I had a lineup of posts I was working on Friday when the news came in, derailing those plans. For me, this sort of thing demands immediate social discourse, so that's what I did. Don’t Worry: When Seconds Count, the Cops Are Only Minutes Away. For those uninterested in this debate and discussion, no quarrel with you. Regular programming returns after this is published. For those with some interest either way, I hope to provide additional insights to consider (lots & lots).
What an inspection of the nearly 200 comments on that post so far will reveal is lots of data, facts, citations on my part and others...contrasted with general appeals to emotion, illogic, blatant ignorance...calls for banning this and that from others.
I'd not had a chance to argue the case for more loaded guns in more places, in the hands of more people (preferably concealed; I'll explain why below) for a while. I quickly noticed that the sources of data, crime statistics and such that support that view are better than ever, getting even better and more accessible.
The various echelons of the disarmament, defenseless, pacifist, banning, controlling, etc. side are so bankrupt in their logical thinking that all you get are appeals to emotion, lashing out....or citations to a homogenous, island culture like Japan (a police state)—where I lived for 5 years and never locked the door of my house or car, even when away for weeks and in a few cases, a couple of months at a time. Who's next? The Kitavans?
As I considered this over the weekend with comments rolling in, some things became obvious.
- The "more control," "ban certain categories," or plain anti-gun folks are really ignorant about guns. They toss around words and descriptions like "assault rifle" or "semi-automatic" with no real knowledge of what the terms mean—just like a child uses and misuses words they learn from their parents before having a complete understanding of them.
- While it's easy to dismiss the Kumbayah Pacifists on grounds of mental retardation—'tards'—there's also the otherwise smart folk who don't seem to understand that events like this are not a gun problem. ...Anymore than a faultily constructed house is a hammer problem and getting rid of it will fix the foundation.
- There is very little understanding of what competent and generally effective defense entails. Of the three, this is perhaps the biggest problem.
Let's address 'em one at a time.
#1. A true "assault rifle" is a fully automatic weapon. That is, so long as the trigger is held down and ammunition remains, it fires continuously. Semi-automatic weapons require one trigger pull per firing and come in all shapes and sizes, even shotguns. Ironically, in inexperienced hands, fully-auto weapons would usually result in fewer deaths because more rounds are expended per kill than "necessary," depleting ammunition "inefficiently." They also tend to be difficult to keep on a target because the continuous recoil makes them move off (using fully automatic weapons or "machine guns"—or even RPGs—effectively requires training and skill).
But the real distinction to understand is that what makes a gun semi-automatic is that a portion of the force from the recoil of firing a round is siphoned off to reload the next round, rather than doing it manually. Well, guess what? All guns with any sort of magazine, i.e., an integral store of rounds, have manual mechanisms for reloading. Whether it's a quick pump on a shotgun, a fast back-&-forth on the bolt of a rifle, or rapid slapping of the hammer of a revolver, all non-semi-automatic weapons can be rapidly fired just like a semi-auto and sometimes even faster; only, with manual effort required. In fact, I have a .38 revolver, and I can fire its six rounds as fast as any semi-auto. It doesn't even require slapping the hammer with my other hand—just a more forceful squeeze of the trigger. Moreover, revolvers are arguably the best self defense weapon for Joe Average because their mechanism is simple. It'll last forever, will never jam, and requires zero maintenance.
All of the "assault rifle" hoopla—every ounce of it—is fodder for the ignorant. It simply is. Manufactures have a certain category of their semi-autos that they manufacture to appear as nefarious and menacing as possible—though they operate just like any semi-auto—and those who lack all knowledge of guns but what they hear from dolled up talking heads on TeeVee—equally ignorant—conjure imaginations that have no correspondence with reality. It's the blind stirring up the blind.
#2. We have a social problem and it goes very deep, has many tentacles, and banning stuff will not only not solve a damn thing, but just as with alcohol, drugs, and every other thing that gets banned, unintended consequences are always worse.
I don't even bother to look at arguments that involve banning anything. ...No more than I pay attention to arguments that unicorns, Santa, tooth fairies, and Easter bunnies might exist...or that the universe might revolve around a flat Earth. Bans and restrictions are fantasies and at a point, there's just not enough time in the day and you have to filter out the moron to get anything done. Ban? ....Dismissed out-of-hand. Nothing to see there, except fucking moron, and there's plenty of that everywhere.
...Oh, ya, then there's the "bazooka" argument ("well, people can't own a bazooka, so why not ban other 'weapons of mass destruction?'"). I note that fissionable material is so difficult to obtain and then explode even if one did own some, whole States have been working on it for decades. I advocate for a complete lifting of the ban on private individual citizens owning nuclear weapons. I also advocate lifting the ban on armed F-22 Raptors, for individuals earning more than its base price of $137 million per year. Have at it. ....And so on.
Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) might be obtainable, but at about $100 per round and training and skill required to make them hit intended targets, it's going to put a dent in the wallet of an 18-yr-old high schooler, and the requisite practice might draw some attention. If they wanted to use explosives, there's plenty of ways for even primitive, dirt poor people to improvise them (IEDs).
...Or just go buy this guy's Bofors L60 40mm automatic anti-aircraft cannon. Legal to own. Legal to sell. Legal to have the time of your life blowing shit up! Ignorants: yes, I am laughing at your utter ignorance. Hey, that's "military gear." Ha, and watching that video seriously makes me want to demand a refund from the producers of that 1997 film, The Jackal. ...I doubt you'll be seeing it any time soon at a school near you. So where has your argument gone?
You will never, ever ban your way out of this social problem and will only create worse problems. Here.
In studies involving interviews of felons, one of the reasons the majority of burglars try to avoid occupied homes is the chance of getting shot. (Increasing the odds of arrest is another.) A study of Pennsylvania burglary inmates reported that many burglars refrain from late-night burglaries because it’s hard to tell if anyone is home, several explaining “That’s the way to get shot.” (Rengert G. and Wasilchick J., Suburban Burglary: A Time and a Place for Everything, 1985, Springfield, IL: Charles Thomas.)
By comparing criminal victimization surveys from Britain and the Netherlands (countries having low levels of gun ownership) with the U.S., Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck determined that if the U.S. were to have similar rates of “hot” burglaries as these other nations, there would be more than 450,000 additional burglaries per year where the victim was threatened or assaulted. (Britain and the Netherlands have a “hot” burglary rate near 45% versus just under 13% for the U.S.... Source: Gary Kleck, Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, Walter de Gruyter, Inc., New York, 1997.
Note: a "hot" burglary is one where the occupants are home instead of away. That is, it's a common burglary that becomes a home invasion.
But the trouble is that this kind of burglary – the kind most likely to go “wrong” – is now the norm in Britain. In America, it’s called a “hot” burglary – a burglary that takes place when the homeowners are present – or a “home invasion”, which is a much more accurate term. Just over 10 per cent of US burglaries are “hot” burglaries, and in my part of the world it’s statistically insignificant: there is virtually zero chance of a New Hampshire home being broken into while the family are present. But in England and Wales it’s more than 50 per cent and climbing. Which is hardly surprising given the police’s petty, well-publicized pursuit of those citizens who have the impertinence to resist criminals.
Even Australia’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime:
- In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
- Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
- Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
Moreover, Australia and the United States — where no gun-ban exists — both experienced similar decreases in murder rates:
- Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America’s rate dropped 31.7 percent.
- During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent.
- Sexual assault — Australia’s equivalent term for rape — increased 29.9 percent.
- Overall, Australia’s violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent.
- At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent.
- Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.
While this doesn’t prove that more guns would impact crime rates, it does prove that gun control is a flawed policy. Furthermore, this highlights the most important point: gun banners promote failed policy regardless of the consequences to the people who must live with them, says the Examiner.
"Even Australia’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime."
My quibble: looks like the gun ban had a profound [adverse] impact on the mount of [gun-involved] crime. Whether gun-involved or not, seems to me that even victimization that has "gone beyond" guns is for a reason. Dead is dead. Raped is raped. Robbed is robbed. and violated is violated and a lifelong burden, as any raped women will tell you. Stabbed is...not a gun. It's still stabbed.
All is not lost, however. In spite of the irrational, profit-driven sensationalism surrounding such events, as well as the understandable feelings of helplessness and doom people experience, the rates of mass killings are constant over a long period. The overall rate of violent crime over the last decades has decreased dramatically to the tune of 2/3ds, in spite of all the guns, all the semi-automatics. In spite of all the "military gear" people can now possess.
From the Oxford University Press: The Seven Myths of Mass Murder.
Myth 3: Incidents of mass murder are increasing
When a mass murder occurs, it receives instant and pervasive news coverage. Unfortunately, we are prone to overestimate the frequency of an event by its prominence in our minds, and mass murder is no exception. This is a very rare phenomenon and is neither increasing nor decreasing in the US. Since 1976 there have been about 20 mass murders a year. 2003 was the most violent year for mass murder, with 30 incidents and 135 victims. Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Edmund Oklahoma, and San Ysidro still resonate in the public consciousness, however, reminding us that these events do happen. A positive counterpoint is that rates of all violent crime have significantly decreased over this same time period, from 48 victims per 1000 persons in 1976 to 15 victims in 2010. The most lethal school mass murder in US history was in Bath, Michigan, in 1927, a bombing that resulted in 45 deaths, mostly children in the second to sixth grades.
The title of this post relates to point #3 and as is my favorite way of doing things, the most important point is the simplest point.
What is your chief effective lifelong defense against aggression?
Let me explore that by first asking: what phenomena causes all animals to have fear? Isn't it the unknown, the uncertain, the unpredictable? The unfamiliar? It's more powerful generally than any physical weapon. Weapons are tools for specific events and needs. But they are also far more effective in the long term and the general: as unknown deterrents.
And so, for example, the unintended consequence of making a school a "gun free zone" is that it advertises predictable certainty right out in the open. No unknowns. Zero fear on the part of predators, and the fact that vice principle Joel Myrick was able to retrieve his gun from his truck and stop a school shooting from going to the next planned school was a mere flash in time coincidence, long forgotten. If someone is intent upon killing, schools are simply: the most logical choice.
Adults ought hang their miserable heads in shame. You have participated politically in putting children in harm's way, making them the go-to explicit targets and sitting ducks. It's a perfect storm, and virtually no one looks at it rationally. "It's a tragedy." Bullshit! It is your responsibility to protect your children 24-fucking-7; no exceptions, no excuses. ...No fucking contrived "tragedies" to mask your dereliction in the most fundamental responsibility that exists between one human being and another.
...Why are militaries so intent on keeping their capabilities secret, unless so overwhelming, that calculated divulgence works better? How come it's better in a state where concealed carry is permitted, for any common citizen to keep their weapon loaded and concealed, rather than open carry? How would your driving behaviors change if all traffic cops went to unmarked vehicles? If you don't like and don't have firearms, are you going to put a "Gun Free Zone" sign on your front yard?
...Are you going to humbly thank people like myself and others who keep the uncertainty alive, that uncertainty, that unknown element you benefit from—or seek to disarm us too? As previously cited, how come only 10% of burglaries in the US are home invasions, while they are 50% in Great Britain? Huh?
You know, I heard a lot of prayers last night during that broadcast of the service for the victims and their families; many understandable, given the horror...and there's no wishing them well; because their lives will never, ever be well. The prayers that I don't understand were those thanking an Omnipotent Being for those who responded (to clean up the mess). Emphasis added. Get it? There's apparently no opportunity to thank those who might be prepared to help, because they are legally prevented from helping in any effective way but...cleaning up the mess.
In short, armed everyman—or many—is a multifaceted complexion. What you typically find for "solutions" is that which appeals to the average ignorant (wholly or by subject), moron, or 'tard.'
In the end, it gets very simple and clear. While only a few of the thousands of lawful and rational use of armed citizen resistance to victimization each year get publicized, a few do, and when they do, it's almost always on local news, so as to keep it localized.
Here's some examples. And here's 70-something videos of mostly local new reports of everything from a 12-yr-old shooting an armed intruder with her mom's gun, to 80 and 90+ yr-old-grannies and grandpas not sitting by to get victimized.
It must be said that every hand-wringing gun-banner of any and all sorts is implicitly advocating for these people to have been victims for no other reason than to assuage their fears, cure their trepidation, bolster their sound-smart or in-crowd, etc. Probably, the same ones displaying the most emotional reaction, too.
You want to solve this? How about resurrect, celebrate and take no substitute for the quintessential human, functioning family? No force, but pressure to bear on what can now be fashionable...because every old good idea is eventually new again, and so why not now?
But that's a subject for a different day.
As a very second to final shot—and I'm generally not a fan of Vox Day—there's this.
Ask them this: If guns, and not people, kill people, why don’t they first disarm the more heavily armed government and police people before trying to disarm the public?
Ask them this: How does it make any sense to disarm the public and leave the government armed when over the last 100 years, governments around the world, including the U.S. federal government, have killed vastly more people in time of peace than all of the private murders in the world combined?
Ask them this: 800,000 law enforcement officers have killed 525 unarmed citizens with guns so far this year. Approximately 310 million private citizens killed an estimated 10,500 of their fellow citizens with guns over the same period of time. Given that a law enforcement officer is 19.4 times more likely to shoot and kill an unarmed American than a private citizen, if you genuinely care about reducing gun deaths, why aren’t you calling for the disarmament of law enforcement?
And as the very last shot, what about all these anti-psychotic drugs? I'd known of it generally, had no idea it correlated this heavily. That's a lot. I count 39 citations, and when you're talking about mass murder, murder suicide or plain suicide which are relatively rare events, such a strong correlation is noteworthy. However, just as for my subject for a different day, this is all just medicating a more fundamental problem.
...And if I blogged about it regularly, I'd have to rename the blog to Lose the Animal.
Update: Last evening a friend emailed me with some links calling into question the accuracy of the data for Australia that I included in the post. As well, there was a comment this morning doing essentially the same thing. Here's that comment and my response.