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William Fox:
"How are you going to get the guns off the street that are already there? No. It ain't going to change. It's not the guns that have to change, it's the people that have to change." Los Angeles Times, quoting a former member of the Brawling Street Rolling Crips.
Gary Bowdatch:
"I believe the only thing you would accomplish by that is keeping the people that deserve to have access to guns, you would keep them from having it. Criminals are always going to have guns." Responding to Sen. Percy's question on whether gun control would be effective, United States Senate Subcommittee, August 1, 1978
Clifford Johnson, inmate at Florida State Prison:
"If guns are banned, then I as a criminal feel a lot safer. When a thief breaks into someone's house or property, the first thing to worry about is getting shot by the owner. But now, it seems we won't have to worry about that anymore.

"Most convicts in [my] prison hope the gun control law [is adopted here in Florida] for the reason stated above. It is fantasy that just because guns are outlawed, we, the crooks, can't get guns. The only people who can't are the ones we victimize...drugs are against the law. Does that stop us? It's also against the law to rob and steal. But does a law stop us?

"One more thing: I thank you, the public, for giving me this fine opportunity to further my criminal career." Letter to the Editor, Florida-Times Union, February 4, 1982, in response to the Morton Grove, Illinois handgun ban.

Editorial in the Menard Time, inmate newspaper published in the Illinois State Prison at Menard, Illinois:
"The Village of Morton Grove, Illinois, has seen fit to become a trendsetter with one of the most insane laws enacted to date. In their infinite wisdom the village fathers have banned the sale and ownership of handguns in their fair burgh.

"[Instead of rehashing] the old arguments espoused by the gun owners and the NRA [I want] approach this from a somewhat different angle. To that end, I made a point to get the views of those in the real know - convicts here for armed robbery; some of them extremely professional individuals with years of experience in their chosen field.

"The comments I heard were unanimous that you in Morton Grove are making things a bit easier for us!

"To a man they all said the same thing: The law is meaningless and useless in curbing crime. However, it is very effective in curbing the general populace.

"This coming from `hardened criminals,' professionals, convicts - they are doing the talking - someone should listen!

"Since a sawed-off weapon is illegal, the law-abiding store owner would have to keep a gun with a 30-inch barrel under the register and Baby Snooks could outdraw that maneuver! He's probably better off with no gun.

"Only the law-abiding citizen is going to turn his handgun in, but if he doesn't, do you knock on his door at midnight because he is not a criminal, too? Shades of Poland and World War II!

"When a criminal needs a handgun, in 99 percent of the cases it isn't stolen from a home or taken from some potential Wyatt Earp. The weapons are bought illegally from an infinite number of sources in the criminal world. In many instances, the guns may even be the result of some `big score' in a neighboring town, not at a home, but a sporting goods store or even an armory.

"Sorry, but each of those incarcerated felons said the same thing: The only way you'll even come close to keeping me from getting a handgun if I want one is by having laws banning the sale, manufacture or import of handguns throughout the U.S., and even then I could probably get one. If that didn't work, then a sawed-off weapon would be my next choice." Menard Time, January 22, 1982

Criminals / Revised January 1997