Has anyone ever have to use a Leica as a selfdefense weapon?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by sid_sharma, Dec 25, 2002.

  1. I post this weird question because I know a friend, a local pro
    photographer, who was attacked by a streetperson, high on crystal
    meth this past summer. My friend was trying to photograph a City
    sponsored event at a City park, when this bum, high on meth
    demanded "turf-money", and then violently attacked my friend. (My
    friend is not exactly the kind of guy who is into fighting, he a
    sensitive, artsy kind of guy.) He was able to get away from this
    violent confrontation, and avoid being severely hurt, only because
    he was able to hit his assailant a few times over the head with his
    Nikon F4s, stun the assailant, and run to find a cop!!!! The F4s was
    none the worse for wear after it was used as weapon - in fact, it
    seems to be working just fine since. My question is this - has
    anyone had a similar experience using a Leica? I wonder how a Leica
    with a 50mm Summicron would fare under similar circumstances.
  2. Sid,

    given the weight and form of the leica, it should be very effective. But - that really depends on your combat technique and experience. Generally, I would advocate to run instead of beginning a fight with people who will be, in general, more ready to use violence and have all experience they need to do so. Think about it - I prefer losing money or equipment, instead of jeopardizing my health or even life..

  3. As a weapon, the Leica has good mass for its size but would probably need a CLA or, at least, a rangefinder adjustment if you clobbered someone with it. you'd be better off with a Speed Graphic.
  4. An interesting question. I have used my tripod on several
    occasions in Europe as a defense weapon against gypsies.
    They send the children, literaaly like a pack of locust to harass
    their "prey" and hope that one of those little hands will succeed
    in prying away your wallet. A tripod, with the ball swinging works
    wonders. In my experience, the tripod doesn't scare them. It is
    only when you actually hit one of these wretches that the rest
    realize that you are serious and they take off in search of a more
    vulnerable victim. The police, in France at least, are so inured to
    these gangs and the inability of French justice to either lock them
    up for assault or larceny, or deport them, THAT they simply look
    the other way. Therefore, the gangs are more brazen. I have even
    been attacked during the summer days in front of the Louvre in
    front of policemen who are less than helpful. Again the swinging
    tripod works wonders and I have even been complimented on
    one occasion by a "flic" on my "technique". I guess this is an
    inherent advantage for slr users who are tripod dependent. With
    my RF, I guess that I would punch and kick. Hitting a thug over
    the head with a camera or lens seems a potential waste of fine
    equipment to me. BTW, should you ever draw blood, make sure
    you clean the area or camera/tripod IMMEDIATELY with water
    followed by alcohol. If your skin is broken, wash with water and
    alcohol and see a physician. If you have already been vaccinated
    for Hepatits A and B you are probably safe but Hepatitis C and
    HIV contamination remain remote possibilities, so see or call
    your physician at that point.
  5. The trigger on an Abrahamsson Rapidwinder is probably lethal if used
  6. Dr Al, I thought clorox was the preferred disinfectant of choice for those types of diseases? Anyway... on to the point. In 1976, I needed to rescue a gal from a house in North Lauderdale. The basic scenario was she was locked inside, barred windows, locked doors. She did manage to get a message or two out, and thats how I tracked her down. I remember it like it was yesterday - was able to get the bathroom window bars off, and then... I used my camera to break and clean out the bathroom window. Nikon F2 with motor and 80-200 Nikkor. It did a dandy job of getting the window save enough for her to crawl out (it was one of those half size "strip" windows. Bastard never went to jail that I know of, but neither did he chase me down. No, I'm not a cop, just crazy at times.
  7. I've only been attacked by a neurotic swan who wanted to eat my camera's neck strap. Does that count?
    Albert, thank you for the information you contributed. Most people forget they're unlikely to escape a fight without injuries.
    Some advice: do not try to hit someone over head, ever. You're extremely vulnerable while your one hand is over the head and are extremely likely to cause permanent damage to the opponent. No judge likes that! The cojones are a better target. (Women are vulnerable in the "same" area, in case a female punk goes at you.)
    A fast attack is better than a heavyweight attack. You're better off using a mini tripod as a kubotan than using a Leicaflex as a mace.
    A monopod is an excellent fighting stick, provided yours is an aluminum one (the carbon fibre ones break too easily) and is light. ¡The ones for 600mm lenses make bad weapons!
    One of the very few reasonable self-defence handbooks I ever discovered is John Wiseman's SAS Self Defense Handbook.
    And: practice, practice, practice, practice more, practice even more, practice until the techniques are hardwired in your brain, practice much more, and some day you may know them.
  8. I'm one hundred percent with Jean. Most people who are likely to physically attack you are well equipped for violence and the best thing you can do is run away or avoid confrontation. If you have to hit them, then anything will do, Leica or otherwise.

    These days, the people most likely to attack me are carrying M16's, so it's a real losing proposaition.
  9. Only against an alaskan tree squirrel, frantic to get out of my
    cabin. I spent the next hour cleaning the piddle off my 400mm
  10. I was able to kill a savings account with a Leica M6. It wasn't pretty.
  11. LOL.... I guess we've all been able to "kill" some time photographing too.

    Something not mentioned is situation avoidance. Better to avoid situations than run OR fight. I'm no expert on this, but I've always thought if you act as if you know where you are and where you're going, act like you belong and have some confidence, AND be alert of your surroundings, you'll be less of a mark.

    Thinking a bit, I suppose its hard to appear as anything but a tourist if you have a few Leica's hanging from your neck.
  12. Actually I have a concealed carry permit and would use a GLOCK. Much more effective and at a $1.00 a round much cheaper. There would only be one story in court. In twenty years of carry I have drawn once. I was about to become the victim of road rage. (he ran a yeild sign) Once the laser sight hit his chest he started begging for his life. He got back into his car and took off. Lasermax saved the day. For more info on Glock go to www.glocktalk.com
  13. One day, years ago my cat (a Burmese - all black and very evil looking) was advancing on me for the pounce. A skillfully tossed Leica plastic lenscap (from a 35 Summicron if I remember correctly) distracted her long enough for me to make my escape. She played with it for days...I think she still has it.
  14. There have been a few times over the years when I've taken a wrap of neckstrap around my wrist and started swinging an M Leica in circles over my head while loudly explaining what their head would look like after a couple of pounds of brass and glass made impact. The important thing is to appear confident and a bit the madman. Most punks get away with what they do through intimidation. Confronting someone who doesn't act intimidated is not part of their plan. It's probably something they've never experienced! No, I've never actually found out what that impact would do my camera. I'm sure it would be cheaper to fix than to replace all the stuff I had with me.
  15. I agree with Dave D. If you are a responsible citizen and are capable of doing so, use your Leicas for photography and get a concealed carry permit and carry a sidearm. In most of these United States, a person has the option of defending his life with lethal force. The police cannot protect you from all of the pathological societal vermin. As a victim of a violent crime and gun-toter, I am willing and able to protect myself and others from bad guys. Only bad guys with hostile intent need worry.
  16. This is a SLIGHT segue from the story line, but there was a case here with a woman who shot her boyfriend, or whoever, nine times with a semi auto pistol. When the judge asked her why she shot him nine times, her answer was that that was all the bullets she had.
  17. David, just wondering if you carry your weapon at all times, even walking around seemingly innocent environments. It's kind of a frightening situation to me to imagine people I encounter in every day situations carrying concealed weapons. I'd hope this isn't the norm, unless people find themselves in particularly rough neighborhoods. Otherwise although you may be possibly safer it seems to me an extreme way to live your life, in fear and mistrust of your fellow human.
  18. On the other hand, if you were a past victim of violent crime, I could see how it would turn your head.
  19. No, I don't believe i've had to defend myself much since i don't do the city shooting thing too often. But, my monopod would be great, as would my EOS 3 w/ grip (I have bopped someone in the shoulder before in jest).

    I usually carry a Spyderco Endura around when I think it might be handy, basically whenever i'm photographing. But I'm not a knife fighter and it wouldn't be too good against a gun, or tripod.
  20. Bob, as a fellow cat owner, never toss anything too pricey to a cat to distract them. You might never see it again!
  21. Being from Canada I must admit I don't understand this mindset. Handguns here are only allowed on a firing range and all firearms must now be registerd. In Edmonton, where I live we had a bad year last year for murders. In a city of nearly 1 million we had, I think 14 homicides, only of which 4 or 5 involved handguns. Compared to the U.S. in which some large cities measure their firearm related deaths in the hundreds I'm at a loss to see where this (everyone having the right to carry a sidearm) is such a good thing. I know I'll get flamed by some of our American forum members but is your precious Leica really worth someones life. If you can actually say yes to this I truly feel sorry for you.
  22. Some have suggested that a Leica-R is a better weapon due to its mass, but if you are a small person like yours truly a handgun may be a little more effective, I am a Texan and in fact our ex governer insisted that all citizens should carry a handgun, just in case, now, can you argue with that?

  23. Thanks, Doctor, for the reminder about infection.

    As for the GLOCK, better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.
  24. No flame intended, but NYC has the toughest anti gun laws in the nation, and they rank pretty high on the list of gun related deaths.
    The carrying of concealed weapons is not something that 'everybody' does. You have to get a permit, which calls for a back round check.
    Drug and alcohol effected drivers kill far more than guns. Sorry for getting away from the Leica and it's proper usage.
  25. HC-B always carried his Leica attached to a wrist strap. When attacked, he would "throw" the camera as hard as he could at his assailant's face. Apparently this was always successful, and of course he never lost a camera either!
  26. Don't let this secret out or we'll have to start registering our cameras and take courses in the proper use of photographic weapons. Of course, we should never carry a concealed camera without a permit!

    A Minolta SRT101 firmly attached to a strong monopod is my favorite, but I think a Nikon F might be more lethal.

    Seriously, that is one of the reasons I tend to be reluctant to do random street photography. It just seems to be too dangerous now days.

    I remember walking from the Louvre to the Ritz Hotel in Paris at about midnight alone in 1962 with no fear at all. Too bad the world has changed so much in recent times.

    BTW, what is a Glock and what makes it special? I wasn't able to get much info from the website. A friend of mine collects and restores firearms, so he may know.
  27. I guess Glocks are just kinda traditional? I don't know, i'm not a gun person either. Kinda like the Leica of guns maybe? :)
  28. Todd, think about the fact you were younger in 1962, too. Could be your perspective on things has changed as much as the world. We tend to get a little more paranoid and feel more vulnerable as we get older. I'm 50 and walked through downtown New Orleans this past summer- past midnight. I can't say I wasn't a little fearful, but good sense and an attitude of fearlessness can go a long way. You can't even go out your front door with total confidence something won't happen to you, but are you going to worry about that possibility? Life is for living, and living is a risk. Each of us has a fear threshold, I suppose. I just wouldn't go overboard. I think people who watch too much local television news tend to get a skewed picture of the world. I've been photographing on the streets for many years, still have all body parts intact. Maybe I should knock on wood, who knows? I'm not gonna stop though, may as well lock myself in the house first.

    Vahe, are you talking about "ex governor" Bush? If so, yes, I could argue with him, and probably in fact would- over a number of issues, including his view of carrying a gun.
  29. This is a case where there is no doubt that R series are better than M's. Here the R8 is unequalled. It's best used when swung at the end of the neck strap, of course. There have been a couple of situations in Europe and S. America where brandishing the camera in this fashion has dissuaded would-be attackers. As far as damaging the camera, who cares; it's just a toy anyway albeit an expensive one.
  30. Ray, I think you're right on target (since we're talking about self defense). I just retired from teaching and I spend far too much time watching Fox News. It's all terror, murder, and corruption. I need to get out and get involved in more positive and uplifting activities. I have opportunities to work as a volunteer with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, church activities, charitable work, and even a part time job in a positive venue, not to mention photography. Retirement is a big change in life and it's easy to get very depressed. Thanks for the wake-up call.
  31. PS...I am also seeking a photo group in the south Bay Area (San Jose) who gets out from time to time to take pictures (not a club). I also think there's safety in numbers. I used to teach photography in adult ed and may try that again. On the self-defense issue, one of my workshops included a man who wore a small .22 side arm (barely visible) whenever he went out photographing to protect himself and his equipment! That was in the early 1980s. You couldn't do that in California now days.
  32. If I hit someone with my Wista VX I'd be on a murder charge...can't imagine it wouldn't kill them...
  33. ky2


    And risk my precious babies? I just play the drunk, pissed off nutcase (eyes rolling), slurring in archaic soviet Russian, and everyone stays out of my way (Everyone except thos sympathetic bums who offer me some Sluchnaya to feel better)...
  34. "Vahe, are you talking about "ex governor" Bush? If so, yes, I could argue with him, and probably in fact would- over a number of issues, including his view of carrying a gun."

    Yes, you got it, it can all be summed up in "frontier mentality".
    As for guns, I have six Leicas and no guns.

  35. Todd, I envy you being local to that beautiful aquarium... but getting off subject here. Maybe in fact one of the interesting issues this brings up is how vulnerable people in fact are according to their age. Older people aremore defenseless perhaps than the 25 year old well built guy who looks like someone you don't want to mess with. I think size is a factor too- I'm fairly big so I think this has helped me do more or less as I please, although I've had my moments of feeling vulnerable.... In which case, my self-esteem isn't damaged by acting on the instinct to flee the situation. Avoidance is better than confrontation, in my book, although in rare cases I find I have to stand my ground on a matter of principle- most likely not in a life threatening situation though.
  36. "BTW, should you ever draw blood, make sure you clean the area or camera/tripod IMMEDIATELY with water followed by alcohol."

    "pathological societal vermin"

    "Actually I have a concealed carry permit and would use a GLOCK. Much more effective and at a $1.00 a round much cheaper."

    Good god. Am I the only one who thinks this thread is a f**king disgrace?
  37. BTW - I wouldn't usually use "**" to mean "uc", but photo.net software stopped me from being explicit about my feelings about this disgraceful garbage.

    I got into photography because it seemed like a reasonable way to explore the world and highlight certain issues. It seems a large number of Leica owners are rich fools with expensive toys, fearing and hating their fellow man. Maybe it isn't so surprising that streetpeople would resent that.

    If what you're doing requires you to carry a gun to feel safe, then do something else. It certainly has nothing to do with photography.
  38. Hear, hear!!
  39. I don't know that the thread is a disgrace, Rob, but it certainly brings to light different people's attitudes, wrong headed or not. It seems to me a pretty disgraceful situation indeed, if someone feels they have to carry a gun as a standard part of their photographic excursion, like checking to make sure your keys are in the right pocket and you haven't lost the lens cap....Do I have enough film? Is the gun loaded?.... Seems an awful way to anticipate the coming events of the day.
  40. I taught my daughter a way to carry a camera as a weapon, and to use it if necessary. While in Madrid, she wanted to go out for a walk one evening, and asked for a camera, but NO flash. Which one should I take? I gave her the one with PASSPORT warranty and a 50 DR Summicron. The Summicron wasn't under warranty, but the body was. I have often wondered how an older 90 chrome Summicron would work when thrown like a football (?). I think a 135 Elmarit would tend to wobble and be hard to aim. The older chrome lenses are definetly better as weapons. A Glock would be a little light to throw at an assailant. Be sure the safety is on.

    Merry Christmas, and be sure to shoot the guy in the red suit with your Leica not your Glock.
  41. The Wall Street Journal (the most important newspaper in the U.S.) had this article on its editorial page last week. I copy it here for the benefit of British readers.


    ‘Twasn’t Ever Thus,
    by Theodore Dalrymple

    LONDON – Britain is now the world leader in very little, with the single possible exception of crime.

    Recent figures published by the U.N. show that Britain is now among the most crime-ridden countries in the world: Its citizens are much more likely to be robbed on the street, or have their houses burgled, than their counterparts in, say, Russia or South Africa, let alone the U.S. Everyday experience in Britain is quite sufficient to establish that we now live in a deeply criminalized society.

    For a middle-class person like me who grew up in the Britain of the 1950s, this is all very startling. It was then so safe a country that one was inclined to suppose that criminality was as foreign as food that tasted of anything. One rather pitied foreigners their dishonesty and thuggishness because it was something that, being foreigners, they couldn’t really help. Even the few native criminals that we had here were, at heart, gentlemen: when caught by our efficient and upstanding constabulary (and no words ever settled the hash of criminals more decisively than those to the effect that Scotland Yard had been called in), our criminals always said, ever so sportingly, “It’s a fair cop, guv.”

    Less than half a century later, many people no more venture out after dark than Transylvanian peasants would go wandering while Dracula was at large, and once the sun has gone down, there is not an old person to be seen in public in Britain. Taxi drivers carry ground chilies to squirt in the eyes of their passengers in case they turn nasty, and martial-arts instructors offer their services to hospital staff to protect them from the aggression of patients and their relatives. In short, the British have gone from being civil to savage in less than a single lifetime.

    Perhaps even more startling is the complete paralysis of British society in the face of this terrible breakdown. In the war against civility, the savages have it all their own way. No one would dare correct even seven-year-old children in the street or on a bus, for fear that they carried knives. My prisoner patients often tell me that when they beat someone to a pulp, they were carrying out a “normal assault.” The other day, a prisoner said to me, “I’m an innocent man: I just jumped the counter, took some money and ran away.” And true enough, in much of Britain such behavior is comparatively innocent. Anything short of the rape of little girls is considered trivial. Once I asked a prisoner why he was in prison, and he replied, “I’m here on a poxy little murder charge.” This, I need hardly point out, is a world away from “It’s a fair cop, guv.”

    The response of the British liberal intelligentsia and the political class to the crime wave that has engulfed our society makes jellyfish look solid. Witness the British middle class in full retreat. Every conceivable argument has been used to avoid acknowledging the painful reality of what we have so heedlessly wrought over so short a period. Some try to suggest that crime hasn’t really increased, but that it is just more fully reported now than ever before. Others venture that there is more theft because people have more possessions (the first time wealth rather than poverty has been blamed for crime). And so on, ad infinitum.

    As the politicians dither and bicker, I am reminded of the Romanian peasant proverb: The whole village is on fire, but grandmother wants to finish combing her hair.

    At the root of the British inability to confront the problem is snobbery. There is a reluctance on the part of the upper echelons of society to believe that the lower echelons are fully human, and therefore responsible for their own acts and decisions. No discussion with a British liberal about growing incivility, criminality and violence of British life is complete without reference to Hogarth’s Gin Lane, the implication being that ‘twas ever thus. This, of course, is nonsense. But it does establish that the British liberal intelligentsia believes the lower classes are genetically and irredeemably, utter scum.

    (Theodore Dalrymple is the pen name of the physician Anthony Daniels, a contributing editor of City Journal.) [End.]
  42. Thereis nothing disgraceful or wrong about ones willingness to carry a handgun. All you guys who find such talk disgraceful or distasteful ought to get off your moralistic high horses and be more tolerant of the views of those who happen to have opinions different from yours. Carrying a gun, or owning a gun is a perfectly legal activity, regardless of what someone might think, and people who feel the needto carry a handgun should be able to do so without having to suffer negative comments from people are not in favor of gun-ownership.
    Anyways, my original question was meant to ask how a Leica M6 would stand up to rough treatment if one had to use it to defend oneself.
  43. Vikram:

    This description of the state of Britain is accurate and there may be more than a grain of truth in the explanation for it.

    However, G K Chesterton was certainly right when in 1908, seeing what was coming, he wrote: "What we suffer from today is modesty in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction, where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed."

    The scene in Britain is the result of the official embracing of pluralism and relativism, where nobody is permitted to believe anything with conviction anymore - and especially the Christian principles which, however imperfectly understood and even more imperfectly applied, provided some moral structure to society.

    It results in the wooly mental fog that caused a judge before whom I was appearing recently (as an advocate, I add!) to pronounce that a drug addict who was too far gone to care for his child was not responsible for his condition. We are officially declared to be the playthings of our genes or our environment.

    Quite how I end up writing such a piece when we were asked about hitting people with our Leicas, I'm not sure! Anyway, as the strange amalgam of the pagan, the commercial and the Christian that we call Christmas comes to an end, I wish you well.
  44. Sid...I agree with your last point up to a point. That being...just as driving is for most of us a right, once you get a little liquor under your belt, a car becomes a lethal weapon. It has been proven that many homicdes involving handguns also involve liquor. I can't, for the life of me thing of any thing more deadly than a gun toting citizen with half a dozen beer under his belt who thinks he's been slighted. A perfect scenario for someone dying, with the defense being 'Gee...I really felt threatoned'...by a half starved homeless person intent on getting something to eat. Poor boy!!!...who just happened to be totting a handgun whe he was 'threatened' by the starving homeless person (taking this scenario to the limits I know). "Guns don't kill people...people kill people",,,BULLSHIT.
  45. Self-Defense,my wife has uses my M6 on a regular basis to defend her spending. Guns are made to kill humans or other life-forms.Some enjoy using them for this purpose,others to defend.Humanity is beyond understanding....but unless it does understand; well,goodbye humanity.
  46. Fact is fact and the fact is, at least here in the USA, less than two tenths of one percent of all murders are committed with _legally_ owned firearms. _Every_ jurisdiction in the USA that has allowed properly permitted citizens to carry firearms has resulted in a _drop_ in violent crime. (Source: The Uniform Crime Statistic of the USA) Ask Britain and Australia about what happens when the criminals know that no has a gun in their home nor on their person.
  47. Charles: clorox is certainly and excellent anti-viral disinfectant but
    water and alcohol (even wine or vodka,,) are more readily
    available and equally efficacious for superficial wounds, Yes,
    guys, you wash with water and then alcohol. DRINKING the
    booze is not part of the protocol!!!! :)>)))) Bob T.: The cat latter
    sold the lens cover on eBayl. Got top dollar or was that collar!!
  48. So gun toters, you carry them to the local grocery store, to your kids school events, to the bank, to church? I'd like to know. This really is a shock to me, but I guess it shouldn't be, given the paranoid and aggressive approach many people seem to take toward life here in America. Much of the time what's involved is a macho ego driven I'll-do-whatever-I-damn-well-please attitude of many people. I've encountered it too many times on a first hand basis to believe otherwise. But aside from that, I really feel sorry for you that you apparently are living in so much fear.
  49. Here's a *real-world* scenario that may prove interesting in considering before one assumes to know one's self:

    In the wee hours of the morning you hear a sound that you believe to be coming from your child's room. It turns out to be coming, instead, from two thugs who've broken in and are climbing the stairs.
    Glancing down at the drawer in the night stand, do you wish it contains: (1) a cell phone (for dialing 911), (2) a solidly built SLR that can be brandished as a weapon, or, (3) a Colt 380 with hollow-points.......hmmmmmm??????
    (Hopefully, you will never need to experience this variety of experience and the attendant philosophical epiphany)
  50. I usually carry a Springfield Compact .45 to most places, other than to work (prohibited), or to places otherwise prohibited by law. Then again, I carry a camera (not always a Leica, but usually) to just about all places too.

    I'm probably a bit off the beaten path of society though, as my former employment involves many things firearms/shooting-industry related. As I told you privately Ray, many years of being armed, once instance of possibly having to use it, and that was a dog. I really do TRY to stay away from trouble (it follows me though).
  51. Ray, sorry , but I dont buy into your way of thinking. If you think that we gun-owners are wrong, it is your prerogative to believe so as an American, living in a free society. Similarly, we have the righttoour opinions, on guns and cameras or anything else, and we have the right to lead our lives according to our beliefs. And really, if you want to get me to change my mind about firearms, do you think your 2 nasty posts maligning all law-abiding gun owners are going to change my mind? Think again. I hope that you stay safe, and never have to experience becoming the victim of violent crime like I have, or others in our society have. I think you will see the world in a different light. Like the saying- "a Social Conservative is a Liberal-Leftist who got mugged last night"!!
  52. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Springfield? Glock? Come on guys.... If you're a "real" Leica person, you'll carry a Sig P229 .40 S&W !! No extra, silly features like a "safety catch" !!! :)
  53. Paul, I remember my college days in England very fondly and was thus shocked to read this in the newspaper, for it is not the England that lives on in my mind and heart. The England that to me still represents the highest form of Western civilization. Sorry, unless one has lived in England at length one won't comprehend this sentiment.

    Not all people living in the US are armed with Glocks and Lugers. Some of us go out only armed with our intellect and wit, and locked and loaded Nikons. Cheers!
  54. I wasn't going to participate in this one but then thought to share a few
    real life experiences.

    I live and make photographs in a fairly dangerous city. For many, many
    years I helped train agents of the Wayne County Crime Task Force and
    the Detroit Police Department in the use of real Martial Arts tactics (as
    opposed to those from Hollywood).

    There is NO defense against a gun toting criminal that doesn't involve
    years of steady training, nerves of steel, and a killer instinct (not to be
    confused with the instincts of a killer). The first line of defense is to
    avoid situations where a robbery is more likely to take place. Your next
    best defense is a well documented insurance policy and a readiness to
    surrender your replaceable equipment to a determined, probably drug
    emboldened thug. The cops I trained told me that a lot of people who
    try to resist, even with a gun, become instant assult or homicide
    victims...all for a material item that could be replaced the next day. A vast
    majority of the hold-ups are to snatch a item and flee a quickly as
    possible. There are exceptions, but the vast majority fit that MO. I am
    more highly trained than most. and would simply hand it over, call the
    cops to make a report, and then call my insurance agent.

    To each his or her own. However, the statistics are NOT in favor of
    untrained individuals...who are more likely to end up staring at a hospital
    ceiling, or worse with dead eyes at the inside lid of their own coffin. All
    for a crummy little camera and what little cash a Leica owner might have
    after buying one.
  55. Well, it is hard to complain about the self-righteous paranoid person who just gunned you down, but let's just hope most gun carriers aren't like that. I can somewhat understand people's hesitation regarding gun owners, but most are responsible, as highlighted by that murder statistic.

    As far as Glock goes, well that's a cheap ghetto gun. You want to look at Walther or Beretta I think. The Glock's loose tolerances make it good for burying in the mud, taking it out and firing it, but who wants to do that unless you're the military.

    Yes, I hope we don't forsake our rights as Americans, and those concerned about that should vote for pro-gun politicians and join the NRA.

    Escape is always the best route, if you want to go before a jury and a judge pleading your case, good luck I say. I wouldn't want to rely on that unless I was going to suffer severe injury or death unless taking action with a firearm. Otherwise, you're opening yourself up to the law. Also, who wants to live with blasting someone on their conscience?

    To the foreigners aghast with our firearms, it is the USA, and I am a responsible gun owner with high morals and ethics.
  56. It is often difficult to change one's belief structure even when confronted with the truth.
  57. I apologise for using the word "fools".
  58. I was originally only going to offer some comments in a private
    email to those who I thought were of like-mind. Not that I’m
    against taking a position, popular or not, but because usually I
    keep a very ‘low-profile’ when it comes to these matters. Being
    discreet in such areas is generally a very good plan. But since I
    believe I have something to add to the discussion, I am stepping

    I am pleasantly surprised at the number individuals in favor of
    self-defence on this board, whether they chose to use their
    hands and feet, tripods, Leica cameras, or more serious tools.
    While at least a few posters are surprised or disgusted at the
    nature of this thread, or at some of the positions taken, I’m quite
    pleased with the healthy exchange of different positions. It would
    be nice if our world would tolerate a little more ‘agreeing to

    As one who is experienced and skilled in the area of tactics and
    weapons, I know that while I’m more prepared and aware of the
    danger around me than many citizens (knowledge and training
    make it impossible to ignore) I DO try to avoid conflict instead of
    seek it out. I’m far from paranoid nor do I feel threatened by
    ‘everyone’. On the contrary, I can handle many situations well,
    with limited or no physical force.

    Others have correctly noted that confident attitudes, postures,
    and responses can prevent bad things from occurring. When
    this is not enough, being decisive can be helpful and violence
    may still be avoided. Does this mean that I will not walk or run
    away to avoid a conflict? Certainly not. It is wise to avoid conflict.
    Often I have more than myself to worry about. Family or friends
    may dictate a different response. Other adults and children will
    likely not be able to fight or run as well as I, dictating different
    responses to threats.

    Having and using a camera adds an element to the reality of
    street conflict that doesn’t exist when one is not armed with a
    camera. Some people may react aggressively because we are,
    have, or might take their picture. Or we may be targeted because
    we have a camera and are thought to be a tourist (from out of the
    area/unfamiliar/vulnerable; which is sometimes a very correct
    assessment by the criminals).

    It is harder to run fast or fight with two Leicas around my neck.
    Maybe I will just hand them over; every situations is different. If
    avoidance is an option I would rather exercise that choice. And
    although my two Leica’s and lenses are only material objects,
    worthless compared to my life and health, they did cost me
    approximately $7,000.00, a fair sum that would be difficult to
    replace easily or immediately. Surely people will kill for pennies
    or for the thrill. Don’t think that simply complying with commands
    will result in mercy because that is simply not always the case.

    Sometimes confronting the problem immediately, with force
    and/or speed is best. This can be as minor a swinging a tripod
    or camera about to save one’s self and property, or using or
    preparing to use more traditional weapons.

    My non-scholarly but experienced observation is that those who
    are not willing to stand-up for what is right, either physically or
    intellectually, are contributing to the advance of crime and social
    break-down. This is reflected on our streets and in our
    courtrooms. I understand not wanting to ‘get-involved’ as
    sometimes it is prudent, though individuals need to be involved
    so we can be collectively more secure.

    I’m also cautious of the idea that only the well trained should
    resist. While the average citizen may not be well trained, letting
    others protect you is not generally effective unless they are there
    at the critical moment. The ‘protection’ provided by the police and
    the armies of the world are generally only effective for society in
    general, not for the individual. Self-defense is usually the most
    effective ‘defence’.

    Training is good, but mind-set is more important. Are you willing
    to counter attack immediately and as violently as necessary?
    (every circumstance is different) Regular “able bodied men” can
    be very effective when they are truly willing. Your children or wife
    being attacked or targeted may motivate you to do things you did
    not think were possible or likely before.

    People that base their opinions about they real world on police
    or crime movies, or T.V. shows, are ignorant and naive. Even
    ‘real’ T.V. programs are showing highly edited and rare
    circumstances that are poor examples of daily of reality.

    I do not have the answers. Though I believe we need to change
    things collectively. We cannot let ‘them’ do it for us.

    Those who have suggested staying out of a courtroom are wise
    and correct.

    I hope everyone has a peaceful holiday season and new year...

  59. Not everyone has the youth or physique to benefit from self-defense training. I have found that tear gas is a good companion when street-shooting. A jet in the face followed by a crack from a Nikon F should subdue about anyone.
  60. Sid, I don't believe I maligned all law abiding gun owners anywhere in my post, at least that wasn't my intention. If you interpreted it so, I'm sorry. I also don't think I said you didn't have the right to your opinion, but it does appear you're a little sensitive to me expressing mine. I know this is a very emotional issue to many gun owners and guns rights activists, although I'll admit I've never quite understood why. If you don't think I've ever been in a situation of danger enough to see a threat to my life, you'd be wrong in that assumption. But it's not been my choice to react to it and live in a posture of fear by carrying a gun. I can't see it as anything but negative energy to have my basic approach to social situations include lethal firepower up my sleeve at all times. I don't have that low an opinion of mankind, frankly. If I lived in a war zone it might be different, but I don't, and I don't assume people are out to get me. I have faith enough in my right to walk around as a free man, and that things will work out alright for me. You can call that foolish if you want. In the end it's your choice, I never said it wasn't, and each person has different reasons for choosing his way, be it their particular experience with violence or whatever. I'm just expressing my opinion, and I still think much of gun carrying involves paranoia. It's dangerous getting in your car in the morning too, maybe an armored vehicle would be in order, I don't know. Life is a risk, anything can happen, but how much time of it you want to choose thinking about the bad things that might befall you is your choice. I choose to trust in the positive as much as possible. Guns don't guarantee anyone's survival anyway, nothing does.
  61. "Not everyone has the youth or physique to benefit from self-defense training. I have found that tear gas is a good companion when street-shooting. A jet in the face followed by a crack from a Nikon F should subdue about anyone."

    A Christian speaks.

    I can't imagine how anyone can believe that their hobby is worth getting violent over. If streetphotography is so dangerous that it can to lead to potentially fatal confrontations, go and photograph flowers or nudes. Of course, if you're a professional photographer, then that is different - but I don't imagine that David Alan Harvey and his like believe that fear and distrust are the key to good pictures, let alone carrying a weapon.
  62. "I have found that tear gas is a good companion when street-shooting. A jet in the face followed by a crack from a Nikon F should subdue about anyone."

    Are you serious? After reading some of these posts again I have to wonder. What is it with some of you when you're out shooting on the streets? Where are you going out to shoot? Afghanistan? Or are your fears imagined from watching way too much TV? I've been shooting in public spaces for 25 years and have encountered a couple dirty looks and a polite request to stop photographing. That's it. What's the deal here? What am I missing?... Tell me, I've heard very little actual real experience conflict from anyone on this thread so far, but plenty of reasons why we need protection from it.
  63. Rob, you took my thunder... uh, quote. Ah well, all the same. ;)
  64. Among my photographic equipments, R5 is quite heavy, but I think the strap lugs may not be strong enough.
    My all steel tripod has sharp steel head, is better than cameras
  65. If you want to put a real hurtin' on someone, use a Zeiss-Ikon Contarex "Bullseye."

    OT: About eight years ago, I worked with a guy at a newspaper Poughkeepsie, N.Y. One day, he came into the office and said, "Some guy tried to mug me in the parking lot. He said, 'Give me all your money.'"

    My co-worker said to the guy, "Are you prepared to fight me for it?"

    He said the would-be mugger seemed surprised and didn't know what to say and simply walked away without doing anything else.

    Moral? Hmmm ... don't know. I guess you should ask an intelligent question and confuse the criminal.
  66. This thread has confirmed the time has come to leave the Leica forum.

    Thanks to everyone whose helped me along the way.
  67. Bye Rav!
  68. <<Recent figures published by the U.N. show that Britain is now among the most crime-ridden countries in the world: Its citizens are much more likely to be robbed on the street>>

    Three years ago 4th of July weekend I took my wife to London as a surprise gift for our 20th wedding anniversary. We stayed in a decent hotel in Kensington on a busy street. At about 10PM I walked outside, crossed the street to have a cigar and take a photo of the lit-up hotel front. While standing there with my chrome M6 and 50/2 around my neck, two shaved-head young men walked my way; one stopped on my left and the other walked past, turned and stopped on my right. My mind went into defense mode and I readied myself to some kind of action. There was a lot of traffic on the street so running across would have gotten me run over. To my back was buildings about 10 ft away, and of course they had me blocked left and right, so I expected to have to disable them before being able to run. I figured the lit cigar and the Leica would somehow figure into that. Then the guy on my right started cursing me out--about my cigar, offering to pleasure my mother, etc. At that point I realized that neither robbery not assault was their immediate intent. So I simply stood there with a slightly relaxed posture, staring him icily in the eye, and said nothing. Finally he ran out of curses, the guy on my left evidently got bored and started walking away, and at that point the big mouth began walking away also, and I didn't move or let up my stare. When he was about 10 ft away he said "what the f-- are you staring at" and at that point I replied calmly but authoritatively "good night"; he turned and they both walked off. This illustrates a couple points. 1)It's not always true that "the best defense is a good offense". In this case had I attacked, the results could have been catastrophic, for me as well as them. 2)Sometimes it is true that "if you run, you're prey". I think the fact that I stood my ground in a non-threatening way totally unnerved them and defused the situation. It wasn't what they were expecting, and in retrospect I think their inner little voices were telling them "stop and wonder why this guy isn't afraid of you two".

    In another vein, I choose not to carry a gun because unarmed I am very conservative in where and when I go places and my "antennae" are always turned up and tuned in to my surroundings. I'm afraid that carrying a weapon would be more of a liability than an asset...and I am a serious shooting enthusiast who can handle a handgun with ease and accuracy under pressure.
  69. I've been to England quite a few times (London, Cambridge, Norwich)and have never had even a hint of a problem. I'd feel much safer walking the streets of London than New York City, where I have been accosted quite a few times and mugged once.

    Jay is right, don't fight unless you absolutely have too. And I would think that Nikons (which are huge and clunky) make better weapons than dainty little M Leicas.
  70. I have a CCW, but I rarely if ever carry a handgun concealed. My main reason for the permit is so I can have a gun in my car going to and from a range, or maybe if I am making an over night road trip within the state. If I am stopped by a police officer, I can save myself from a possible felony. Anyone envisioning themselves as shooting it out with some bad guys has watched too many Bruce Willis movies. The lawyers would eat you alive and YOU would end up doing time. I suppose if you could absolutely PROVE that you honestly feared for your life, and there was no other way out, you could get away with shooting someone on the street. I guess the best way to safeguard yourself and your Leica equipment would be to use common sense where you go. If you do plan to go in harm's way, taking classes in non lethal self defense might help. I strongly believe in being able to own firearms, but walking around heavily armed and ready to blow away people is not one of my secret pleasures.
    Regards, John
  71. "Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held their weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked" OLD TESTAMENT - Neh 4:17-18 (NIV)
  72. John O. I take exception to a comment you made earlier in this
    thread about the tough gun laws in New York State and the "high
    number of gun deaths in NYC." THIS IS INCORRECT. In fact our
    murder rate is again down another 10% this year and is equal to
    that of 1963 !!! Tough gun laws and even tougher
    policing/sentencing have made a great difference in our city. I
    cordially invite all of you to come to the big Apple and see for
    yourself ! :)>))) As to Jay's comments: I could not agree more
    emphatically. I am rated a distinguished expert in both handguns
    and rifles by the NRA and know enough about them so as to
    never carry one. Why you may ask ? Simple answer. If you are
    not prepared to use it and kill your assaillant, it will be used on
    you. I would rather lose my Leicas than my life in this deal.
  73. Albert, perhaps I did not make my point clear enough, or you misunderstood me. I was trying to say that very restrictive gun laws do not guarantee that gun crimes will go away, or that making hand gun illegal to own will stop these crimes. New York City DOES have the toughest gun laws - I used to be a resident there. What slows down the murder rate IS increased law enforcement and prosecution of criminals, so are not in disagreement. By the way, do you shoot High Power, Albert? I do.
    Regards, John
  74. I used my cased and straped M6/35 to swing at the mangy dogs of Guatemala that chase me while I bike. I haven`t hit one yet.
  75. If you have access to a lawyer, I suggest a 2 minute conversation with
    him or her to understand exactly what will happen in your State if you
    gun down a person trying to steal something from you. Some of you
    folks watch to much TV.
  76. "It's kind of a frightening situation to me to imagine people I encounter in every day situations carrying concealed weapons."
    Ray Haack

    Ray, I hope that you never have to face a truly frightening situation. Frightening to me is staring down the barrel of a loaded .357 magnum revolver, held by a psychopathic killer. Less frightening to me is preparing physically and emotionally to defend my life (although it certainly is a serious commitment). You may be assured that virtually none of the holders of carry permits are alcohol-fueled, egotistical crazies. In all locations in the United States where concealed carry has been authorized, violent crime has decreased. If I chose not to carry, I would feel safer knowing that responsible people were in my proximity should any problem occur. I realize that my best weapon is between my ears, but acknowledging this, I can't easily defend my life with lethal force against a hostile aggressor unless a sidearm is immediately accessible. You can't use it if you don't have it. Recent studies indicate that as many as 4% of the population (Canada included, Bob) is psychopathic. Indeed, I had a confrontation with such a fellow (w/7 year old daughter in tow) one night some years ago. He was a gang member, on the run just minutes after committing a robbery, murder, and kidnapping. Only a miracle prevented our demise. I pray that no similar situation is in my future and absolutely do not relish the thought of using lethal force, although I am quite prepared to do so given the alternative.
  77. I am revolted by this thread. Hand guns have no place in the hands of citizens unless the are police or military.

    And Knapp, “when you actually hit one of these wretches” that wretch is a child. You seem excited and proud by this revelation. I find it disgusting.

    In amazement,

    Joe Stephenson
  78. Joe, where are you from? Time for me to join the NRA if you're in the US, soon my freedoms will go away otherwise.

  79. Japan has one of the strictest laws on gun possession. (Besides the army and police, only the Olympic shooting team is allowed access to guns, and that only at the shooting range.) It is by far the safest country on the planet, with hardly any murder or rape. A woman can walk in any neighborhood in the middle of the night and will be safe, except if near a US base, as has been sadly the case recently.
  80. The Japanese don't need to carry guns because the people on their streets are Japanese! We need to carry guns in America because too many of the people on our streets are the savages who raped those girls in Japan. It's that simple.
  81. No Robert, the word that fits your argument is simplistic.
  82. The Japanese were truly savage in WWII. Their culture is very homogeneous, and comformity is the norm. Part of the US's strength is its diversity, but along with that are weaknesses I guess. In the US, if guns were outlawed, the only ones having them would be mainly criminals. Not a scenario I'd like.
  83. Strange, but I lost a couple of 9mm handguns (amongst other things. They left the Leicas!)in a burglary a few weeks back. I filed a claim with the insurance company. Last week I got a call from the adjuster to go to a nearby gun dealer, fill out some paperwork, and in a few more days they'll call me to tell me that my replacement 9mm pistols are waiting to be picked up. They could have just as easily cut me a check for the value, like they did for 3 rifles and my computer, but they're giving me replacement handguns! Guess they want to make sure I have real handguns instead of squandering the money on less efficient weapons like more Leica M2 bodies with brass mounted Summiluxes.
  84. Koudelka's gypsies are all right on the page of a photobook, but when you meet them in real life they're "wretches" whose blood on your camera is a health risk. Mary Ellen Mark's or Richard Rogers' street people and drug addicts look real nice in a frame in your lounge, but you carry a gun in case you meet one of these "bums" or "societal vermin" in person. You can "ooh" and "aah" over Nachtwey's pictures of Palestinians or South Timorians, but you despise them as people.

    Let me tell you what it takes to be a photographer like the "Leica photographers" whose equipment you admire so much: empathy, interest in other people, generosity and fearlessness, and a strong sense of justice. It means putting your life on the line because you feel strongly about things. It means being outraged by the unjust social arrangements that have created a global underclass who sometimes resort to violence in their despair and anger at their oppression.

    I really don't know what to say.
  85. This thread has opened my eyes like no other. Looks like we need to change the name of this forum now to the Gun Lobby Forum. Jeez. Who ever would've believed it? Lots of people it seems. So many. Wow, oh man. My perspective on the people who go here has changed dramatically.
  86. Methinks some persons here are relating a simple firearm to TOO MANY OTHER MATTERS. Period. And simple as that.

    Yes, to really photograph people, one needs to gain some sort of connection, and you won't be getting it by being a paranoid gun-toter. I don't think most individuals who own firearms are like this. Some are avid hunters and trap shooters with simple shotguns that cost more than entire Leica collections.
  87. And to express their "despair" at the "oppression" of being in the U.S. Army, they rape Japanese teenagers. Give me a break.
  88. James HL, thank you very much for you contribution? I couldn't agree more.
    Carrying a gun, or owning a gun is a perfectly legal activity. Except in most parts of the world. Btw I always feel a weapon would take my mind off the actual danger in a critical situation.
  89. Ack. Dear moderators, please replace the question mark in the first line of my post with a exclamation mark, and add that the quote is from Sid. Thank you very much in advance!<br>In the current form my previous post looks as if I wanted to make fun of James HL. I did not intend that, and I apologise! Now I'm off to learn proofreading.
  90. I wonder how much the tabloid media has to do with the current state of affairs. (Rupert Murdoch in particular.)

    I was listening to NPR (National Public Radio) yesterday evening and the following story caught my attention (did anyone else catch it?). A German high school football (soccer) team, that was in England to play some matches, was beaten up by a bunch of English people who called them Nazis. Students at the German school in London are told to pretend to be Scandinavian when out in public and to not speak to each other in German. The English authorities are very concerned because England is soon going to play Germany in a football match, and if anyone has any interest, it's as if the WWII is still going on between these two nations. And we're swinging tripods!

    The German Ambassador was on the radio to express his concern. It seems that a lack of education and awareness is the root cause of the problem. 40 percent of Germans have visited the UK, but only ONE percent of English have visited Germany, and the British TV seems to aggravate this horrendous lack of understanding.

    They quoted a Private Eye (a satirical magazine that has been around for ages) skit about a UK TV station's daily program schedule: Nazis; followed by Young Nazis; followed by Old Nazis; followed by Young Nazis talking about Old Nazis. It sounds comical but that is the truth. In the US we have a cable channel called the "History Channel" but I call it the Hitler channel. For the past 20 years you could see Hitler every day of the year. They had a news analyst who said that if they put on a show on Adenauer, it wouldn't have as high ratings as Hitler, even though the accomplishments of Germany in the last 50 years are nothing short of a miracle. Nobody seems to be interested in progress but in titillation. Enough already! Meanwhile everyone here wants to drive a BMW, Benz or Porsche.

    This is almost 2003. I wrote this to illustrate the idiocy that continues in one "developed" nation, so it is not surprising that we consider other people savage or wretches or vermin.

    The cable news channels here, in particular Fox News and MSNBC are "All Sadaam All the time." People don't think for themselves, and think that nothing else is important. It is a sad state of affairs. Most people outside the US couldn't care less about Iraq. There are too many other concerns on their mind. Meanwhile the Patriot Act is eroding the rights for which this country was created and nobody is protesting about it.
  91. Indeed Vikram! Good perspectives. I joined the ACLU (aclu.org) because of the "patriot" act. Should be more like the "comrade" act. People not thinking for themselves, they'd rather eat up soundbites. I like watching some PBS news as well, such as DWTV and BBC. It's quite refreshing to see other nation's news reports' take on affairs, and what they find important. Anyway, the US is becoming less a beacon for the West, which is unfortunate. We are hell bent to get Saddam no matter what compliance. If he's hiding arms, won't we find them given his cooperation?
  92. I apologise for using the word "fools". - Rob Appleby
    You were thinking maybe "fearful idiots"? Man. I saw the name of this thread; then saw that it had "90 new responses"; and thought to myself, now what could be so interesting as all that, about using your Leica as a weapon? (Especially when all the world knows that all of the Nikon F-series bodies - excepting the F3 - are much better suited for this.) I should have known that "guns" would come up.
    I can only tell you that I've walked through and shot (a camera) in shantytowns and slums (and tribal villages) throughout Asia (south and southeast) and Australia - but the only time I ever encountered people who were less than friendly and helpful, it wasn't in any of those places; it was in south-central L.A. - Compton, to be precise - where I ended up one day on account of having to pee very badly while on a bus (I'd been riding through when the urge became unbearable and I had to get off). Even there, though, people weren't particularly threatening (though I did get looks that combined pity and contempt). I'm always prepared to defend myself while shooting (again, my camera) (I've often thought that, swung on its strap it would make a dandy mace) - but I've never had to. Fear is always greater than actual danger.
    Anybody seen "Bowling for Columbine"? If you'd like some terrific insight into violence in the U.S., see it.
  93. The closest I've ever come to camera related violence is while taking pictures of some punk rockers in Picadilly Circus (London). They didn't like it that I was photographing them without their permission, but I had already taken the pictures, so I gave the "leader" two pounds and that seemed to appease them. Then we started talking and I had to listen to them for 15 minutes giving their life story, about how the police pick them up for no reason and beat them up because of the way they look. They became friends for those 15 minutes. I guess people feel alienated in certain societies and like it when someone takes the time to empathize with them.

    Contrast that with my experience in poor countries, where people, especially children, love to be photographed, and cannot seem to get enough.

    With all the talk on this forum about grab shots, and grab shot techniques, isn't that inviting trouble? I mean, try doing that at a Harley Davidson rally. I've seen Albert Smith's nice portfolio, I don't know how he got out alive from Daytona!
  94. My god, what a thread!

    Please remember: it´s still Christmas (MOL) and we should celebrate peace. What results in too many weapons can be seen in a terrific recent film:


    No LEICAS there, and the filmmaker seems to love CANADA out of good reasons.

    Happy New Year to all and best wishes
  95. Yes, street children are pesky little buggers. So are the homeless, Vietnam veterans, and other down-and-outs. They're all on drugs, of course. It is right and a good and joyful thing to pummel them with heavy photographic equipment.

    These are dangerous times, of course. Evildoers proliferate. You can't trust anyone with brown skin, especially the gypsies who have been marauding Europe pocket by pocket for millennnia. The good doctor Knapp offers sage advice about how best to subdue them (and guard against HIV infection from the splattering blood). We should trust him because he swore an oath to do no harm.

    But all of this is really neither here nor there.
  96. Leica must be a good weapon, because your opponent will never suppose you will attack him with that expensive camera. You are making surprise attack.

    You don't necessarily have to hit the guy. Just demonstrating that you are intend to fight if necessary even with the camera. The guy (if he is clever) will give up you because he'd better find easier victim.
  97. I was just going to read through the thread but James Allen's commnet (Yes, I hope we don't forsake our rights as Americans, and those concerned about that should vote for pro-gun politicians and join the NRA.) caused me to add to this thread.

    My wish is that we had a Supreme Court that would take and look at the meaning that our founding fathers had in mind.

    The Second Amendment reads:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Militia defined by the American Heritage Dictionary reads:

    1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
    2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.
    3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

    Given this I have no problem with people owning guns (in the US), as long as they are part of our National Guard system (the fore runner which was the Militia). To allow anyone (defined loosely) to own a gun was not the intention of the founding fathers IMO.

    As stated else where in this thread, a poorly trained individual is more likely to end up on the wrong side of the equation.

    Just a few thoughts....


    PS - James this is not an attack on you. Given the current intereptation of the Second Admendment, you and others are well within your rights. The overall shame is that we allow special interests (of any interest) to force their views on others through the use of money to grease the political machine.
  98. Chip, I think Switzerland has what you consider to be the ideal system, where most men have a military issue weapon of some sort and can get called up in an instant to defend the country. They probably have the highest guns per capita in the world. I don't read about Swiss people having a gun-related murder problem such as in the US. (Please, somebody from Switzerland correct my facts.)
  99. I hesitate to add to this thread, but the truth means a lot to me.

    The first ten amendments to the US Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights grant rights to individuals. If the second amendment was meant to grant a right to the states for a militia, then it is the only one of the ten not granting a right to individuals. The second amendment was specifically meant for self-protection, not hunting, sport shooting, or a state militia. Like it or not, here are just a few quotes from the founding fathers that shed light on their original intent:

    Ten Original Amendments: The Bill of Rights AMENDMENT II.

    Right to keep and bear arms.

    A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
    George Mason 1725-1792

    “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
    Richard Henry Lee 1756-1818

    “Those that would trade freedom for security will have neither.”
    Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790

    “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
    Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826

    “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”
    Noah Webster 1758-1843

    “Suspicion of government power and trust in an armed public to preserve liberty were England’s legacy to the colonists. William Blackstone, the English jurist, explained that if rulers become tyrannical, the people’s right to be armed would enable them to ‘restrain the violence of oppression.’ The historian Thomas Macaulay called this ‘the security without which every other is insufficient.’”

    Joyce Lee Malcolm
    Chairman of Bentley College’s
    History Department.

    USA Today, June 23, 1995
  100. Bob,

    You did give me pause here. But then how do you define the statement: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..."? The key here IMO is a "well regulated" and "security of a free State"; in my interpetation of these, it would seem that the National Guard would be meetng both of those.

  101. Vikram,

    I think that the “cat is out of the bag” here in the US. While in the long term "gun control" would have a positive effect, most will only look at the short term. As such "gun control" would have little if any effect. Essentially those that state that only criminals would have guns would be right in the short term. In the long term however IMO there would be positive effects.

    Beyond that, I think that “money as God” is a problem for the US. Family seems to be only a word here. And as long as “World Peace” is more important than “peace at home”; we will have issues. In the US the police force has not kept up with the growth of the population. Not to the extent of our military.

    To those that may feel this thread is OT – threads are inherent to grow where the opinion goes.

    Happy New Year, and may 2003 find peace and happiness for us all,

  102. Chip, you're the reason I re-joined the NRA. Go Bush!
  103. James, yet you joined the ACLU over the Patriot Act (a Bush and company reaction). Very interesting memberships you have....

    Happy New Year

  104. Yep, sure did. Bush is good in the firearms department. Can you find me one politician who embodies all of your personal beliefs Chip? Didn't think so. Let alone a prez?

Share This Page