Lipinskii Strad Theft

January 31, 2014 at 08:49 PM · I understand via Frank's mother Connie in San Diego, that the violin case was recovered, less the Strad and bows of course.

It was found due to a beeping device placed inside the case... Thought: why can't there be a GPS tracking microchip placed inside these rare instruments? The chip surely would not impair the sound, and would facilitate the recovery. In fact, thieves knowing this might be deterred from even thinking about stealing these instruments. Gregory Lawrence - San Diego, CA

Replies (92)

January 31, 2014 at 11:19 PM · GPS trackers require power....

You'd have to recharge your violin before going out!

I'm a proponent of smarter cases though, although it wouldn't help in this instance.

February 1, 2014 at 12:37 AM · I don't know about putting a device like that in a historic violin (I'm sure the technology is there). Maybe a Lojack type GPS device for a case might be a good alternative?

February 1, 2014 at 01:02 AM · How much would the GPS device and battery pack weigh, and how would all this be attached to a Strad without affecting the sound?

February 1, 2014 at 01:03 AM · Sounds like there was something in the case. But in any event, a smart thief would immediately swap cases. So having a GPS in the violin might have drawbacks, but not as bad as losing the violin....

Perhaps the GPS chip doesn't have to be within the body. It could be integral to the tailpiece or chinrest, and thus easily accessible for recharging. I don't know how big the smallest ones are, though.

February 1, 2014 at 04:26 AM · My "recharging" comment was in jest -- It is currently not technically feasible to have GPS tracking on the body of a violin!

Perhaps some day if the power source/chip combo can be postage stamp size/thickness and go under the tailpiece or chin rest, that might work. Battery tech is pretty far behind that dream at the moment...

I'm serious about the cases, though. Nate has the right idea -- small GPS devices can easily be fit into a case.

February 1, 2014 at 05:36 AM · I've been waiting for gps called "Tile". It's trackerable for a year without charge, and fairly light weight. I contributed when they sought cloud funding. Supposedly it will be shipped this spring ...

February 1, 2014 at 08:07 AM · These are some great thoughts. However, may I suggest this: a violin case that is hard to break into with a tracking device in it. That way, the thief cannot simply switch cases - they have to break into the case first, which would be difficult if the violin case is say, built like a small safe (which would be heavy but worth it for such a treasure). In the Lipinskii case, it might have helped in several ways; the crime might have stopped if the culprit realized that breaking into the case may damage the violin, or if undeterred, the criminal may have been tracked and found. Even if not found (say there was an electrical issue) the difficulty in breaking in would surely give time to the police and take it away from the criminal.

Someone should make this.

February 1, 2014 at 08:12 AM · I really wonder if technology can resolve this problem. The thieves threw away a $2,000 case - they really wanted that violin.

My house was broken into last week (and the burglars were scared away by my teenage daughter). Now we're having a state-of-the-art anti-intrusion system installed, one that even the NSA would have a hard time getting through. I won't post the details on the internet for obvious reasons, but believe me it's high-tech.

The question is: will it keep burglars out? The answer is, yes, 99% of them. According to the experts, those who really want to get in, will find a way.

February 1, 2014 at 01:33 PM · The tile is a bluetooth device I believe -- it's not true GPS, and has a range of 150ft from the tracking device (iPhone)

I don't think technology can fully solve any problem. But it might help...

What about audio recording? Or snapping a photo when the case is opened? Imagine hearing the thieves talk about their plans, or being able to capture a photo of the their face.

These techniques have been used many times to track down stolen computers, and maybe they can help here, too.

Dimitri -- sorry to hear about your break-in! Would love to hear more about the security system, but understand not wanting to post details.

February 2, 2014 at 12:48 AM · Road races (marathons, etc) are timed by "chips" the runners wear that register when they cross a timing mat. Over the years the chips have gone from bulky plastic squares (kind of like a phone's SIM card) to a thinner-than-paper circuit printed on a sheet of mylar. It's not quite the same as GPS technology, but I wonder if we will ever see a GPS tracker so small and thin that it can be attached somewhere inside or outside of the instrument (or tailpiece, or whatever) with no effect on the instrument's sound.

February 2, 2014 at 03:46 AM · Somebody broke into the hotel where I work last week and stole a few thousand dollars. To do this, he broke into a very large and heavy safe in 30 minutes. If they can break into that in such a short time then no violin case is going to hold them out.

February 2, 2014 at 08:04 AM · In order to help avoid the random theft (not like this one), it's important that the case itself not attract attention. Most high-end case makers and manufacturers prominently display their name on the outside of the case. (It's free advertising...)

In my opinion that is a mistake, because it is assumed that an expensive case has an expensive violin inside.

February 2, 2014 at 09:14 AM · That's why I like the understatedness of my Musafia, Dimitri. Although it has failed to convince my gen Y daughter .

Not that I suppose I need to particularly bother about being a target, but you don't know what they're thinking out there.

February 2, 2014 at 04:14 PM · The experience with car theft has shown that the organized crime is always the first to purchase and analyze any new technology. Both credit and debit cards are being forged on a daily basys and millions of $ are lost every year. It is a bit naive to think that it would be any different in violin theft protection. Yes, it may stop an amateur thief, or a drug addict looking for a quick buck, but if a sophisticated professional targets your precious, other strategies may prove to be more efficient.

February 2, 2014 at 05:34 PM · Karen -- those chips are near-field communication devices also, and would require the tracking device to be close.

Brian -- I agree - a vault case is impractical and anything can be opened given enough time and expertise by the penetration experts.

Dimitri -- Yes, I agree. Understatement is paramount. I also do not like double cases because a violin is always being left behind!

February 2, 2014 at 06:13 PM · This is actually one way of dissuading attacks on violinists: stop publicizing what violins they play. Of course, it's expected that the violin be known (and we all want to know), but rarely does a high-profile violinist's website omit info about their instrument.

But perhaps it's time to question the publication of this information. It will be difficult for many violinists such as Midori or Joshua Bell, but for concertmasters and young soloists, perhaps it's better to just not shout the information to the world.

Would it be prudent to have the world know we're wearing an expensive watch, or carrying huge amounts of cash as we walk around town? Probably not.

I think it's clear that in our oversharing world, there are things that should probably just stay under wraps.

February 2, 2014 at 06:24 PM · Oooh, I think you're touching a nerve there!

February 2, 2014 at 08:07 PM · Another option is, for general use, to have a replica made, good enough so that the public cannot tell the difference between it and the original, either visually or by sound. Could there be insurance advantages in adopting this solution?

February 2, 2014 at 08:08 PM · If more high-profile attacks occur, one could imagine insurance companies saying "we'll continue to insure you, but only if you take the name of your violin off your website, programs, recordings, and interviews."

February 2, 2014 at 08:09 PM · Trevor, that's what Paganini did. He used the 1742 del Gesu "The Cannon" for his concerts, but he kept it in a specially-made case to look like a hatbox.

In his violin case he kept a look-alike decoy violin built by Vuillaume. (I guess in those days they were cheap...)

February 2, 2014 at 08:18 PM · "Another option is, for general use, to have a replica made, good enough so that the public cannot tell the difference between it and the original, either visually or by sound."

That's a tall order. The luthiers that can do that are few, and have years-long waiting lists. If they could do it reliably enough, and make enough for all who needed them, then there would be no need for real Strads.

The problem is, that if a sophisticated attacker went to watch the Milwaukee Symphony play, and was fooled into believing that the Strad was real (even if it weren't), what would he do? Obviously tase the concertmaster. Because it would be well worth the 50/50 odds of getting the real thing. And if it weren't, the thief would then end up with a fairly liquid modern fiddle instead of non-liquid Cremonese.

The ruse would only work if no one suspected that the musician had anything of value to begin with.

If you live in a neighborhood where your Porsche is likely to be stolen, sure, you could drive to work in your fake Porsche, and use GPS to get back the real one if it were stolen.

But it's probably better to not have a Porsche to begin with.

February 2, 2014 at 10:40 PM · Scott, you put up good arguments there, one or two of which were starting to flit through my mind as I typed my post, but I thought it worth bringing into the debate anyway.

What you said about insurance companies coming to that sort of agreement with the player makes me wonder if it may be all ready happening. A little while ago I was looking at the website of a Continental European concert violinist (whose name escapes me) and noticed that there was no mention whatsoever of her violin. Insurance company input? Her unilateral decision? Or perhaps she didn't consider it relevant.

February 3, 2014 at 01:28 AM · There is a simple security measure that can be easily implemented to protect a valuable instrument on some occasions, such as going to or from a music venue. It is to make sure the owner of the valuable instrument is accompanied by two or three orchestral colleagues, and if one of them is a large gentleman from the heavy brass section, all the better.

February 3, 2014 at 02:14 AM · What if they're in on it?

February 3, 2014 at 02:26 PM · Possible, of course, but very unlikely, especially if the selection is random and ad hoc. Could be a useful subplot for a TV detective series perhaps.

February 3, 2014 at 03:46 PM · Trevor, the heavy brass player can bonk 'em over the head with a tuba. Or if the escort is the conductor, he can stab the perp with a baton. :-)

Seriously though, it's not much different from escorting a woman to the parking lot. The chances of something going wrong are greatly reduced.

If you copy and paste the link below, you can see the level of precautions taken when traveling with the Guarneri which formerly belonged to Paganini. Armed guards, police escort, the designated repairman/conservator traveling along, the whole shebang.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn5UTSGZoCE

February 3, 2014 at 05:11 PM · The owner of the Strad speaks out:

http://www.insidethearts.com/nondivisi/thanks-and-a-statement-from-the-owner/

February 3, 2014 at 10:45 PM · I'm baffled. What would someone do with such a well known instrument? You can't exactly sell it on the open market? And no one in their right mind would pay market price on the black market. Does the thief just want reward money to return it? Can someone help me understand why anyone would steal such a thing?

February 3, 2014 at 11:31 PM · No, it can't be sold on the open fiddletrade market. Still various works of art have been expertly stolen (like from museums), and haven't reappeared. Maybe someone payed 1 cent on the dollar to have them stolen, so they could have them around to look at and fondle.

February 3, 2014 at 11:50 PM · Another reason for concealed carry.

February 4, 2014 at 12:57 PM · Wouldn't it be hard to draw and fire while being tazed? Or would the idea be to brandish the gun in readiness whenever walking with the fiddle?

February 4, 2014 at 02:28 PM · Although the US has its Second Amendment, the law governing the carrying of firearms in the UK is more complex, and generally civilians may not do so.

February 4, 2014 at 05:41 PM · "Another reason for concealed carry. "

So you kill the thief, save the strad and go to jail. This is pretty far off topic, but I'm sorry to say, guns are not the answer.

February 4, 2014 at 11:58 PM · If you shoot the perpetrator while you're being assaulted or robbed, you likely won't go to jail, at least not in America. There are exceptions, of course.

February 5, 2014 at 02:32 AM · There was a local jeweler that was robbed a few years back at gun point. After the thief left with thousands (millions?) of dollars worth of jewels, he got into a get away car with his partner in crime and started to drive off. The jeweler chased them in the street and shot them both dead. He got his jewels back but he went to jail -- true story.

Another, more famous case is Bernhard Goetz. Most people know about that story, but if you don't you can google it. Same theme, he shot the perps and went to jail. One of them who was left a paraplegic won a $43 million civil suit against Goetz.

February 5, 2014 at 03:15 AM · I would think with today's technology a simple device in the case and a small device on your person. Separate the two by a set distance and a tracking signal is initiated, monitored by a security service, and a loud particularly piercing tone emanates from the case. Though you would need to remember to disable it when leaving the case and lock the case to limit access to the main unit. At the very least it would force you to not leave it on a train or next to your chair.

February 5, 2014 at 03:20 AM · A close friend and former Navy Seal, and above, is a world class professional photographer now. He carries his super expensive cameras in a brown lunch bag. He says a Haliburton case is a dead giveaway you have an expensive camera. Same with a violin case.

February 5, 2014 at 04:29 AM · Ray, I recently had my 1969 Martin 0-18 restored. I still have the original card stock case.

When I picked up the guitar I mentioned to the restorer that all I need now is a nice case.

He looked at me as said "It's less likely to be stolen in that one."

I may have to pad the inside, but yeah, a cheap looking case has its advantages.

February 5, 2014 at 12:53 PM · You'd be surprised how many people carry Strads and the like in cheap cases! Min Jin Kym, whose Strad was famously stolen the London sandwich bar, for example.

I don't think that a cheap case in itself will be a deterrent, if a famous solist is carrying it out of a concert hall.

February 5, 2014 at 01:19 PM · Smiley, Bernhard Goetz went to jail for carrying an unlicensed weapon, not for the shootings themselves. What about your local jeweller?

February 5, 2014 at 01:24 PM · I suppose there's a difference in intent however. Min Jin Kym's violin was a theft of opportunity - they initially tried to fence it for L100...they didn't know it was a Strad...

Almond's violin was a targeted theft...

To make everyone happy...perhaps someone should produce a line of expensive cases with cheap covers! Maybe removable? That way you'd have more versatility for those times you want to display the case itself? :D

February 5, 2014 at 01:50 PM · @John,

It was a number of years ago so I was not able to locate a link to the story. But I believe the jeweler had a license to use the gun. If he shot the perps in the store, he probably would have been pardoned (self defense), but as soon as he left the store, it became premeditated murder. Different states have different laws (e.g., "stand your ground").

I just don't think that guns are the way to go. If Frank Almond had a gun, then yes perhaps he could have saved the violin. But on the other hand, we might have lost not only a great violin, but a great violinist too. That would be tragic.

February 5, 2014 at 04:04 PM · "So you kill the thief, save the strad and go to jail..."

That's a best-case scenario. What's also likely is that you get shot and killed. Over a fiddle.

February 5, 2014 at 06:48 PM · There is only one way to solve this problem, once and for all.

A Harvard grad once asked me: "If these Stradivari violins are so great, how come they don't make them any more?"

Put the Strads back into production, through supply-and-demand their value will return to normal and no longer constitute such a temptation. Problem solved.

February 5, 2014 at 10:03 PM · @Scott,

yes, that's exactly what I said in my post just above yours -- see 2nd paragraph. But I agree with you; violins are good, guns are bad

February 6, 2014 at 12:54 AM · I realise that there have been arrests, but did any of you read the comments section in jsonline? For your benefit, because some of these guys are really quick on the puns - (not the guns) Go down to the comment by 'freshwater' at 2:10 today

good comments section, diversion regarding the Lipinski Strad theft

February 6, 2014 at 01:49 AM · Another drawback with installing gps in any fine instrument (always supposing the technology becomes sophisticated enough to support it) is that the thieves would be able to find the chip. I don't think most would be careful in removing it; theft is bad enough; wanton destruction of the instrument stolen would be worse.

February 6, 2014 at 02:03 PM · You can't have a conversation in America about any type of crime without the whole thing dissolving into an argument about guns.

February 8, 2014 at 03:19 PM · Guys, three words: Radio Frequency Identification. Those little frustrating white squares you find in the inside of dvd cases. Pop one of those babies inside the violin towards the very top. (Near the neck.) Bam. The owner can register it with a company set up to record all violin ownerships and when recovered, can be scanned and returned. RFID doesn't need to be charged.

February 9, 2014 at 12:24 AM · This is actually one way of dissuading attacks on violinists: stop publicizing what violins they play.

Agreed. Don't let ANYONE know -- except those who MUST know. "If you would keep your secret from an enemy, don't tell it to a friend."

… would the idea be to brandish the gun in readiness whenever walking with the fiddle?

Brandishing a weapon, without firing a shot, has averted many a crime. Still, you don't want to brandish a weapon unless you are prepared to use it, preferably having had prior combat training. Regrettably, criminals will always find a way to get guns. Where restrictive gun laws disarm law-abiding citizens -- e.g., in NYC or DC -- criminals feel emboldened. Violent crime goes up. By contrast, Kennesaw, GA, which enacted a law in 1982, requiring law-abiding residents to keep firearms in the home, saw its violent crime rate drop sharply.

If you shoot the perpetrator while you're being assaulted or robbed, you likely won't go to jail, at least not in America.

True. Yet, as our pistol instructors told us in class, well before any range practice, you can still be sued civilly. Not surprising -- considering the prospect of big bucks for the trial lawyers. Still, from my experience as a trial juror, I don't think the odds would favor the plaintiff -- especially if the plaintiff had already committed, or was attempting to commit, a crime at the time of being shot.

You'd be surprised how many people carry Strads and the like in cheap cases! Min Jin Kym, whose Strad was famously stolen in the London sandwich bar, for example.

The Kym incident was more avoidable. Kym herself was negligent. She didn't even notice that her instrument was missing till a few minutes after the thief and his accomplices had exited the café.

… violins are good, guns are bad ….

Just like violins, some guns are good; others, not so good; still others, tops. The crucial factor is the person playing the violin -- or wielding the gun.

February 9, 2014 at 04:37 AM · Greetings,

debates on things like abortion and gun control are essentially pointless because no side has any interest in change or respect from the other. but it is always a shame when one side or the other lies (as in ,'violent crime in NY went up' -anyone can verify the opposite statistics) to sucker people into buying their particular opinion

cheers,

Buri

February 9, 2014 at 12:30 PM · Didn't know the NRA had infiltrators on the forum, we better tread softly, because they carry big guns!!

February 9, 2014 at 06:18 PM · Buri and Lyndon, I'll be back in the next 1-2 hours after I finish a few afternoon chores.

February 9, 2014 at 09:41 PM · First, before anyone tries to accuse me of hijacking this thread -- I didn't. What I did do was respond to points already raised.

Lyndon: "Didn't know the NRA had infiltrators on the forum …."

Hmmm -- it never crossed my mind, either. Still, in light of your comment, I just might share this thread with the NRA -- will have to mull that one over.

Buri: "… it is always a shame when one side or the other lies (as in 'violent crime in NY went up' - anyone can verify the opposite statistics) to sucker people into buying their particular opinion."

To you, Buri, the musician and teacher, I lift my hat -- or, in my case, a baseball cap. But when you accuse me of lying -- an accusation that is NOT true -- well, that's when I put the cap back on. And your quotation is off. What I actually wrote:

"Where restrictive gun laws disarm law-abiding citizens -- e.g., in NYC or DC -- criminals feel emboldened. Violent crime goes up. By contrast, Kennesaw, GA, which enacted a law in 1982, requiring law-abiding residents to keep firearms in the home, saw its violent crime rate drop sharply."

Regarding "opposite statistics": Could you offer us some links to them -- and some links to hard evidence that refutes the Kennesaw reporting I've been reading for 20+ years?

For now, see this April 16, 2013, article by Thomas Sowell.

February 9, 2014 at 11:07 PM · What a lovely place Singapore is. No NRA there, gun ownership is a criminal offence and level of gun crime nil.

February 10, 2014 at 12:35 AM · Pavel Spacek: "What a lovely place Singapore is. No NRA there, gun ownership is a criminal offence and level of gun crime nil."

That's not all. If you haven't already done so, read this.

Then try this.

February 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM · The gun problem in the US is not going away. What we really need to do is get rid of guns ENTIRELY, but we all know that isn't going to happen. We can't even get a ban on assault rifles or pass legislation for stricter background checks. Why on earth would anyone need an assault rifle anyway, unless they plan on killing people?

It is a sad state of affairs when someone like myself would even consider purchasing a gun, just to level the playing field against all the millions of guns in the US. I fear for my personal safety and the safety of my family. But I will not stoop to the level of buying a gun for the lame excuse of self defense. I has to end somewhere. If I ever buy a gun, it would be for the sole reason of destroying it to get it out of circulation. And if I thought that would actually help, that's what I would do. But I know that would only result in a boost in gun sales and strengthening the NRA. For those of us that live in the US and are opposed to guns, it is really a helpless situation.

February 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM · Folks, I know this is a bit off on a tangent, but why is it called the Lipinskii Strad when it's had a more illustrious owner (trilled he tartly)?

February 10, 2014 at 12:44 PM · Deleted my post at Dave's request (see below).

February 10, 2014 at 06:30 PM · Jim Hastings: "That's not all. If you haven't already done so, read this. Then try this."

Yes, I read this and this and this. I lived happily almost a decade in the Southeast Asia. I will support Smiley any time.

February 11, 2014 at 02:06 AM · Smiley Hsu: "The gun problem in the US is not going away. What we really need to do is get rid of guns ENTIRELY, but we all know that isn't going to happen."

The "gun problem" is really not a gun problem but a crime problem and violence problem. Even if there had been ZERO guns available, the Tsarnaev brothers -- the Boston Marathon bombers -- would still have been ABLE to pull off the atrocity of last April 15.

"We can't even get a ban on assault rifles or pass legislation for stricter background checks."

First let's consider: How well -- or how poorly -- we are enforcing the laws we already do have? Remember, too: Connecticut already had an assault weapons ban in place before the 2012 Newtown massacre. Still, we do need to close loopholes in background checks -- e.g., purchases at gun shows.

"I will not stoop to the level of buying a gun for the lame excuse of self defense."

Self-defense is a basic human right. It is neither lame nor an "excuse."

"For those of us that live in the US and are opposed to guns, it is really a helpless situation."

Not really. I can think of three choices: 1) adapt; 2) change the government; 3) emigrate.

February 11, 2014 at 02:07 AM · Paul Deck: The Kennesaw law is, indeed, unconventional, but it doesn't quite fit the dictionary definition of "weird."

A "proper controlled experiment," although it may win plaudits within the halls of academia, isn't always practical in the real world. Not aware of such an experiment by the city -- ditto for university growth and "any other economic, political, or demographic changes" that might have factored into the decreased violent crime rate. Check out Kennesaw State University and usa.com -- formerly citydata.com.

"… how the Big Liars operate. Usually it's not the facts that are wrong, it's their interpretation that's misleading. Liars get away with it because they know that many people don't have the time, inclination, or even the education needed to question a conclusion that has been stated as a 'fact.'"

In case you're pointing at me, that's NOT how I operate. You want a good example of who DOES operate that way? How about the current US president? "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your shoulder rest, you can --"

Sorry -- he didn't say the last eight words -- at least, not to my knowledge. Haven't TOTALLY forgotten that this is, after all, a violin board.

But, seriously, back to the president for a moment: His lie, now clearly exposed, has wrecked his credibility. It could well prove to be the killing frost for this administration. The damage is done -- no matter how much it warms up later.

February 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM · provided, Jim, he hasn't succeeded in turning the USA into a police state before anyone can do anything about it - I've seen at least 4 sources of this kind of info.

February 11, 2014 at 02:00 PM · John, you are correct regarding a police state. Yes -- "it CAN happen here" -- something that evidently hasn't occurred to America's low-information voters.

Fortunately, the mainstream media no longer have the near-monopoly they once did. Now, for starters, we also have the Internet and talk radio. I couldn't BEGIN to count the number of people I've heard calling in on the airwaves to share their unhappy stories with about a dozen hosts -- and a nationwide audience -- stories of health plans canceled, rates jacked up, family budgets up-ended, financial plans derailed.

February 11, 2014 at 04:23 PM · @Jim,

I think it is pointless to argue. You are certainly entitled to your opinion and I respect that. But, getting a little back on topic though, I'm wondering what your view is on this.

Do you think Frank Almond should carry a gun to protect himself and the Strad? Do you think it would have helped in this case?

Here's my view. For the possible chance that he actually could have averted the theft, I don't think it is worth it for Almond to murder someone, or increase the possibility of being murdered himself? Strads are valuable, but it can't compare to the value of a human life. In this case, I would assert that the perps were after the violin and nothing else. So Almond's life was never in jeopardy. But if he had a gun, that would have changed everything. He might be dead now, or facing murder charges.

February 11, 2014 at 04:44 PM · Actually, would he have had time to draw the gun before he was tasered?

February 11, 2014 at 11:24 PM · @ Smiley: True, it is pointless to argue -- that is if the audience is only two people arguing, who are not going to change each other's positions. But since we're talking to a national -- in fact, worldwide -- audience, I feel that it's right to come forward and challenge points already raised that we conscientiously disagree with.

While I can't speak for Frank, since he would know better than I can, what he himself should do in his situation, I, personally, would choose non-deadly force -- e.g., mace -- as a first deterrent when out in public. So far, I've never had to use mine; but I like knowing that I can fire it, if I must, and put someone out of commission long enough to hold them for police -- without ending a life or causing injury.

That's what our mace instructors -- the same guys I had for pistol training -- advocated. They also told us it's best not to attempt self-defense with a firearm unless you've had combat training.

Of course, John's question comes up here: Would I have time to draw the mace canister from my belt and fire it before being tasered?

I'm quite sure, too, that the perps were after the violin and nothing else, as you said. Since Wisconsin's Stand Your Ground law doesn't extend to public spaces, this complicates matters. If Frank had felt in danger of death or great bodily harm, could he have fled before being tasered? If not, and if he had fired a shot first, he probably wouldn't have faced criminal charges -- although he could still have been sued civilly; but the jury would likely have held for him, not the plaintiff, if preponderance of evidence showed that the perps had committed, or were attempting to commit, a crime.

February 12, 2014 at 12:43 AM · Take your crap back to the Fox news website Jim

This is a forum for violin related issues, not your inadequacy and need to have a handgun with you at all times.

With few exceptions the per capita gun ownership in a country is directly proportional to the per capita gun crime and suicides by gun, end of story.....

February 12, 2014 at 02:32 AM · Lyndon Taylor: Such an honor that you decided to spend a little time on me. But my most recent post, just before this reply to you, was my answer to Smiley Hsu, who asked me a direct question: "Do you think Frank Almond should carry a gun to protect himself and the Strad? Do you think it would have helped in this case?"

I gave him my honest answer.

Again, in case you or anyone else might accuse me of hijacking this thread: I didn't. Yes, it's a forum for violin-related issues -- thanks for telling me. However, I merely RESPONDED to points already raised about guns -- points raised before I even joined the thread.

I am an equal member of this forum, just as you are -- no more, no less. And I am entitled to respond. My credo: "If you see something, SAY something."

"Back to" the Fox news website? Well, so far, I haven't posted anything there -- to the best of my recollection; so I really can't take anything "back" there.

"With few exceptions the per capita gun ownership in a country is directly proportional to the per capita gun crime and suicides by gun, end of story."

I could name exceptions -- and some factors that help to keep the gun-death rates down; but I doubt that's necessary, since I don't doubt that you already have the info at hand. But for the benefit of the wider audience, could you post a link or two to your sources?

Regarding "end of story": I'm not surprised to read this, after the sneer at Fox news and your misrepresentation of me -- "your inadequacy and need to have a handgun with you at all times." Yeah -- "if you don't like the message, attack the messenger." I don't need to have a handgun with me at all times -- nor do I have one with me at all times; but I'll leave you and the rest of the audience to keep guessing when and where I do and don't have one. Don't worry -- I'm not planning an attack.

February 12, 2014 at 03:15 AM · @Jim,

Thanks for the reply. From reading your response, I would conclude that you are advocating that Almond NOT pack a weapon. At least that's how I interpret your response. In reading your response, it seems that you are agreeing with what I suggested earlier, that more bad than good can come from carrying a gun for self defense.

At any rate, I still take the position that guns are not necessary in a civilized society. Of course some might argue that the US is far from civilized. Unfortunately, that is a point I cannot refute. :-)

February 12, 2014 at 12:19 PM · Deleted my post at Dave's request (see below).

February 12, 2014 at 01:26 PM · "Jim, the inconvenience or impracticality of establishing proper experimental controls does not validate conclusions drawn without them."

No -- and it doesn't invalidate them, either.

February 12, 2014 at 01:58 PM · "But since we're talking to a national -- in fact, worldwide -- audience, ... "

Jim,

It looks like you are in the minority here on v.com, but if you are truly appealing to our international violinist brethren, then you are fighting an uphill battle. I have done a fair bit of travel internationally, and I also have quite a few international clients, and the countries that don't have guns view the US as completely nuts. I have to say, I agree with them.

Think about it. Elementary school kids being murdered in the classroom. We can't go to the mall without risk of being a victim. Saturday night at the movies? It might be the last movie you ever see. It's insanity.

And yet amid all this craziness, there are still those that stand up for gun rights. Our own Gabriel Giffords takes a bullet to the head and yet, she still advocates the right to bear arms. What's wrong with us? Someone please get a clue. Can you tell I'm slightly frustrated here?

Back on topic again. I'm glad the Strad is back in safe hands. No one is hurt and the perps go to jail. And to end on a high note -- no guns involved, yipee!!! Thank goodness, for once, no dead people.

February 12, 2014 at 02:29 PM · I'm for gun rights. If someone tries to take my violin, he's going to take a cap.

February 12, 2014 at 04:05 PM · Carrying a cap gun, Marty, may not be too clever if the other person has a real gun.

February 12, 2014 at 05:13 PM · The stock of a rifle rests against the shoulder when firing, does it not?

So is the real root of such contentious debate here on Vcom simply boil down to yet another shoulder rest argument?

February 12, 2014 at 05:15 PM · In American street language, "busting a cap" means a bullet, not a real cap.

February 12, 2014 at 05:30 PM · Marty,

If you are carrying a gun then I wouldn't want my child anywhere near you. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near you. Do your violin students know you have a gun? If not, they should. They have a right to know.

It is scary knowing that there are people not too far away from me that would not hesitate to kill someone over a violin -- yet another argument that guns have no place in civilized society. As long as we have guns, there will be wackos ready to pull the trigger.

February 12, 2014 at 07:10 PM · Smiley, come on down and I'll take you to the shooting range. You may actually enjoy it. You'll meet a lot of law abiding citizens there.

February 12, 2014 at 11:29 PM · Haha! To be honest, I probably WOULD enjoy it. Thanks for the invite, but I think I'll pass.

"You'll meet a lot of law abiding citizens there."

Perhaps so, but I wouldn't want one of them to shoot me if I accidentally piss them off. I'll keep my distance, thank you.

February 13, 2014 at 01:26 AM · Deleted my post at Dave's request (see below).

February 13, 2014 at 02:47 AM · No, Paul, it doesn't; but I don't see any point in trying to belabor this with you further. You and I are at an impasse. Neither of us is about to change the other's mind.

February 13, 2014 at 03:05 AM · Pavel Spacek, I haven't forgotten you:

" I lived happily almost a decade in the Southeast Asia. I will support Smiley any time."

I will take both statements at face value. I don't doubt either of them.

February 13, 2014 at 03:07 AM · Smiley, you've raised a number of points that I feel are worth responding to. I will take up two of them -- the ones that I have time for tonight.

You told Marty:

"As long as we have guns, there will be wackos ready to pull the trigger."

There would still be wackos who have it in their hearts to cause death or injury -- with or without any guns available. The wackos -- e.g., the once-cute kids who later grow up to be roving animals, frequently because of dysfunctional families and poor parenting -- would find a way.

"I'm glad the Strad is back in safe hands … no guns involved …."

Actually, there was a gun involved -- a stun gun in the hands of one of the assailants.

February 13, 2014 at 04:08 AM · Deleted my post at Dave's request (see below).

February 13, 2014 at 04:30 AM · Deleted my post at Dave's request (see below).

February 13, 2014 at 07:16 AM · Can we moderate this bit of clap trap, and delete all the gun posts that have nothing to do with a stolen Strad? Please!

Another good thread hijacked by silliness and trolling.

February 13, 2014 at 01:06 PM · Dave,

It has been suggested that perhaps if Almond carried a gun, then the theft could have been averted. So all of this "clap trap" IS relevant to the stolen Strad. Perhaps you have a better idea how musicians can protect their instruments. If so, please share.

February 13, 2014 at 09:54 PM · Smiley, sorry -- couldn't continue last night. Regarding Frank Almond: Again, I can't speak for him, but I myself prefer using the threat of non-deadly force as a first deterrent.

On elementary school kids dying in classrooms: Adam Lanza broke at least three laws already on the books. And his mother, had she lived, would have faced criminal charges for enabling him to access her weapons.

About "Saturday night at the movies" -- well, going out to the movies is a thing of the past with me. I quit going 20+ years ago, although not because of shooters. I thought, even then, that Hollywood was going to ruin. For viewing what I consider good, I prefer digital technology and home theater.

Gabriel Giffords: Yes, she still advocates for the right to bear arms. She does advocate for keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals -- I back her up there; but I differ with her on curbing high-capacity magazines. Again, that just disadvantages law-abiding citizens.

About being in the minority on v.com: No doubt I am. Again, my statements are responses to points already raised. My job isn't to convert anyone, here or abroad, to my side, but simply to state what I conscientiously believe to be true, based on research and personal experience. Each individual audience member can then decide for himself or herself.

About "countries that … view the US as completely nuts": In some regards, they're right. As I've said before, the guns aren't the problem. America is a VERY permissive society. It's an utter disgrace. We can't really address violence problems without at least touching on some contributing factors: selfishness, family breakdown, marital infidelity, illegitimacy, substance abuse, violent entertainment. That's just a start.

____________________

Dave, I don't think most of the dialogue here fits the definitions of hijacking, silliness, and trolling. I, and several others, have merely RESPONDED to points already raised. I've seen plenty of examples of silliness in other threads, e.g., posters trying to out-clever or out-cutesy each other with smart-aleck one-liners, way off topic -- then slamming the door with annoying pop-culture clichés like "just saying." Argh!

February 13, 2014 at 10:26 PM · Sorry, Dave, I tried.

February 14, 2014 at 12:12 AM · As an aside, I hate it when people delete their posts. Think about what you want to say and stick with it. If you aren't sure about posting something you shouldn't post in the first place.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

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