. Once you start (as was said above) the act of pulling your gun is not to have an intimate conversation, it is not to intimidate your attacker, it is an act of finality – to end the life of the one whose intent is to end yours or that of those around you. You never stop until its over, and make good and damn sure it really is over.

    Joshua Papenfuss via LinkedIn

  31. An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. – Robert Heinlein. The idea that taking away guns from those who obey the law will reduce crime clearly demonstrates that some people are no longer using their brains.
    Posted by David Mayernik via LinkedIn

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