No on H - Handgun Ban

Dear LPers,

The NO ON H Committee will be presenting to the Chinatown Democratic
Club tonight at 7PM. The meeting will be held on Walter Lum Place/Alley
off Grant Ave. btw Clay and Washington at 7PM. I cannot attend but Davey
Jones and Ed Lee from the committee will be there. Ed is a member of
this particular Democratic Club. If any of you are able, we'd appreciate
your attending to assist with the presentation. Remember, this is a very
conservative Chinese organization so please dress appropriately.

Please let me know ASAP if you can make it so I can tell Davey and Ed to
look for you. The presentation starts promptly at 7PM so I'd suggest
getting there no later than 6:30PM so you can coordinate the
presentation with Davey and Ed.

The points that really seemed to connect with the SF Women's Political
Committee last Tuesday are listed below. This was my part of the
presentation so any LPer showing up tonight will probably be asked to
focus on these.


Michael Denny

Libertarian Party of San Francisco

(415) 986-7677 x123

1) By law, manufacturers owe legal duties to buyers to make sure
they are safe. Landlords owe legal duties to tenants to protect them
from criminal attacks. Homeowners owe legal duties to make sure visitors
don't trip and fall on their property. In fact, a homeowner can be sued
if a would-be burgler trips and falls on the owners property. You might
be surprised to find that there have been two court cases recently, one
before the Supreme Court, that assert police have no legal obligation to
protect their citizens and will suffer no liability if they fail to do

a) In the case of Hartzler vs. City of San Jose (California) Ruth
Brunell called the police on twenty different occasions to beg for
protection from her husband. One evening Mr. Brunell telephoned and told
her he was coming to kill her. When she called police, they refused her
request telling her to call back when he got there. Mr. Brunell stabbed
his wife to death before she could call the police. The court held that
the San Jose police were not liable for ignoring Mrs. Brunell's pleas
for help. The suit was filed by her family.

b) The law in New York according to Riss v. New York: the
government is not liable even for a grossly negligent failure to protect
a crime victim. In the Riss case, a young woman called police about her
ex-boyfriends threats to kill her. The next day, the ex-boyfriend threw
lye in her face, blinding and permanently scarring her. "What makes the
City's position particularly difficult to understand", wrote a
dissenting opinion, "is that, in conformity to the law, Linda was not
allowed to a weapon for self-defense. Thus by a rather bitter irony she
was required to rely for protection on the City of New York which now
denies all responsibility to her."

c) In Ford vs. Town of Grafton (Massachussets), a woman got a
restraining order to protect herself from an ex-boyfriend threatening
her. But the police didn't enforce it so he attacked and nearly killed
her. This is particularly appalling because the police actually advised
her to "get a gun" since they said they couldn't protect her. The court
in rabidly anti-firearm Massechusetts used the "get a gun" warning
against her saying the police adequately warned her.

2) Remember, Police always get there after a crime is committed.
Calling the police isn't enough. You have to be prepared to defend
yourself. Look at what's going on in New Orleans. While some people
might not feel the need for personal protection now and don't like the
idea of having to defend themselves, living on an earthquake fault
people should at least be aware that things could change quite quickly.
Why would they want to make the ability to defend their families and
property illegal?

3) The National Academy of Sciences issued a 328 - page report on
the effect of gun control laws that was commissioned by President
Clinton. Based on 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government
publications and a survey that covered 80 different gun control
measures. The panel couldn't identify a single gun control regulation
that reduced violent crime, suicide or accidents. From the
assoult-weapons ban to the Brady Act to one-gun-a-month restrictions to
gun locks, nothing worked.

4) While San Franciscans might not like guns, they should be aware
enough to know that laws aren't going to control criminal access to

5) The Democrats, Republicans and the NRA are all playing politics
with this issue without regard for the real safety needs of our
citizens. The NRA is going to win whether this Initiative passes or not.
If it passes, they are only going to use it as a rallying cry to raise
tons of money to fight it in the courts at great expense to the citizens
of SF. Precedents in the courts indicate that it will be overturned even
if passed.