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Stopping Power — Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns
A Book by J. Neil Schulman
Remarks to the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners
November 3, 1992


Mr. President and Members of the Commission.

On May 4th of this year, while Los Angeles was still smoldering from the Los Angeles riots, I made application to you for a license to carry a concealed firearm. In those riots we saw Reginald Denny pulled from his truck and beaten senseless by criminal gangsters. Matthew Haines was pulled off his motorcycle and murdered by thugs. Dozens of innocent Angelenos were murdered on the streets and thousands more seriously injured, and during the first days of rioting LAPD did virtually nothing to protect the public.

The 1992 Los Angeles riots were a wake-up call on the lawlessness of our streets, but the body count during ordinary times isn’t all that much less than during the riots.

The theory under which the citizenry is expected to remain unarmed in the face of a well-armed criminal population is that professional law-enforcement can provide the public adequate protection. If this was ever true, it is not true now. Further, California law places the responsibility for protection against criminals on the people, not on the police.

Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution says, “All people are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.”

California Government Code, Section 845, states, “Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to establish a police department or otherwise provide police protection service or, if police protection service is provided, for failure to provide sufficient police protection service.”

You have issued not one single license to carry a firearm to an ordinary citizen of this city since 1974. Yet Penal Code Section 12050 requires you to issue licenses to citizens of good moral character who provide you with good cause.

In the name of heaven, what more good cause is there for a citizen of good moral character to carry a firearm than the fact that for every armed policeman in LA there are dozens of armed criminals running around?

It is intolerable for you to deny the citizens of your city the means of defending themselves against armed and violent criminals, when it is blatantly obvious that your department is incapable of defending the public and hides behind legal immunity whenever its failure destroys lives.

For at least one of you, it is also hypocrisy. When Mr. Yamaki felt it necessary to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm to protect himself, after uniformly denying these licenses to the citizens he is supposed to serve, why did he sneak off to another municipality so that this Commission could absolve itself of the responsibility? Why is Mr. Yamaki’s safety worth more than those of the citizens of Los Angeles?

As it turns out, I no longer need to be subject to your decision. I have moved outside your jurisdiction, and I herewith notify you of that fact, as I agreed to do in my application. As such, I withdraw my application for a license to carry a concealed weapon.

My business here is ended. Yours, with the citizenry at whose pleasure you serve, is just beginning.

This second little address of mine to the Board of Police Commissioners got noticed, because of my having “outed” Commissioner Yamaki as a licensed gun carrier himself. I believe this was the political factor that caused the Board to decide to cut their political liabilities on the licensing question when a group of denied applicants filed suit against them. Here is how the Los Angeles Times – reluctantly, and in as minimal a fashion as possible – reported on what on any other issue would have been a major political scandal:

From the Los Angeles Times, Metro Section, November 4, 1992:

“In other action during the [Los Angeles Police] commission meeting, a speaker accused board member Michael R. Yamaki of hypocrisy for obtaining a concealed-firearm permit for himself from the Culver City Police Department while routinely voting against the granting of permits by the Los Angeles Police Department.

“J. Neil Schulman, a gun rights activist, noted that with the exception of a permit granted recently to Police Chief Willie L. Williams, the board has denied all concealed-gun permit requests since 1974.

“‘When Mr. Yamaki felt it necessary to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm to protect himself, after uniformly denying these licenses to the citizens he is supposed to serve, why did he sneak off to another municipality so that this commission could absolve itself of the responsibility?’ Schulman asked.

“Schulman received no response from the board, and when asked after the meeting about Schulman’s allegations, Yamaki ignored the questions.

“However, Culver City Police Chief Ted Cooke confirmed that Yamaki had obtained a permit this year.”

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Next in Stopping Power — Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns is Guns Are Still “Equalizers”

Stopping Power — Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns is
Copyright © 1994, 1999 J. Neil Schulman &
Copyright © 2010 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.


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