- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2002

Gun control has reached absurd limits in America. In Michigan, an 8-year-old boy is being prosecuted for pointing a toy gun at three other youngsters and threatening to shoot them. If this had happened in my day, every boy would have spent his youth in prison.

We played guns when we weren't playing baseball or football. We had three variants: cowboys, war, and cops and robbers. Our cap guns roared through rolls of caps, punctuated with extra loud bang-bangs. Insistences that "You're dead; I shot you dead" would have meant life sentences for all of us.

With all males locked up for the duration, there would have been no procreation and no one to pay Social Security for the retired.

Tommy Davis was 7 at the time he committed "three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon" by pointing his toy pistol. According to the Washtenaw County prosecutor's office, the 7-year-old was motivated by "criminal intent" to "threaten and scare the other children."

The two goof balls bringing charges against the little boy are Police Lt. Dennis Gruschow and Assistant County Prosecutor Donald Ray. Obviously, neither has enough common sense to be allowed out of the house, much less with the authority to arrest and prosecute.

When Pennsylvania gun-shop owner Jack Weigand ordered a Dell laptop computer, the company refused to sell it to him. Handguns, the company explained, imply, well, terrorism, and Dell is prohibited under U.S. law from exporting computers to terrorists.

It makes about as much sense as the arrest of the little boy.

It gets worse. According to Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, prosecutors are now criminalizing self-defense by prosecuting people who use guns to defend themselves against intruders in their homes.

Four men broke into Ronald Biggs' Goldsboro, N.C., residence and assaulted him with a baseball bat. He broke up the attack by shooting one of the assailants. His assailants were charged with misdemeanors, and Mr. Biggs was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Don Campbell of Port Huron, Mich., shot the assailant who broke into his store and attacked him. The prosecutor plea bargained with the assailant in exchange for the assailant's testimony against Mr. Campbell for felonious use of a firearm. Community pressure forced the prosecutor to drop the charges he was fabricating.

Vietnam veteran and Maryland Citizen of the Year Donald Arnold recently lost his gun permit because it came to light that 33 years ago he got into a scuffle with a war protester. According to Maryland's ridiculous attorney general, Joseph Curran, the scuffle means Maryland's Citizen of the Year is too dangerous to have any gun rights.

Britain and Australia are thoroughly gun-controlled countries. The British are allowed only shotguns and birdshot. The two countries have the highest violent crime rates in the developed world.

Do you remember when England had very little crime and unarmed Bobbies (police)? Since those halcyon days, the British have had their guns confiscated, and are now being shot, raped, burgled, robbed and assaulted at record rates. Violent crime rates in Britain far outstrip those in the United States.

All licensed handgun owners were confiscated in 1997-98 in order to prevent "legally held handguns from falling into the wrong hands." London murders with handguns promptly shot up 83 percent, and armed muggings rose 53 percent. The BBC reports that residents of other cities also are experiencing high rates of attack from armed criminals.

Self-defense has been criminalized. Britons who use permitted shotguns to beat off assaults in their homes are dealt with harshly in the courts.

The insanity of the political attack on guns and self-defense is obvious. A year ago, the Dutch Ministry of Justice published its International Crime Victims Survey and, surprise, 26 percent of the British population was a victim of crime in 2000.

I have always wondered what the real agenda of the gun-control lobby is. Now I know. Gun-controllers represent the criminal lobby. The purpose of gun control is to make criminals safe when they rob, burgle, rape and murder.

There can be no doubt about this result. The Center for Defense Studies at King's College found that criminal use of handguns in Britain increased 40 percent in the two years following the handgun ban.

Not even a fool believes that gun control disarms criminals, but it does ensure that only criminals will have guns. Drugs are banned; yet drugs are available almost everywhere even in prisons.

Illegal aliens are illegal, but illegal aliens are everywhere and flood into the country at high rates.

Police are helpless, hapless and hopeless. This is why they arrest children.

Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.

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