Gun ban' utopia creates violent crime increase -The cure is worse than the disease
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Gun ban' utopia creates violent crime increase
The cure is worse than the disease

Record Bee | March 03, 2005

In a pattern that's repeated itself in Canada and Australia, violent crime has continued to go up in Great Britain despite a complete ban on handguns, most rifles and many shotguns. The broad ban that went into effect in 1997 was trumpeted by the British government as a cure for violent crime. The cure has proven to be much worse than the disease.

Crime rates in England have skyrocketed since the ban was enacted. According to economist John Lott of the American Enterprise Institute, the violent crime rate has risen 69 percent since 1996, with robbery rising 45 percent and murders rising 54 percent. This is even more alarming when you consider that from 1993 to 1997 armed robberies had fallen by 50 percent. Recent information released by the British Home Office shows that trend is continuing.

Reports released in October 2004 indicate that during the second quarter of 2004, violent crime rose 11 percent; violence against persons rose 14 percent.

The British experience is further proof that gun bans don't reduce crime and, in fact, may increase it. The gun ban creates ready victims for criminals, denying law-abiding people the opportunity to defend themselves.

contrast, the number of privately owned guns in the United States rises by about 5 million a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The number of guns owned by Americans is at an all-time high, fast approaching 300 million.

Meanwhile the FBI reports that in 2003 the nation's violent crime rate declined for the 12th straight year to a 27-year low. The FBI's figures are based on crimes reported to police. By comparison, the U.S. Department of Justice reported in September that, according to its annual national crime victim survey, violent crime reached a 30-year low in 2003.

Right-to-Carry states fared better than the rest of the country in 2003. On the whole, their total violent crime, murder and robbery rates were 6 percent, 2 percent and 23 percent lower respectively than the states and the District of Columbia where carrying a firearm for protection against criminals is prohibited or severely restricted. On average in Right-to-Carry states the total violent crime, murder, robbery and aggravated assault rates were lower by 27 percent, 32 percent, 45 percent and 20 percent respectively.

As usual, most of the states with the lowest violent crime rates are those with the least gun control, including those in the Rocky Mountain region, and Maine, New Hampshire and Ver-mont in the Northeast. The District of Columbia and Maryland, which have gun bans and other severe restrictions on gun purchase and ownership, retained their regrettable distinctions as having the highest murder and robbery rates.

Got meat?

The Food Bank of Ukiah would like to put the word out to sportsmen and women that it is in need of protein for those who need food. Fishermen and hunters are being asked to donate any excess fish or wildlife they may possess. Donations would have to be cleaned and processed, the Food Bank does not have facilities to do this.

You may have some fish or game in your freezer that's nearing its keeping limit. The Food Bank would appreciate such donations very much. In fact, the Food Bank would prefer frozen food donations.

The Food Bank also would like to extend the invitation to pig, goat or cattle owners who would like some bread, fruit or vegetables for their livestock. An excess of these items is often available; instead of throwing it out, the Food Bank would be happy to give it to someone who can use it for their livestock.

The Food Bank of Ukiah is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and Saturday morning until noon. You may call manager Jeff Rogers at 462-8879, extension 122, for more information.

Fishing report

The ocean salmon season opened in Fort Bragg on February 12. The weekend showed good promise for the remainder of the season; anglers did well for this early in the season.

A California Department of Fish and Game biologist was checking in fish at the up-river launch area and had tallied 34 fish by 11 a.m. Party boats managed fair catches as well.

Sunday was even better for some. A good friend of mine and his crew landed limits of salmon. Most fish are running fairly small, but one party boat landed a 20-pound fish.

I drove by a "fisherman" neighbor's house last week and saw him hosing down six nice salmon he and his fishing buddies caught.

The outlook for salmon around Fort Bragg is great, although many of this year's fish will be scarce until April.

Lake Mendocino is reported to be 82 percent full. I question that. My first trip on the lake found most of the stick-ups, brush piles and fish habitat high and dry. Looks to me like the lake needs another 10 to 12 feet of water, in order to give the fish ample spawning opportunities and the cover they need to hide from predators.

Stripers were marked on my "fish-finder" sonar all over the lake. It was another thing to get a strike from them. I finally hooked and landed two. They were small, but I was encouraged by the bite this early in the year.

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