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KNX Editorial Reply: Assault Guns Registration

by J. Neil Schulman

This is the text of the KNX Los Angeles News Radio 1070 editorial reply, on behalf of the Libertarian Alternative, that I'll be recording Monday for airplay sometime in the next week or so. The original editorial being replied to follows.

KNX has a short memory, but we don't.

Eight years ago, after an unpopular jury verdict, hordes of violent criminals of all races torched over a thousand L.A. buildings, trashed thousands more, and murdered over fifty people in hate crimes. It took four nights of curfews and an occupying army to pacify the Southland. Meanwhile, all that kept the criminals out of our neighborhoods were privately owned civic-defense firearms.

Attorney general Lockyer now classifies most of these home defenders as assault weapons, demanding we register our protective arms and pay bureaucrats a fee to continue owning them legally. Worse, California law does not even allow your family to inherit these life-savers.

Laws that discourage availability of effective, defensive firearms increase violent crime by shifting the balance of power to violent criminals who obtain firearms illegally. On December 13th seven convicts stole over sixty firearms while escaping from a Texas prison. If gun control laws can't work in prisons, how can we expect them to work anywhere else?

Yale criminologist John Lott, in last August 23rd's L.A. Times, wrote about gun registration laws, "There is not even a single case where the laws have been instrumental in identifying someone who has committed a crime."

Did you know that gun registration laws can't be used to prosecute violent criminals? According to a 1968 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Haynes v. U.S., violent criminals need not register because of the Fifth Amendment. By applying only to the law-abiding gun owner, California's irrational gun registration statute violates the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and is unconstitutional.

We support and encourage the ongoing massive civil disobedience to California's gun registration laws that are absurd, crime-increasing, and unconstitutional.


KNX Editorial Assault Guns Registration December 28, 2000 (to which Mr. Schulman replied with the above)

The deadline for registering assault guns is fast approaching. This Sunday will be the last day Californians can comply with the new law, which allows owners to keep their assault weapons if they are registered.

No one really knows how many weapons in California actually fall into the assault weapon category. But KNX believes State Attorney General Bill Lockyer has made it as easy as possible to find out if your gun qualifies. He has put together a web site with loads of information about which guns should be registered. The web site address is

We encourage gun owners to abide by the new law. A $20 registration fee sure beats a $500 fine or jail time if you choose to be a scofflaw. Registration of the weapons may help if the guns are stolen or lost. It also may provide important information if the gun is used in the commission of a crime.

KNX asks gun owners to be responsible citizens and beat the deadline.

"The other rain is sunshine." --J. Neil Schulman, July 21, 2000


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Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. JUSTICE LEARNED HAND

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