Gun Control is Not a Cure

Predictably, the networks are still milking the gun control debate for all its worth. At least Sen. Harry Reid isn't buying it.

Guns effected, but did not cause the killings. They were the means by which an unbalanced, disturbed individual carried out his rage.

I also think the arguments to increase guns on college campuses are a bad idea.

We should never enact laws as an emotional response to a single tragedy, no matter how horrific. Cooler heads are needed.

Rather than playing the blame game, look to what made Cho Seung-Hui want to kill people and himself. Maybe there's a lesson in there.

If he couldn't buy a gun, he would have stolen one. Or used explosives, in which case the death toll might have been higher.

This was an isolated event that was neither predictable nor preventable.

We elected a Democratic Congress to get us out of Iraq, provide universal health care and preserve Social Security. I hope they don't get diverted by a simplistic non-cure.

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    Amen (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by TomK on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 06:18:01 PM EST
    Here Here.

    I'm finding myself continually recommending people read Bruce Schneier's The Psychology of Fear.  People should think a lot harder about security when their first response to this shooting is that marshall law should of been declared over an area of tens of thousands of people for a domestic dispute call.

    I agree about immediate reaction, but (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by klevenstein on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 07:35:27 PM EST
    your post neglects to point out that this gunman used a high-capacity ammo clip and a semi-automatic weapon of which Virginia law allows same-day purchase.

    Yes, there are alternatives, but none so easy and quick to obtain and use.

    Maybe there is a legislative/enforcement means of decreasing the likelihood of such an incident.

    That said, worse happens daily on the streets of Baghdad, no thanks to the cons.

    Relevance? (none / 0) (#8)
    by roy on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 07:53:12 PM EST
    CNN is reporting that the gun was purchased over a month ago, so it's not clear what the same-day purchase laws have to do with it.  And given that the killer reloaded multiple times (a typical Glock 19 magazine holds 15 rounds), it's not clear that the capacity of his magazine made him any deadlier.

    Sauce for the Goose (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Randinho on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:52:57 PM EST
    If he couldn't buy a gun, he would have stolen one. Or used explosives, in which case the death toll might have been higher.

    Jeralyn, while I agree that laws should not be passed in the heat of emotion, with all due respect, the above statement is pure speculation. We do not know enough about Cho Seung-Hui to imagine what he might have done to obtain a gun nor do we know if h knew enough about explosives to either manufacture or use them properly. For all we know guns may have given him a sense of empowerment that he might not otherwise have had.

    Sauce for the Goose (none / 0) (#36)
    by RobertSchacht on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 02:29:16 AM EST
    I agree with Randinho! Furthermore, Jeralyn looks like she's quoting here from NRA talking points. Please! And while I agree that laws should not be passed in the heat of emotion, likewise I would suggests that it is incidents like these that show us problems with the present system.

    We ought to be using the incident to prompt re-assessment of the statistics on gun violence. Our country has an obsession with fire-arms that is a hold-over from the wild, wild West, and frontier justice. It is not the sign of a mature civilization.



    But it's not about the guns. (none / 0) (#40)
    by Avedon on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 05:18:17 AM EST
    There are more guns per person in Canada, but they don't seem to have as much gun violence as we do.

    For that matter, we didn't seem to have this kind of gun violence once upon a time, even though we had fewer restrictions on guns.

    I think Moore is right about this: Our media and politicians promote fear, and our social culture is becoming more and more isolating and hostile.  We no longer believe in things like forgivenness, understanding, redemption, rehabilitation, etc.

    We've become a culture that encourages us to be fearful, unforgiving, and violently vengeful.  It's not just our rate of gun-related deaths that reflects this, it's also the law itself.


    Avedon (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:34:33 AM EST
    I hope you got a volume discount on the purchase of all the sack cloth and ashes.

    What you have here is a nut, raised at least for a period of time in South Korea and then moved to this country with his parents. That would be tough on any child. He didn't adapt well, and we see the results.

    We also now know that (at least) one of his professors told another about his problems and warned the University.

    If you have to blame someone, try the VT admin.


    And you know this how? (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by narudy on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 10:25:40 PM EST
    "If he couldn't buy a gun, he would have stolen one. Or used explosives, in which case the death toll might have been higher."

    He could have stolen one, if he knew where to get them.  Or he could have used explosives, if he knew how to find and use them.

    Putting yourself into this guy's head is impossible.  It's entirely possible that without access to a gun he wouldn't have committed this travesty, just as it is possible he would have done it one of these other ways.

    None of that means much.  Gun control wouldn't have stopped him, but that doesn't mean gun control and registration and mandatory safety training and reviews are not bad ideas.  If this incident furthers those efforts then some good may have come of this.

    Gun culture (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by HH on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 10:51:28 PM EST
    Australian PM John Howard has put it right when he said America's gun culture is responsible for this massacre.
    There are probably men with worse predisposition than Mr. Cho in other countries, but with no access to guns. Access to gun was they key -- he could not have done what he did with a knife or a baseball bat.

    Many of us in this country feel the need to carry a gun to defend ourselves because we expect encounter with violent crime.

    This is a vicious cycle that we need to get out from as a society. Gun control would be one step in that direction.

    We need strict federal gun control regulations.

    Stolen guns & explosives (4.50 / 2) (#9)
    by roy on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:06:16 PM EST
    Although I like guns, and often carry one myself, this situation actually seems like the sort of thing that might plausibly be prevented or hindered by tough gun control.

    Yes, he could have stolen a gun instead, because without draconian enforcement there would still be guns around somewhere.  But he'd have to either know where to steal one (guarded knowledge if they're illegal) or do a lot of theft to stumble across one (creating lots of opporunities for the cops to catch him).

    Yes, he could have used explosives, but that's not quite as easy as it seems.  Making a bomb is easy; making a bomb that can be put where it needs to be without being detected, goes off when it's supposed to, and kills 32 is hard.  The Columbine killers tried, and failed, to use bombs.  Even in Iraq today, an improvised bomb that kills 32 is unusually bad, and that's backed by an organization of committed and skilled people.

    And if he really was just a disturbed student, it's unlikely he'd have the knowledge to easily to any of that.

    SO (none / 0) (#56)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 08:06:02 AM EST
     restricting the rights of law abiding citizens is the answer?

    No. (none / 0) (#63)
    by roy on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 09:26:06 AM EST
    It's one thing to endorse a policy, as I endorse broad gun rights, but another to claim that a policy is a panacea with no concievable downsides.

    No Policy is free of downsides (none / 0) (#64)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 09:31:54 AM EST
    The real quest is to balance people's right to use arms with the possible negative consequences into a balanced set.

    For example, no one probably wants private citizens to acquire and keep nuclear weapons. (OK, maybe some really really really hard libertarians do. 0.0001 per cent of the population).

    On the other hand, a total gun ban has proved itself all the times in all the countries as very counterproductive.


    My understanding is that the (4.50 / 2) (#10)
    by robotalk on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:11:24 PM EST
    perpetrator's handgun had a clip with 33 bullets in it.  Such were illegal until 2002, when the former law lapsed (along with AK47 legislation).  Why does anyone need a handgun with a 33 bullet clip?  No need to reload?  Or allow someone to stop an out of control idiot.

    Why shouldn't we regulate weapons that serve no purpose other than to harm other human beings?  There is no need for the public to have automatic weapons.

    That's at least partly wrong (none / 0) (#14)
    by roy on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:38:28 PM EST
    33-round magazines were never illegal.  The "Assault Weapon" "Ban" which lapsed in 2002 restricted manufacture and importation of new high-capacity (11+) magazines, but not sale, possession, or use of existing magazines.

    Fully-automatic AK-47's, the ones you see terrorists and/or insurgents using on TV, were not made any more legal in 2002.  They're still pretty heavily regulated.  Semi-automatic AK-47's were part of the same non-ban ban until 2002, meaning you could still buy them and use them.

    And while 33-round magazines for Glocks do exist, they're unusual and actually pretty inconvenient to use.  Who's reporting that he used 33-round magazines?


    The pre-assault gun bill Glock 9mm (none / 0) (#28)
    by kindness on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 09:56:57 PM EST
    had a clip that held 17 rounds, or maybe that was 16 in the clip & one in the chamber.  So my thinking is that the guy probably had several clips rather than one of the banana things.

    So you can't cure the violence (4.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:38:56 PM EST
    with gun control? I would love some alternative suggestions other than enforcing the letter of the 2nd amendment. I haven't heard ONE!

    That's great. More of the same.

     This was an isolated event that was neither predictable nor preventable

    I disagree. These are not isolated incidents. They are an all too common occurrence. This one is distinguished only by it's record number of victims. Not unexpected. IOW, expect it again. That's my prediction (pretty easy one these days). Should we do nothing then? NO! MAKE MORE GUNS!

    Honestly, I'd have a tougher time buying a car than a gun. Just insane.

    Che (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:28:04 AM EST
    Honestly, I'd have a tougher time buying a car than a gun. Just insane.

    Then you must have some real credit problems.

    Putting that aside, and assuming you are speaking of following the law, that's not true.


    Uhm... (none / 0) (#61)
    by roy on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 09:13:32 AM EST
    I can't speak for Che's state, but in much of the country all you have to do to buy a gun from a private individual is pay for it.  There is no waiting period, background check, or registration.

    When you buy a car, somebody is supposed to update the title, and you're supposed to renew the tag whenever it expires, effectively registering your ownership.

    (This is not an endorsement of more gun control; if anything, it's an endorsement of less car control)


    roy (none / 0) (#80)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 06:39:28 PM EST
    All you need to do is:

    1. Take the plates off and keep them.

    2. Enter the miles and sign the title over to the new owner.

    3. If you want to, draw up a bill of sale and have the purchaser sign it.

    You may want to use your handy scaner and make copies.

    Fifteen minutes.

    Everything else is up to the new owner.

    The new owner then register's and applies for title. He may also need to show proof of passing an inspection.

    Last time I did it, vehicle inspection excluded, less than 15 minutes.


    wrong end of the telescope (4.00 / 1) (#20)
    by orionATL on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:58:38 PM EST
    you have experience in cleaning up tragedy that i don't have, jeralyn,

    but on  this matter i think your background renders you too fatalistic.

    first, look in the nytimes science section today for the little piece about guns and suicide.

    the point of the research is that where guns are less readily available, suicide by guns is more difficult.

    from my view,

    the availability

    of handguns, pistols, pistoles, revolvers

    is the real problem.

    you don't hunt with pistols, you injure or kill people with them.

    also from my view,

    the availability and use of handguns in suicide, murder, and accidents is not a crime problem,

    rather, it is a public health problem of large proportions.

    on sept 11, 2001 somewhat less than 3000 people were killed in new york and d.c.

    one of the observations i have made at the time, along with many others, is that,

    each year in the united states,

    around 25,000 people die of gunshots

    and around 45k die from auto accidents.

    the total of those two is 70k.

    reduce that to 60k (to be on the "safe" side - ha) and then divide by 12 (months).

    that's 5000 americans per month dead.

    each month of the year.

    every year.

    now consider another figure never mentioned.

    americans who lost someone they loved to sudden violence - by car accident or car.

    use a multiplier of, say, eight other persons for each death.

    that would be 40k persons

    per month

    experiencing life-long grief.

    that, its seems to me,

    defines a public health problem.

    subtract the auto deaths i added in above, and do the same calculations again. you'll have some idea of the magnitude of grief that handguns (mostly) cause to the american populace.


    every month,

    every year

    for as long as the survivors live.

    i have never seen these figures calculated or discussed, but i have often wondered


    just how many millions would this be in our society at any one time?

    the issue of the easy availability of pistols is particularly serious with respect to emotionally disturbed.

    the "solution" often suggested is to identifying those folks.

    but that is not feasible, as we see at vpi.

    there are two factors here:

    • pistols, and

    • emotionally disturbed people.

    it seems obvious that it is easier to limit the availability of pistols than to go to extremes to try to identify nut cases.

    plus, limiting pistols also helps the suicide and accident categories of death.

    note that we are talking about deaths in the numbers above,

    not about disabilities - like spinal cord injuries, facial disfigurement, etc.

    i simply cannot believe that if our society had the same stringent controls on the availability of pistols  that are common in europe and asia,

    that we would not have a dramatic reduction in gun deaths from all causes.

    in this regard, i think a a strong historical analogy would be with the interminable opposition from car manufactures to seat belts.


    i you are worried about not being able to pack that little snub-nose in your purse, i think there are jobs where carrying a gun is prudent or necessary. i'm thinking of liquor store owners, restaurant owners, security guards, gas station workers, motel workers, perhaps even households in some neighborhoods.

    in sum,

    the availability of pistols is a major public health problem that can be and should be dealt with by reducing both the availability, and the easy availability, of pistols.

    as with the lack of national health insurance, it says a lot about how public policy is made in this country that we cannot make sensible decisions in this ares.

    Not sure if I agree. (4.00 / 1) (#24)
    by johnkimble on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 09:01:54 PM EST
    I think to make the argument that this is an isolated incident is not only naive but a bit dangerous. People are killed every day in this country by unnecessary gun violence, it just doesn't make the evening news.

    I agree that we have to focus on issues such as Iraq, Social Security, and universal health care, but that doesn't erase the fact that we have another serious problem in this country that we have to deal with.

    I also agree that we should not make emotional decisions, but I seem to remember people making your same arguments after the Columbine shooting and a few months ago after the Amish School shooting.

    There is no denying that this horrible tragedy was the doing of a clearly deranged human being, but the fact of the matter is that this world is full of deranged people. Why shouldn't we make it harder for them to obtain firearms?

    I beg to differ... (4.00 / 1) (#29)
    by David at Kmareka on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 10:10:47 PM EST
    It's true that "gun control is not a cure.". Nor is the cocktail of medications typically prescribed to those with HIV/AIDS a cure. But both firearm-related violence and HIV/AIDS are significant public health issues that can be remediated in some fashion with the proper intervention. Lives can be saved.

    As I cited in a post at Kmareka, "firearms account for nearly 30,000 deaths annually in the United States. In 2004, the last year for which statistics are available (per the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control), 11,624 Americans were shot and killed by someone." In 4+ years in Iraq, 3,311 American soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice. That is a modest number when compared to the more than 40,000 Americans murdered with a firearm in that time or the nearly 120,000 whose deaths (homicides, suicides, et al.) were connected to the use of a firearm.

    We are rightly outraged by the senseless loss of American lives in Iraq. Where is our outrage at the similarly senseless loss of lives right in our midst? What are we doing about this, beyond wringing our hands and grieving our losses? Yes, gun control alone is not the cure. But I believe it is part of the cure. And to take little or no action while seeking refuge behind a rigid and antiquated interpretation of the 2nd amendment is perhaps the greatest wrong of all.

    Gun control is not a cure. Neither are leeches. (none / 0) (#77)
    by joelr on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 03:03:43 PM EST
    It's true that "gun control is not a cure.". Nor is the cocktail of medications typically prescribed to those with HIV/AIDS a cure.
    Yeah, but at least the latter is a treatment with some -- many -- studies showing positive results.

    The CDC (not exactly a bastion of Second Amendment activism) recently surveyed all of the huge amount of academic literature around gun control, and found that there was, to date, no evidence that gun control has ever had any useful result.  (The CDC study optimistically concluded that that means that we need more piles of academic studies on gun control.)  

    The analogy isn't HIV/AIDS and the various AIDS cocktails; it's the application of leeches to draw out the vile humors -- there's no evidence to believe that "gun control" might have useful results, and good reason to believe that further studies are the equivalent of searching at midnight in a coal cellar for a black cat that isn't there.


    Neither isolated nor not preventable (4.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Andreas on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 10:35:18 PM EST
    This was an isolated event that was neither predictable nor preventable.

    Do not cheat yourself. Mass killings at universities and workplaces have become a regular feature of American society. And there are reasons for this.

    We elected a Democratic Congress to get us out of Iraq, provide universal health care and preserve Social Security.

    These Democrats support the mass murder which is organised by US imperialism in Iraq. They belong to those who created the social and political conditions under which the massacre in Virginia took place.

    This is a flawed argument (3.66 / 3) (#12)
    by Al on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:17:43 PM EST
    Stricter gun control may not make it impossible for this sort of thing to happen, but it would make it less likely, and therefore casualties would drop. It's a statistical thing, and it just makes sense.

    I cannot understand why being armed is viewed as a cherished right. The notion that citizens need to be armed just in case they have to defend themselves against an assassin, or kill a bear, or overthrow the government, is ridiculous. Nobody needs a gun.

    The facts don't square with your assertions (none / 0) (#27)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 09:54:51 PM EST

    Gun crime greatly increased in England after banning handguns.

    If nobody needs a gun, then cops don't need a gun.

    Civilians need guns for self defense just the same as cops.

    Civilians will not need guns the day that cops don't need guns.


    The last thing you want to do (none / 0) (#30)
    by Al on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 10:14:56 PM EST
    is to get into a gunfight with anyone.

    If you use a gun, the most likely thing is that you will use it to kill a spouse, or anyone by accident, or yourself.

    I am very afraid of people who think they need a gun to feel at ease.


    Not gunfight, deterrence (none / 0) (#49)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:35:31 AM EST

    in most cases, a mere showing of the gun is enough to scare the criminal off. You do not get into a gunfight, you deter the criminals.

    If I recall correctly: of all the cases when a CCW holder prevented a crime with a gun, only in 0.2 per cent of instances the gun was actually fired (and most of those times just into the air). Criminals are usually cowards. When they see a person determined to defend, they give up and go after some easier prey.


    Whats your choice? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:39:28 AM EST
    The last thing you want to do is to get into a gunfight with anyone.

    True but irrelevant.  I never want to get into a gunfight.  OTOH, I never want to be lined up against a wall and shot by a nutjob.  If it comes down to a choice between the two, I want the first choice.  How about you?

    BTW, many more would have escaped if the shooter had been distracted by a gunfight.

    If you use a gun, the most likely thing is that you will use it to kill a spouse, or anyone by accident, or yourself.

    What B.S.!  I use my guns several times a month and have never killed anyone.  Are you asserting the same is true for police, military, and FBI?  

    I am very afraid of people who think they need a gun to feel at ease.

    I am sorry for your phobia.  Treatment is available.  IMO, cops, armored truck drivers, couriers, body guards, and similar jobs would not be at ease without being armed.  


    Hi Amir (none / 0) (#51)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:43:40 AM EST
    I think that this state of mind that you are describing in the last paragraph has a special medical name:

    haplophobia - irrational fear of armed citizens.

    It is quite spread among people in Europe, and I think this is because of all the blood-and-horror death scenes that the MSM constantly report.

    How ironical - especially if one realizes that all the bloodbath of the 20th century in Europe (and worldwide) was not caused by privately armed citizens, but by omnipotent states that put people to slaughter by millions.

    Armenian Genocide, WWI, WWII, Russian revolution, the Holocaust, The Giant Leap Forward ... each word, 5 million people killed by state authorities.


    "Gun crime" (none / 0) (#83)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:22:51 PM EST
    What you say isn't clearly backed up by the facts. There's some dispute over how the data on "gun crime" are categorized. They include things like use of imitation guns and BB guns in the commission of a crime. Also, there's been a change in the categorization of robbery vs burglary that affects the numbers. link

    However, there's no dispute that deaths related to guns certainly dropped substantially as a result of the 1997 Handgun Ban. link

    From Parliamentary answers in 2004:

    Number of deaths from firearms injury
    United Kingdom, 1994 to 2003

    Year    Number

    1994    341
    1995    358
    1996    254
    1997    201
    1998    203
    1999    210
    2000    204
    2001    167
    2002    169
    2003    163

    More on the myth (none / 0) (#84)
    by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:31:13 PM EST
    of gun control increasing crime in the UK:

    The truth is that the UK police has changed its system for recording crime since implementing new gun control laws. This change in recording crime made it appear that the crime rate went up. The British Crime Survey, which was unaffected by this change, shows a decrease in crime. Go to the section under violent crime in the British Crime Survey. "The increase in violent crime recorded by police, in contrast to estimates provided from the BCS, appears to be largely due to increased recording by police forces. Taking into account recording changes, the real trend in violence against the person in 2001/02 is estimated to have been a reduction of around five percent."


    Go to the link and see the graph of the British Crime Survey 1997-2003. It shows the actual drop in the incidence of violent crime.


    You have a bit of a problem (none / 0) (#85)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Apr 19, 2007 at 08:19:59 AM EST
    BBC says otherwise

    First, gun crime and gun related deaths are not the same thing, or even close.  Assigning the cause of fewer shotgun hunting deaths to a handgun ban is silly at best and dishonest at worst.

    Second, the largest drop in year to year fatalaties in the numbers you post is from 1995 to 1996.  This drop occured before the ban.  

    When a trend both preceeds and follows an event, that event cannot be said to be responsible for the trend.


    Nope (none / 0) (#86)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Apr 19, 2007 at 02:28:39 PM EST
    The BBC article itself contradicts its own headline and points out what I just did - that the apparent increase is due to a change in system for reporting crime that adds new categories and doesn't distinguish between use of real guns vs replicas.

    Whilst gun crime has risen in England and Wales since 1996 the official figures reveal that this is largely owing to big increases in the number of incidents involving airguns, imitation guns and other weapons such as paintball guns for which there are few controls.  Total gun crime, and handgun crime in particular, has fallen significantly in Scotland since the mid-1990s.  In England and Wales handgun crime has fallen for the last two years, as has the total number of crimes, if those involving airguns and imitation guns are excluded.

    The lazy or deliberate use of incorrect statistics has contributed to a situation in which too many journalists automatically describe gun crime in Britain as "rocketing out of control".  The correct statistics show that this is not the case.

    Tim Lambert, a computer scientist whose area of expertise is algorithmic analysis, has done a detailed refutation of the flawed statistical argument being pushed by people against gun control:

    Figure 6.2 shows how violent crime in England has declined since 1995. So how come Malcolm reported that the violent crime rate more than doubled from 1997 to 2001? The answer lies in the difference between two different ways crime can be measured. The BCS is a victimization survey. It is conducted by asking a sample of the population questions about any crimes they might have experienced. The other way crime is measured is being collating crimes reported to the police. Because most crime is not reported to the police, surveys like BCS give a much more accurate estimate of the total number of crimes than police reports.

    If you examine page 49 of the report you will find that it shows that the police recorded violent crimes increased from about 350,000 in 1997 to 800,000 in 2001/2002. However, it also notes that:

    "There is a discontinuity in the police recorded trend for violence in 1998 when new offence categories were added to police recorded violence, notably common assault, and new crime counting rules were introduced. The raw numbers of recorded violent crimes before and after this change should not be compared, as they are not on the same basis."

    That is, most of the increase was caused by a change in the way crimes were counted. There was also an increase in the police recorded violent crime between 1998/99 and 2001/02, but, as the report explains:

    "In contrast, between 1998/99 and 2001/02 police recorded violent crime appears to be increasing, with an overall recorded increase of 34 per cent over this period. However, these increases appear to be largely due to increased recording. The BCS estimates that the recording of comparable violence increased by around a third between 1999 and 2001/02, from 36 per cent to 48 per cent (Tables 3.04 and 3.08)."

    To summarize: the increase in the police recorded violent crime was caused by changes in the crimes counted and increased recording. The underlying violent crime rate, as measured by the BCS in fact declined significantly.

    If, after reading Malcolm's article, you believed that English gun control caused an increase in violent crime in the past five years, logically you should now believe that it caused the decrease that in fact occurred. Similarly, if you believed that Lott's analysis had shown that more guns cause less crime more data has been analyzed and shown the opposite, you should now believe that more guns cause more crime.

    As they say, read it all.


    Thanks, Jeralyn (1.00 / 1) (#2)
    by killer on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 06:30:13 PM EST
    I have many issues with the second amendment, but I agree wholeheartedly. Few, if any well written laws come about as the result of single incidents (PATRIOTACT anyone?).

    And yes, somehow, my login is working again.

    Couldn't agree more.... (1.00 / 1) (#13)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:37:43 PM EST
    no new laws...please.

    We have too many bad ones passed in haste as it is...mandatory minimums for crack-cocaine comes to mind.  I think more gun-control just increases the number of illegal guns. Gun prohibition would be no more effective than alcohol or marijuana prohibition.

    The lesson I hope we learn from this tragedy, and the lesson we failed to learn on 9/11, is this...security and safety are mere illusions, we are all one "running into the wrong nutjob" away from ceasing to exist, the best we can do is live as free as possible and roll the freakin' dice.

    We can't un-invent the gun, unfortunately.  Come to think of it, didn't Kalishnikov go to his grave cursing the day he invented the AK?  

    Mikhail Kalashnikov (none / 0) (#37)
    by HK on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 03:59:57 AM EST
    has not yet gone to his grave, as far as I'm aware, kdog.  He did say that he wished he had invented the lawn mower rather than an assault rifle, but there is no way of telling whether that comment was due to principles or finances :0)

    I agree with everything else you said in your comment, though.


    Thanks HK... (none / 0) (#78)
    by kdog on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 04:06:32 PM EST
    for clarifying Kalishnikov's statement...I was too lazy to look it up.

    But Gun Control would Make a Difference! (none / 0) (#3)
    by MSS on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 06:40:51 PM EST
    Canada has guns -- but it also has serious gun control, and that should be true in the U.S. also. If you buy a gun in Canada, you say who you are, you register the gun.

    Yet Canada has far less violence than the U.S. (Toronto, 1.1 million population, 69 murders; Dallas, 1.2 million population, 202 murders).

    Sure, people murder one another with knives and slingshots, and they steal weapons to do bad things.

    But if there were true gun control in the U.S., then this frenzied young man would not have had such easy access to guns and ammunition. Perhaps someone would have noticed the size of his stash of weapons and ammunition.

    And if there were proper mental health care, he might have been offered counseling or even hospitilization for his mental disorder. (Who, other than someone who is mentally deranged, could commit so many terrible murders.)

    Gun control laws not the whole story (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Al Fansome on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:59:14 PM EST
    The numbers you quoted don't make your point.

    Dallas - 1.2 million - 202 homicides
    Las Vegas - 1.3 million - 145 homicides
    San Antonio - 1.3 million - 86 homicides
    San Diego - 1.3 million - 51 homicides

    The rate of violent crime is not controlled by the amount of gun control. I imagine that the gun laws in Dallas are going to be quite similar to San Antonio, where the murder rate is much lower. Must be other factors involved.


    your analogy ignores and oversimplifies history (4.00 / 1) (#5)
    by scribe on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 06:54:32 PM EST
    to its detriment.
    and is invalid.

    You omit the total lack of both cowboy and anti-police culture in Canada, and the history of the government placing police (i.e., RCMP) out in the front wave of settlement (and I omit the voyageurs/trappers from "Settlement" as they did not stay long in one place).  And, you also omit the lack of decades of cowboy culture propaganda in the popular entertainment - while Canadians got a lot of those movies, etc., it was not taught to them as their history.

    And, let's not forget that violence gets pretty stringently censored in Canadian entertainment (esp. TV) while sex is not (the opposite of here).

    Besides, if Canadians want violence, they play hockey.  (/snark)(And I love hockey....)

    Frankly, the last thing the Dems should be thinking about is moving some gun control - it would be giving the Rethugs some red meat to energize their base if the Dems did.


    Eh (none / 0) (#7)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 07:46:58 PM EST
    Cowboy culture? I don't think too many people these days get their ideas from watching Gunsmoke, unless they're up at 4 AM watching Nick at Nite.

    scar (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:57:47 PM EST
    Uh, you have heard of the various recording devices.... haven't you??

    I knew tv (none / 0) (#71)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 11:15:04 AM EST
    was the problem.  Maybe you also consider video games the problem.

    Wile (none / 0) (#73)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 12:21:43 PM EST
    It was the tension caused by the sympathy for Matt and Miss Kitty and their unrequitted love...

    Look to Dianne Feinstein for Gun Control Legislati (none / 0) (#4)
    by MSS on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 06:45:59 PM EST
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein saw the results of a crazed gunman who killed the Mayor of San Francisco and another SF Supervisor when the gunman was refused a seat on the SF City Council.

    Watch for Feinstein to spearhead legislation to bring the idiocy of the machine-guns-for-everyone NRA under some control. This is not the Wild West, and it's nuts to allow anyone and his brother to buy unlimited guns and ammunition at gun shows, at gun shops, and through the mails.

    Sure there will always be law-breakers. But it's really important to lower the number of guns, to offer gun safety instructions, and to make it harder for people who want wreck violence to buy guns and ammunition.

    How ridiculous to have all this rhetoric about 'protecting us from terrorists' at the same time as we make it possible, as a nation, for the crazed terrorists among us to buy guns and kill people.

    Oh lord.... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 09:21:07 PM EST
    The mighty drug war warrior herself?  More prohibition?

    How about she work on government gun control.  Nobody has more guns than Uncle Sam.


    All your guns are belong to us ... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:58:53 AM EST

    In the combination "gun control", "control" is the important word, and not "gun".

    Of course, one can never control guns in the criminal population. Criminals are out of any control by definition.

    I actually read about Germany gun registration. German authorities expect that there is between 15 and 20 million firearms in the country. Yet only 3,5 million of them surfaced during the startup of the "gun registry".

    Most probably, German people do not trust their state and they are afraid that registration is just a step before confiscation. It already happened the same way 70 years ago.


    American military in Iraq are being killed (none / 0) (#11)
    by JSN on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:16:26 PM EST
    at the average rate of 17 per week. Ending that will save more American lives than any gun control legislation and furthermore it will also save the lives of Iraqis. Senator Reid is right that should be the top priority of congress.

    Kdog (none / 0) (#16)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:41:04 PM EST
    I agree that in light of the current mentality of our government, tougher gun laws would be useless.

    I hear you too bro.... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:59:57 PM EST
    It doesn't seem fair to pay 20 bucks a gram for a certain pleasing plant, while deadly bullets can be gotten for a fraction of that.  Makes no sense at all.

    Chris Rock had this one right awhile back...what we need is bullet control.  If bullets cost 10 grand apiece, you know whoever gets shot had it coming.

    Seriously though, the cat is out of the bag with guns.  If the government banned the manufacturing of guns tomorrow, they'd be coming by air, sea and land tomorrow night.  


    Before we try to find a cure, ... (none / 0) (#17)
    by roy on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:47:39 PM EST
    Maybe we should make sure we're sick.  These sort of incidents are actually very uncommon, and our overall violent crime rate is pretty low.  

    There are 300 million people in this country, so even a low rate of incidents will produce enough stories to keep the TV personalities talking about them.  Unless CNN starts sending Wolf Blitzer to report live from the scene of everybody going about their business without anything exciting happening, it's going to look like a constant stream of tragedy.

    (There's also a pithy psuedo-argument to be made about the cure potentially being worse than the disease, but House is on)

    Crime rate is not low (none / 0) (#23)
    by Al on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 09:00:08 PM EST
    The US is #8 in the world in murders with firearms per capita, preceded by South Africa, Colombia, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Belarus, and Costa Rica. (Source).

    Prayer, Fienstein and Guns (none / 0) (#26)
    by koshembos on Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 09:37:15 PM EST
    The belief that every wrong can be legislated away is typical to our system; Fienstein included.

    In addition to not having Gonzales on Tuesday (why?) as another facade of sadness pretense, we are all asked to keep the victims "in our thoughts and prayers." What does it means? No one can forget the victims, some notice that Bush never goes to soldiers from Iraq, but he storms to VT for a convocation. What are prayers supposed to do for the dead.

    Instead of sense of loss and pain we got hypocrisies such as laws, delays, thoughts that are there anyway and prayers that are supposed to show something unclear to me.

    just sayin' (none / 0) (#34)
    by Miss Devore on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 12:09:24 AM EST
    how many of us at age 23 could drop nearly $600 in one day on weapons? And be above suspicion?  Maybe the seller should have asked him what he planned to do with his purchases.but the seller pleaded that the buyer was "clean cut." (most unreliable physical characteristic throughout history, when gauging capacity for violence)

    As for the reasoning that he would have stolen if not sold--ridiculous--more difficult to do something illegal and risk being caught, than to do something legal with a minor cya procedure from a vendor.  

    Steps to control gun murder (none / 0) (#35)
    by Domino on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 12:14:09 AM EST
    1. Make it easy to sue the living daylights out of gun dealers and manufacturers.  Put the out of business.

    2. Tax the living daylights out of bullets.

    3. Tax the living daylights of out gun purchases.

    4. Seize and destroy all guns used with crimes.  This includes the so-called "Make my day" murders.

    5. Tax motion pictures with gun murders.  Make those pictures rated X.

    6. Ban all advertisements for guns and bullets.

    7. Stop all purchases by schools and sports leagues of other products from manufacturers and retailers of guns and bullets.

    8. Begin buy-back and destruction of all handguns and bullets.

    9. Get rid of all "carry and conceal" permits.

    10. Get rid of the second amendment.  It is not sacred text except to murders and accomplists.

    Everyone who carries a gun is a potential murderer, except hunters.  The NRA and the Gun Owners of America are terrorist organizations and should be banned.  If a hunters' organization is desired, then it must understand that anything beyond Bambicide and the killing of other animals is not in the interest of this country.

    I am sorry if I scare weasel liberals by saying these things, but how are we to become civilized if guns can be obtained easily.  The United States has not human rights standing if we have by far the highest murder rate of large countries.

    And I don't want to hear that knives kill also.  To stab someone is a step further down the evolutionary ladder and is harder than killing from across the room.

    Do (none / 0) (#41)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 05:39:19 AM EST
    you gun control nuts have an idea to deal with criminals with illegal guns rather than restricting a law-abiding person's rights?

    Satire? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Gabriel Malor on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 09:32:03 AM EST
    Wile's got it right. You've just launched an assault on lawful activities. Only one of your 10 points is aimed at illegal activities (no. 4).

    And this is where you reveal your gun-fear:

    Everyone who carries a gun is a potential murderer, except hunters.

    This is just sheer terror masquerading as public policy. In fact, everyone who lives is a potential murderer. But that doesn't mean we should tear apart basic liberties.


    The fear of "potential murderers" (none / 0) (#66)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 09:38:43 AM EST
    is very telling. These people are afraid of THINGS. I was too - when I was 4 years old. Since then, I learnt that people can be evil, but things not.

    It is mind that makes someone a murderer, not a gun.

    For example, guitar strings are very dangerous. With a guitar string, you can effectively strangle an unsuspecting person in 20 seconds. Very efficient murder tool, even some professional mafia hitmen use it. Silent, handy, easy to conceal, you know...

    On the other side: can you imagine that only police would be allowed to play guitars? No Jimmy Morrison, no Paul McCartney :-)

    Ok, I am exagerrating a bit, but the point is clear, I hope.


    WAKE UP! Gun "Control" doesn't work... (none / 0) (#38)
    by modone on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 04:13:13 AM EST
    Domino, you are living in a fantasy socialist world. Why don't we just get rid of the Bill of RIGHTS all together and live in a Police State? You should buy your own island and move there. By far the most uneducated post in this entire thread.

    By the way, I CARRY A GUN. As does every other officer that I know. Does that make me a potential murderer? You bet it does. Domino, you obviously don't carry a gun, does that make you a potential murderer? ABSOLUTELY. Carrying a gun has NOTHING to do with ANYONE'S capability of POTENTIALLY murdering someone.

    You know what other potential a person carrying a gun has? They have the potential to SAVE lives. If an off-duty or undercover officer OR A CITIZEN WITH A CCW was at the school, maybe only two people would have been murdered.

    What you see in the media is BIASED. The media is anti-gun. They NEVER televise or cover the stories where a CCW citizen prevent or stopped a crime because that doesn't work with their agenda.

    Gun laws only prevent law abiding people from having guns. That's all. Criminals and crazy people are the problem. You want to get rid of violence? Get rid of CRIMINALS instead of coddling them like liberals like to do. That's the bottom line. Nirvana is a pipe dream. There has been violence as long as there have been people. You have to change or eliminate PEOPLE.

    Oh, BTW, in Finland, you are allowed to own MACHINE GUNS and SOUND SUPPRESSORS all day long. They have a pretty low murder rate DESPITE having access to what uneducated people consider "unnecessary". Arizona, Nevada, Texas...nearly 30 states allow these weapons to be owned by private citizens...when is the last time you heard of these LEGALLY OWNED weapons being used in a crime? North Hollywood? Nope, those were illegal weapons owned by previous criminals. Good thing that California's strict gun laws stop that from happening...yeah, guns laws worked real well.

    Regulation (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:15:48 AM EST
    You know what other potential a person carrying a gun has? They have the potential to SAVE lives. If an off-duty or undercover officer OR A CITIZEN WITH A CCW was at the school, maybe only two people would have been murdered.
    Or if everyone at the school had a gun and shot themselves in the head the killer would not have been able to carry out this horrible act.

    Or if everyone had a gun when the shooting started everyone could have gotten into the act and hundreds would have been killed. And you know, just like lays potato chips, once you start it is hard to stop the habit.

    The fact is that America has the highest gun deaths for a rich country. That seems a problem to me. If anything, owning a gun should be made more difficult than it is now. Why should being able to own and operate a gun be less regulated than driving a car?

    Requiring a year of weekly training and bi monthly retraining for the next five years would be a good start.


    Gun deaths (none / 0) (#47)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:29:23 AM EST

    you are correct that # of gun-related deaths (both murders and overall gun-related-deaths) in America is high. But I have some points countering your pro-control stance:

    • Scotland has a very similar gun-death statistics. An average Scot is killed by a gun with the same probability as an average American. But Scotland has a strict no-handgun policy.

    • What about the methodology?

    -- A lot of Americans commit suicides with handguns, and a suicide commited with a gun will increase the overall "gun-related-deaths" count. But this is not a fair argument against guns. Depressive people can, and will, commit suicide with anything suitable. In Europe, we have less guns, but more suicides: people usually hang themselves.

    -- What about culprits killed by CCW holders during robberies, carjackings, etc.? Do they increase statistics, or decrease it? I have read at gunfacts.info that yearly, 2 500 000 crimes are prevented by US citizens with guns. In some of the instances, the criminal will be shot dead. Most people will regard such deaths as benefits of the gun proliferation, not as problems.

    -- Many of the people killed with guns in the USA are drug dealers in gang fights. 73 per cent of the gun-murdered people were felons. What is the "real" danger of getting yourself shot dead if you are a law-abiding working person in the USA? Isn't it much lower?

    -- The British only register a crime as a gun-crime, if there was a conviction of the criminal afterwards. This omits all the gun-related crimes in which the culprit was not caught or convicted. So the British gun-murder rate may be in reality higher than what the Home Office will tell you.

    -- What about other violent crime? Carjacking, robberies, rapes, arson? In this account, much of the Europe is very bad, especially large cities.


    Yes (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:43:45 AM EST
    I am with you on that and regulation is a thorny issue for sure as you pointed out below. For me it just seems crazy that the NRA and a bunch of hillbilly cowboys get to make the rules about how guns are sold and regulated in the US.

    I do not understand why there is no requirement for gun owners to go through training here in the US. Yes, to compare the US with Switzerland or any other country is difficult and misleading. For instance Switzerland which requires regular training, is a homogeneous country. Most people there agree on the social rules. The US is far from that and most gun deaths, I imagine, occur in the least homogeneous areas. But even though the US is different than say Switzerland, I think that there is something to be learned from them. The most obvious thing, to me, is training.


    Switzerland (none / 0) (#53)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:54:37 AM EST
    I am sure that training requirements are very reasonable. After all, skill comes with practice. In this regard, the Swiss are an embodiment of the "well-regulated militia" concept from the 2nd amendment - and it makes wonders.

    Switzerland is not really a homogeneous country. About 20 per cent of the population are recent immigrants. But the immigrants do not hold Swiss citizenship and so their access to guns is limited.

    You are correct than in places where different cultural values and attitudes clash, the potential for violence is much higher. That is why European countries started rethinking the immigration laws currently. Some of them, like Denmark, made very strict rules: the general consensus there was that even with 4 per cent of immigrants, it will take two generations to accustom them to the majority population (and vice versa), not least because of the language barrier.


    squeaky (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 08:57:31 AM EST
    In the state I live in to get a concealed carry license you must:

    1. Pass a background check.

    2. Take a class (training).

    3. Pass a test.

    I think that is probably the pattern for all states who allow CCWs.

    Wow (none / 0) (#60)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 09:05:56 AM EST
    Sounds rigorous to me. Why not just do it all through the comix book, or better yet bubble gum wrappers.

    To quote (none / 0) (#70)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 10:45:30 AM EST
    Nice snark, You forgot the back of the cereal box.

    squeaky (none / 0) (#74)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 12:27:18 PM EST
    How do you know how hard it is?

    Part of the test is to demonstrate a certain amount of skill with the weapon.

    Is that your fear??


    Squeaky (none / 0) (#55)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 08:04:01 AM EST
    Who would you approve to make the gun control laws in the US?  Someone that has never touched a gun before and is scared to it like it will jump off the table and shoot them?  Someone who read about it on the internet?  

    Nice Snark (none / 0) (#59)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 09:03:19 AM EST
    How bout the cleaning lady, you forgot that one.

    Who (none / 0) (#69)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 10:40:20 AM EST
    do you want to make the gun control laws?  

    Interesting point (none / 0) (#72)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 11:55:07 AM EST
    Requiring a year of weekly training and bi monthly retraining for the next five years would be a good start.
    What are the goals such training would accomplish? Also, please show the data that shows that such training accomplishes those goals.

    Nonsense... (none / 0) (#81)
    by modone on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 06:43:28 PM EST
    Now why would everyone in the school shoot THEMSELVES in the head? Stop the nonsense. There are MILLIONS of LEGALLY owned guns and you don't see MILLIONS of people shooting themselves in the head. This is a TYPICAL "FUD" move by anti-gunners...just like how they said "blood would flow in the streets" when the 1994 Clinton "Assault" weapon ban went away...the anti-gunners even took out ads in the newspapers! Talk about trying to spread FUD!

    America has the highest all-sorts-of deaths. Disease, automotive, etc. We're a big country with lots of different people of different beliefs, etc. AGAIN, the problem = PEOPLE. I have a HUGE problem with DRUNK DRIVERS. Do you know how many MANGLED bodies I see? How many innocent families get killed because of some dumb drunk? But that's a "hot topic" issue for the liberal media, now is it?

    And why should guns have less regulations than cars? Because GUNS, just like freedom of speech, is PROTECTED by a little thing called an Amendment. Maybe you should read the Federalist papers so you can understand the importance of the 2nd Amendment and what the framers of the Constitution intended...not what the liberal media has "interpreted".


    If all drunks carried handguns it would (none / 0) (#57)
    by JSN on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 08:36:53 AM EST
    make it a lot more dangerous to be a police officer.

    The problem I have with gun control is that there are hundreds of millions of firearms of all types in this country and an only a very small fraction are used to commit crimes. The vast majority are used for legal purposes probably every farm and ranch in this country has a firearm for varmint control. If we did not have deer hunters we would be up to our eyebrows in deer. In my community the most common use of force by the police is to humanly kill a deer or raccoon that has be hit by a car.

    I don't think children, drunks, mentally ill persons and felons should be armed.


    One more thing... (none / 0) (#39)
    by modone on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 04:20:19 AM EST
    Our highest murder rate per capita? Washington, D.C.

    It is illegal to own a pistol in Washington, D.C. yet they have the highest murder rate with a pistol. Why is that? It MUST be the widespread availability of guns in the Washington, D.C.

    And who said you can't hunt with a pistol? People do it all the time. Boars especially. There are many pistols that are chambered in practically every rifle caliber in existence.

    come on (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jen M on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 06:37:30 AM EST
    DC is a short drive from Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey

    Banning anything in DC (or here in Maryland for that matter) That is legal in the adjoining states is an excercise in futility.


    You are right (none / 0) (#62)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 09:23:31 AM EST
    The same applies to the Virginia Tech campus.

    Banning guns on a 1x1 mile territory amidst a state with several million guns is an exercise in futility. The campus police does not have a chance to enforce such a ban.

    However, the academic establishment there was very happy to do precisely that.

    In some people, high education can be anathema to the common sense (and I claim this though I am a PhD in mathematics as well).


    Trolling (none / 0) (#42)
    by Domino on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 06:00:26 AM EST
    Thank you.  I have just been called a nut and a socialist.  

    You may delete this post if the above ones are dropped.

    Basically... (none / 0) (#79)
    by modone on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 06:30:58 PM EST
    Based on what you posted, yeah, that sounds about right. You're asking to REMOVE the 2nd Amendment? What would you say if I said to remove the 1st?

    2 Domino (none / 0) (#45)
    by Marian on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 07:17:30 AM EST

    as for me, I am not calling you names. I never will. I just registered here to answer some of your points.

    I used to be a pro-control man when I was younger (around the Columbine massacre), but over time, a lot of things happening persuaded me to change my views. As I look back: my pro-control stance was a bit emotional. I disliked guns and feared them. Since then, my emotions to guns have shifted to a completely neutral position. They are just things.

    I am from Europe and European countries have very different gun laws. Because of that, it is possible to compare the effects.

    Anyone who knows Britain will tell you that their gun control policy was a total disaster. In 1997, the British government banned handguns. Since then, violent crime has exploded. You are not safe in your house, you are not safe at the street, in your car, anywhere. The criminals, of course, kept their guns and now it is them who rule the night of Britain (and sometimes day). London, Glasgow or Birmingham has suburbs with rate of violent crimes close to South Africa. British girl has 3x more chance to get raped than American girl. A British person has 2,5x more chance to get robbed at a gunpoint (or knifepoint) than American one. The fact that you are present in your house does not deter burglars there - they will break into your house and torture you to get information about where your valuables are hidden, or just for fun. A lot of middle-class people move out of Britain just to avoid crime, even though other parameters of life (like taxation) are favorable.

    On the other hand, Switzerland, Austria and Finland are full of guns and they are very safe countries. In Switzerland, every able-bodied male has got a machine gun in the house - and you can walk down Zurich downtown at 3 am feeling completely safe.

    And we had a fair share of school shooting rampages in Europe in the last 15 years. The rate is close to American when adjusted per population count.

    There is a book available online, which is a collection of "gun myths" and their statistical, cited refutation one-by-one. I am not a statistical person, but I think that the author has really tried hard to quote reasonable sources for his claims. If you are willing to read something that runs contrary to your current philosophy, here is the link:


    As for me, this book had made me thinking ...

    Drinking and Driving (none / 0) (#67)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 10:15:59 AM EST
    Kills thousands, are we ready to ban alcohol?  Speeding kills more than guns.  Are we ready to build cars that can only accelerate and maintain 65 mph?  If you are driving 90 mph and kill someone driving, I do not find there to be less culpability.  Sure a gunmen is knowingly taking a life, but every drunk driver and most speeders know that they are posing a substantial risk to others.  I will be for the outlawing of guns when cars cannot exceed 65 mph, drinking is outlawed entirely and more attention is paid to the other 16000 murders that happen annually.

    I do not and would not own a gun, ever.  But I support the constiutional right to do so.  If we are ever attacked and controlled by another gov't, those gun "nuts" that form a militia will be our freedom fighters.

    Hi Jonathon, (none / 0) (#68)
    by Peaches on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 10:39:38 AM EST
    Its nice to see you checking in. How you been? How are the kids? Hope to see you around more.

    Jlvngstn (none / 0) (#75)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 12:30:27 PM EST
    Nice to hear from you.

    Can I hide in your house as I fight the good fight??



    Speaking of cooler heads contemplating... (none / 0) (#76)
    by joelr on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 02:52:28 PM EST
    We should never enact laws as an emotional response to a single tragedy, no matter how horrific. Cooler heads are needed.

    Many (arguably most) gun control laws have been enacted as emotional responses to horrific incidents -- look at the 1968 Handgun Control Act, or the (helpfully named) Brady Bill... or the whole series of gun control measures in the UK that track very nicely with increases in both gun and other violent crime in the UK.  

    And at least some cooler heads have long noticed that multiple-victim public shootings tend to take place more often and tend to have higher body counts in places where people are prohibited from carrying handguns for their own protection.

    The Israeli experience is worth looking at -- schools were one of the preferred terrorist venues, until armed teachers, parents, and guards started shooting the terrorists; the incidence of attacks on schools declined dramatically.  

    Or consider Utah:  in Utah, not only can permit holders (whether adult students, teachers, parents, whatever) carry at both elementary and secondary schools, but principals at elementary schools can even give permission to adults without permits to carry.  There has never been a school shooting in Utah.  Coincidence?  Perhaps; perhaps not.  

    Cooler heads might want to consider that.  

    Just the facts... (none / 0) (#82)
    by modone on Wed Apr 18, 2007 at 06:51:01 PM EST
    Read this before posting...