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The Evolutionary Deterrence of the Unknown: Newtown, Connecticut School Shooting Reflections

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Here.

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.

Here.

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.

Comments

  1. You are 100% spot on and after having experienced how useless, uncaring, and just fucking lazy cops are the few times I have needed them I can tell you I would feel SOOOOOO much better if I could legally keep a pistol in the house, ready to defend the family.

    Police provide only control with the illusion of security being why most of us put up with it.

    Richard I am not in agreement with you often but on this you are SPOT ON.

    Law abiding citizens deserve the right to be prepared and ready and trained to defend themselves and their families. The only places cops proactively protect ARE BANKS and GOVERNMENT not you and me.

    Law abiding citizens deserve freedom not restrictions, especially on their personal safety.

    • Why can’t you keep a gun in the house? We do, my son does, many friends do, it’s a good feeling to know that if a situation arose that threatened us and our families we would have some defense.

  2. It Newtown not Newton.

  3. Anti-psychotic drugs have probably saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipsychotic

    Of course there is a downside, but there is a downside to everything and when in a living/dying situation a person will accept a whole lot of downside.

    There are a lot of people out there (who I consider lunatics) talking about the dangers of psychiatric drugs, they point out the instances where a person taking the medication went off the rails, and disregard the 90% of cases where a person who would otherwise be dead as fried chicken was saved by the medication.

    Imo the big problem is the reluctance of parents to take their child to a psychiatrist, doing so would avoid a lot of needless pain, but parents are concerned with the stigma, so they postpone it until the situation erupts.

    • rob,

      how can you possibly know that in “90% of cases where a person who would otherwise be dead as fried chicken was saved by the medication”

      • B. N. Bliss says:

        He can’t.

      • Revo Luzione says:

        He can’t. This is called “proof by assertion.” It’s for poofters with no debate skillz.

      • It’s just as sloppy as proof by correlation – ie the implication by Richard that the drugs are somehow causing the crazy. Crazy people take crazy pills. Why would anybody jump to the conclusion that the drugs are CAUSING the crazy?

        I agree that rob’s assertion was too confident, but I would guess that these medications HAVE saved some lives.

      • I believe I was careful to call it precisely that, a correlation.

        “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.”

        So now correlations can’t even be deemed noteworthy?

      • Correlations are absolutely noteworthy. They serve as a good string to pull on when attempting to untangle something.

        I misunderstood your post to be saying that you thought there was some causal relationship. Maybe I’m just used to the mainstream press which hardly ever bothers to differentiate between the two.

        I am an incurable skeptic, so I am evidently overeager to call bullshit when I see a correlation being used.

      • Nope.

        Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in the post. Basically, I’ve heard the crazy-drugs thing mentioned a lot of times over the years, but didn’t know if there was cherry picking going on.

        But that list is a bit sobering; at least, as you say, to pull on strings. Frankly, my suspicion is that the root cause is dysfunctional families, of all the sorts that manifest and in the context of this sort of act-out violence, it seems to be a certain category of young white male that does it.

        My modest proposal: fix the family first. Good wholesome food, prepare that food together or with lots of fanfare, eat together (SOCIALIZE! you social animals!!!), clean up together, watch a little TV together, etc.

        There is no substitute. We are social animals.

  4. More daughter stories here. When my younger daughter was very young, just a few years old and long before the typical liberal media/school induction/indoctrination could occur she asked me a simple question:

    I was tucking her in for the night when she asked “Dad, what would you do if someone broke in while we were home?”

    My answer was just as simple: “Honey, I’d kill them.”

    She didn’t believe me at first. “No you wouldn’t, what would you really do?”

    I told her that the safety of my family was my highest concerns, and that it was my job to make sure my wife and my kids were safe. She asked if I’d just tackle him or tie him up. Nope, I made it clear I’d kill him. I pointed out that dead people no longer pose a threat.

    She asked if that was wrong. I told her that he gave up his right to life the moment he violated our rights by invading our house, so no it wasn’t wrong.

    She thought about that for a bit, and asked me one more time while looking straight into my eyes: “Dad, would you really kill someone if they broke in?” I told her once more that I absolutely would.

    She looked satisfied, and threw her arms around my neck and said “Dad, I love you so much. Thanks for protecting us.”

    I didn’t expect that. It actually caught me off guard. But it’s the way it should be. Society at large seems to be so out of touch with what a very young girl got completely.

    The only gun problem we have in this country is people who don’t understand that guns aren’t the problem.

  5. Holy crap! Clicked your link to Daily Kos, and immediately got a pop-up asking me to sign a petition to ban guns.

  6. Much better Bofors video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSp7CipN1pw

    Also, you can supposedly buy Soviet MiGs for $50K or so. I’ve heard of some of them being delivered to US museums without being dewatted. :-)

  7. Hear, hear.

    “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.”

    It should be added for those who are gun ignorant that a revolver will never fire unless the hammer has been cocked to fire. It is completely safe when loaded. A teacher could have it on his/her desk, pointed at the class, and it would just lay there as happy as can be.

    • Right it must always be emphasized in the interest of gun safety and knowledge, that while if a semi does not have a round chambered, you can pull the trigger all day long, point it at anyone you like and nothing is going to happen. A semi requires an initial manual action to chamber a round. Once done, then each firing will expel the casing and chamber a new round.

      Conversely, for most moder revolvers, the mechanism is such that pulling the trigger fully back will both advance the magazine (the “revolver”) to the next spot and retract the hammer at the same time, and if you pull it all the way back and there’s a round in the next chamber of the revolver, it will fire.

      In different ways, semis and revolvers are more and less dangerous as each other, to the uniformed and ignorant.

      You know, anyone with the slightest interest can go to a local indoor range. Walk in the door, tell them “I’m ignorant and at least want to be informed” and I’d be surprised if they didn’t dote over you to cure your ignorance for as long as it takes.

      People like me want other responsible people to keep, bear, use and fully know about arms. I want them everywhere.

      • My semi jam too often, and intruder hardly ever want to wait while you clear chamber. Now I has .38 revolver, but because is no safety, I keep first chamber empty so I has to pull trigger twice to shoot. I think this good safety measure, if, like Cow, you maybe little foggy when you wakes up or has different lovers, and sometime they go to bathroom in middle of night and scare crap out of you on return.

      • Me too, cow. I keep the next chamber in line from a trigger pull empty, with that round wedged into the holster. First pull is dead, second, deadly.

      • I keep my .357 at the office fully loaded with no gun lock, I have never shot anyone and if it comes to that I don’t want to have to think whether the first pull of the trigger counts or not.

        I don’t have a gun at home but then my home is not located in a place frequented by vagrants.

        The only other firearm I need to get at some point is a “fine shotgun.” Some real craftsmanship goes into those things.

  8. Okay, read more on your last link at Daily Kos, and these types of things piss me off:

    Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)

    What the heck? They asked the doctor to take her off a drug? For goodness sake people, doctors don’t decide these things, they recommend them. You consult with a doctor, and then decide, they have no authority over you! Take charge of your health and quit acting like doctors have control.

  9. You missed the often (mis)used ‘statistic’ about how gun violence is so disproportionate in ‘merica vs. some liberal, gun-free EU nation. All the while ignoring the 800lb gorilla in the corner — or should I say street corner — that the bulk of this violence typically occurs in certain cultures/locations with poor economic outlook, illegal drug sales, and glorification of thug/street culture. Your typical lilly-white liberal has about as much chance of staring down the barrel of a gun walking to Whole Foods in the suburbs as he does walking around most of W. Europe.

    Honestly, it feels just like reading epidemiological health statistics where one variable is controlled for, but the rest of the confounders are allowed to run all over the place.

    • Right. Most crime in the US is committed by, and against Blacks and Hispanics. Of course if you bring this into discussion, the anti-witch chants of ‘racism’ will be brought out.

      • The thing that really frustrate me is all the whining about “children being killed by guns” — except the stats INCLUDE in the term “children”: “youth up to age 26 (!) and they leave out that MOST of that gun-violence is drug-crime related! It’s NOT your lily-white 6-yr-old whose parents are off at Whole Foods who finds daddy’s gun and kills a sibling… (Oh, and while I’m grousing: did y’all know “our” govt counts as “white” the Hispanics who COMMIT crimes, but count them as “non-white Hispanic” when they suffer a crime!!)

  10. Right on. Perfect. Well, almost perfect–I was a little put off by your use of the word ‘tard, but I’ve read your stuff long enough to know you don’t care too much about my opinion when it comes to that type or thing.

  11. There is a poster meme going around Facebook etc with the following text:

    “Last year handguns killed:

    48 people in Japan

    8 in Great Britain

    34 in Switzerland

    52 in Canada

    58 in Israel

    21 in Sweden

    42 in West Germany

    10,728 in the United States”

    With the point being that the US has more handgun deaths BECAUSE it has more guns. Funny thing is, if you go the wikipedia page on gun per capita statistics, guess who is number four? Switzerland.

    Leaving aside all the excellent arguements Richard has made in this post, just scrolling through the Wikipedia page should be enough to convince people that guns as a statistic are an utter irrelevancy.

    Let’s compare the two countries ranking 7th and 8th for most per capita guns: No. 7: Iraq. No. 8: Finland. I always thought those two places were like twins.

    How about numbers 10 through 15: Sweden, Norway, France, Canada, Austria, Germany, Iceland.

    And of course, the places low down on the list are veritable paradises on Earth of peace and non-violence. No. 106? Zimbabwe. No. 118? Palestine.

    But its the five-way tie for 164th place that tells you everything you need to know: Haiti, Japan, North Korea, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. That’s right, same number of guns per capita in Japan as in Haiti. That’s why you feel equally safe in either place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country

  12. Why is the trend to wait for the proper authorities? Is it because people have less and less willingness to accept responsibility for their actions?

    After the Fort Hood shootings, we in the military got “training” on what to do in case of a shooter. It boils down to run for cover, cower in fear, and wait for the proper authorities. Yes. The American Military. Shouldn’t the training be, “turn the shooters head into a pink mist”?

  13. The passage in the article citing statistics regarding firearms laws in Australia seems to miss the point of the legislation’s introduction.
    Firearms laws changed in Australia to prevent mass murders (such as the Port Arthur massacre: 35 dead, 21 injured, Colt AR 15 semi-automatic rifle with 30 round magazine from happening again.
    In the 18 years prior to the new legislation in 1996, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, and none have occurred in the 16 years following (http://tobacco.health.usyd.edu.au/assets/pdfs/Other-Research/2006InjuryPrevent.pdf).
    Also, I’m not sure of the validity of the statistics cited in the article , nor the headline for that matter, as a recent press release from the Australian Minister for Justice dated 4 March 2012 states that current statistics regarding crime in Australia show that homicide has dropped 27% since the gun legislation was introduced in 1996, break-ins have been nearly halved and car theft has dropped by about 61% ).
    Also, it is important to note that in Australia, the term sexual assault is not synonymous with rape, but can be considered for incidences that occur anywhere on a continuum from sexual harrassment to life-threatening rape (http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=sexual%20assault%20rates%20australia&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CEcQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ausstats.abs.gov.au%2FAusstats%2Fsubscriber.nsf%2F0%2FC41F8B2864D42333CA256F070079CBD4%2F%24File%2F45230_2004.pdf&ei=H0zQUOfQK-aTiQe8xoCwAg&usg=AFQjCNF33PGzfIo0jVh1Hx5PAWRUFf42Cg). As such, sexual assault figures per 100000 may seem higher for Australians, but they count for a large range of sexually based offences, not just rape as the American FBI define it (http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/attorney-general-eric-holder-announces-revisions-to-the-uniform-crime-reports-definition-of-rape). In light of this, I think the article was incorrect in saying that Australian women are “raped” 3 times as often as American women.

    • Hey Clint.

      First, sorry you got hung up in the queue. Lotsa links.

      I’d had a friend already email a bunch of stuff on this so I had already begun running it down last night, then saw your comment in the queue this morning.

      Looks like I may have been Snoped a bit. Still looking into it. I’ll either reply here and then put an update in the post pointing to it, or do another post on it. We’ll see.

      Thanks again.

    • OK, too many things on my plate to do another post on this and plus, it’ll probably get a bit weary and as well, whether on not those stats are real, overstated, understated or whatever, it doesn’t matter. In terms of violence, homicide, etc., rate had been on the way down already. At any rate, here’s a bunch of links for anyone who cares to dig further into this. The text after each link is an excerpt from the link. Any of my comments are in brackets.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Australia#Measuring_the_effects_of_firearms_laws_in_Australia

      Historically, Australia has had relatively low levels of violent crime. Overall levels of homicide and suicide have remained relatively static for several decades, while the proportion of these crimes that involved firearms has consistently declined since the early 1980s. Between 1991 and 2001, the number of firearm-related deaths in Australia declined 47%.[25]

      In the year 2002–2003, over 85% of firearms used to commit murder were unregistered.[26] In 1997–1999, more than 80% of the handguns confiscated were never legally purchased or registered in Australia.[27] Knives are used up to three times as often as firearms in robberies.[28] The majority of firearm-related deaths are suicides, of which many involved the use of hunting rifles.[25]

      According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics [3], from 1985–2000, 78% of firearm deaths in Australia were suicides, and firearm suicides have fallen from about 22% of all suicides in 1992[29] to 7% of all suicides in 2005.[30] Immediately following the Buyback there was a fall in firearm suicides which was more than offset by a 10% increase in total suicides in 1997 and 1998. There were concerted efforts in suicide prevention from this time and in subsequent years the total suicide rate resumed its decline.

      A study co-authored by Simon Chapman argued that reduction in firearm numbers had prevented mass shootings because in the 18 years prior to the Port Arthur massacre there were 13 mass shootings and in the decade since 1996 there have been none.[46] The 2002 Monash University shooting of seven people, two of whom died, is ignored by Chapman because the usual definition requires four deaths. Data interpretation of trends in this study differs from other authors, while clearly being based on the same data. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monash_University_shooting )

      http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/19/america-dont-repeat-australias-gun-control-mistake/

      Yet, in 2011, I’m compelled to ask: When will we learn from our mistakes and admit we were wrong? And I ask this question because many Australians are victims of violence. In contrast, for criminals and their enablers, “gun control” is the gift that keeps on giving.

      Take Melbourne, Australia’s second most populous city. Between January 16, 1998 and April 19, 2010, 36 criminal figures or partners were murdered during the Melbourne Gangland Killings.

      Alas, family environments, from businesses to parks, were drawn into the mess.

      The passage of gun control laws fueled our illegal arms market, and gun-hungry gangs multiplied. The significance: many gangland deaths/wars involved bullets. The tribal fights exploded after the Port Arthur massacre-inspired gun laws, against mainstream media predictions.

      To concerned Victorians, too, it felt like our criminal class was running the state. The problem though (in Australia at least) is that campaigning newspapers and television networks are never wrong — no matter how many people are killed or threatened by guns, there’s always a “complex” excuse.

      The odd thing about gun control is that a culture of censorship often increases after anti-gun laws fail to deliver. So, it would be hard for an Australian writer to submit a piece on Switzerland’s pro-gun ownership culture and low gun crime rate because our media isn’t “ready” to accept opposing views. Only a “thought control” culture can sustain a “gun control” culture.

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/bob-katter-tells-kelvin-thomson-hes-wrong-to-lecture-the-us-on-gun-laws/story-fn59nm2j-1226539999490

      However, north Queensland MP Bob Katter said Mr Thomson was wrong and Australia needed to “clean up its own backyard” before it had the “moral arrogance” to lecture the rest of the world. “I think we are absolutely reprehensible, we have done nothing, not one single overt act, to separate the guns from the people who are mentally unhinged,” he said.

      “I am constantly revolted by the moral arrogance which some people in our country continuously assert, our governments running around being morally superior. ”

      http://www.factcheck.org/2009/05/gun-control-in-australia/

      Have murders increased since the gun law change, as claimed? Actually, Australian crime statistics show a marked decrease in homicides since the gun law change. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, a government agency, the number of homicides in Australia did increase slightly in 1997 and peaked in 1999, but has since declined to the lowest number on record in 2007, the most recent year for which official figures are available.

      [Me: Problem is, it is already well established that homicide was on the general decline. The graph runs between 1996 and 2010 and in the years after the gun grab, some years had more homicides, some less, and then in about 2002 the established trend continued (there are peaks in 99, 02, and 06). That you would have more homicides in ANY year close to the event is an a-priori falsification that grabbing all those guns reduced crime. It's just not possible. The guns were not available. You can argue that it will shift culture, but the problem is that the culture had already been doing fine on its own reducing violence steadily.]

      Some scholars even credit the 1996 gun law with causing the decrease in deaths from firearms, though they are still debating that point. A 2003 study from AIC, which looked at rates between 1991 and 2001, found that some of the decline in firearm-related homicides (and suicides as well) began before the reform was enacted. On the other hand, a 2006 analysis by scholars at the University of Sydney concluded that gun fatalities decreased more quickly after the reform. Yet another analysis, from 2008, from the University of Melbourne, concluded that the buyback had no significant effect on firearm suicide or homicide rates.

      So there’s no consensus about whether the changes decreased gun violence or had little to no effect.

      http://nocompromisemedia.com/2009/02/09/australian-wildfires-called-mass-murder-after-135-killed-while-muslim-cleric-benbrika-jailed-for-15-years-in-melbourne-terror-case-same-time-frame/

      Suspicions that some of Australia’s worst wildfires ever were deliberately set led police to declare crime scenes in incinerated towns on Monday through Victoria, 750 homes have been destroyed.

      [Me: This last one is quite a read for an entire international overview. About 35 pages, worth every word. I'll post the introduction and conclusion here.]

      http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

      WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE?
      A REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL AND SOME DOMESTIC EVIDENCE
      DON B. KATES AND GARY MAUSER

      Don B. Kates (LL.B., Yale, 1966) is an American criminologist and constitutional lawyer associated with the Pacific Research Institute, San Francisco. He may be con‐ tacted at [email protected]; 360‐666‐2688; 22608 N.E. 269th Ave., Battle Ground, WA 98604.
      Gary Mauser (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1970) is a Canadian crimi‐ nologist and university professor at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC Canada.

      INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………650
      I. VIOLENCE: THE DECISIVENESS OF
      SOCIAL FACTORS……………………………………………660
      II. ASKING THE WRONG QUESTION ……………………..662
      III. DO ORDINARY PEOPLE MURDER?……………………665
      IV. MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME?………………………………670
      V. GEOGRAPHIC, HISTORICAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC
      PATTERNS………………………………………………………673
      A. DemographicPatterns…………………………….676
      B. Macro‐historical Evidence: From the
      Middle Ages to the 20th Century ……………..678
      C. Later and More Specific Macro‐Historical
      Evidence………………………………………………….684
      D. GeographicPatternswithinNations……….685

      INTRODUCTION

      International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths.1 Unfortunately, such discussions are all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative. It may be useful to begin with a few examples. There is a com‐ pound assertion that (a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement (b) is, in fact, false and statement (a) is substantially so.

      Since at least 1965, the false assertion that the United States has the industrialized world’s highest murder rate has been an artifact of politically motivated Soviet minimization designed to hide the true homicide rates.2 Since well before that date, the Soviet Union possessed extremely stringent gun controls3 that were effectuated by a police state apparatus providing stringent enforcement.4 So successful was that regime that few Russian civilians now have firearms and very few murders involve them.5 Yet, manifest suc‐ cess in keeping its people disarmed did not prevent the Soviet Union from having far and away the highest murder rate in the developed world.6 In the 1960s and early 1970s, the gun‐less So‐ viet Union’s murder rates paralleled or generally exceeded those of gun‐ridden America. While American rates stabilized and then steeply declined, however, Russian murder increased so drasti‐ cally that by the early 1990s the Russian rate was three times higher than that of the United States. Between 1998‐2004 (the lat‐ est figure available for Russia), Russian murder rates were nearly four times higher than American rates. Similar murder rates also characterize the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and various other now‐independent European nations of the former U.S.S.R.7 Thus, in the United States and the former Soviet Union transition‐ ing into current‐day Russia, “homicide results suggest that where guns are scarce other weapons are substituted in killings.”8 While American gun ownership is quite high, Table 1 shows many other developed nations (e.g., Norway, Finland, Germany, France, Denmark) with high rates of gun ownership. These countries, however, have murder rates as low or lower than many devel‐ oped nations in which gun ownership is much rarer. For example, Luxembourg, where handguns are totally banned and ownership of any kind of gun is minimal, had a murder rate nine times higher than Germany in 2002.9

      The same pattern appears when comparisons of violence to gun ownership are made within nations. Indeed, “data on fire‐ arms ownership by constabulary area in England,” like data from the United States, show “a negative correlation,”10 that is, “where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are high‐ est.”11 Many different data sets from various kinds of sources are summarized as follows by the leading text:

      [T]here is no consistent significant positive association be‐ tween gun ownership levels and violence rates: across (1) time within the United States, (2) U.S. cities, (3) counties within Illinois, (4) country‐sized areas like England, U.S. states, (5) regions of the United States, (6) nations, or (7) population subgroups . . . .12

      A second misconception about the relationship between fire‐ arms and violence attributes Europe’s generally low homicide rates to stringent gun control. That attribution cannot be accu‐ rate since murder in Europe was at an all‐time low before the gun controls were introduced.13 For instance, virtually the only English gun control during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was the practice that police patrolled without guns. During this period gun control prevailed far less in England or Europe than in certain American states which nevertheless had—and continue to have—murder rates that were and are comparatively very high.14

      In this connection, two recent studies are pertinent. In 2004, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences released its evaluation from a review of 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, and some original empirical research. It failed to identify any gun control that had reduced violent crime, sui‐ cide, or gun accidents.15 The same conclusion was reached in 2003 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s review of then‐ extant studies.16

      Stringent gun controls were not adopted in England and Western Europe until after World War I. Consistent with the outcomes of the recent American studies just mentioned, these strict controls did not stem the general trend of ever‐growing violent crime throughout the post‐WWII industrialized world including the United States and Russia. Professor Malcolm’s study of English gun law and violent crime summarizes that nation’s nineteenth and twentieth century experience as follows:

      The peacefulness England used to enjoy was not the result of strict gun laws. When it had no firearms restrictions [nine‐ teenth and early twentieth century] England had little vio‐ lent crime, while the present extraordinarily stringent gun controls have not stopped the increase in violence or even the increase in armed violence.17

      Armed crime, never a problem in England, has now be‐ come one. Handguns are banned but the Kingdom has mil‐ lions of illegal firearms. Criminals have no trouble finding them and exhibit a new willingness to use them. In the dec‐ ade after 1957, the use of guns in serious crime increased a hundredfold.18

      In the late 1990s, England moved from stringent controls to a complete ban of all handguns and many types of long guns. Hundreds of thousands of guns were confiscated from those owners law‐abiding enough to turn them in to authorities. Without suggesting this caused violence, the ban’s ineffective‐ ness was such that by the year 2000 violent crime had so in‐ creased that England and Wales had Europe’s highest violent crime rate, far surpassing even the United States.19 Today, Eng‐ lish news media headline violence in terms redolent of the doleful, melodramatic language that for so long characterized American news reports.20 One aspect of England’s recent experience deserves note, given how often and favorably advo‐ cates have compared English gun policy to its American coun‐ terpart over the past 35 years.21 A generally unstated issue in this notoriously emotional debate was the effect of the Warren Court and later restrictions on police powers on American gun policy. Critics of these decisions pointed to soaring American crime rates and argued simplistically that such decisions caused, or at least hampered, police in suppressing crime. But to some supporters of these judicial decisions, the example of England argued that the solution to crime was to restrict guns, not civil liberties. To gun control advocates, England, the cradle of our liberties, was a nation made so peaceful by strict gun control that its police did not even need to carry guns. The United States, it was argued, could attain such a desirable situation by radically reducing gun ownership, preferably by banning and confiscating handguns.

      The results discussed earlier contradict those expectations. On the one hand, despite constant and substantially increasing gun ownership, the United States saw progressive and dramatic re‐ ductions in criminal violence in the 1990s. On the other hand, the same time period in the United Kingdom saw a constant and dramatic increase in violent crime to which England’s response was ever‐more drastic gun control including, eventually, banning and confiscating all handguns and many types of long guns.22 Nevertheless, criminal violence rampantly increased so that by 2000 England surpassed the United States to become one of the developed world’s most violence‐ridden nations.

      To conserve the resources of the inundated criminal justice system, English police no longer investigate burglary and “mi‐ nor assaults.”23 As of 2006, if the police catch a mugger, robber, or burglar, or other “minor” criminal in the act, the policy is to release them with a warning rather than to arrest and prosecute them.24 It used to be that English police vehemently opposed the idea of armed policing. Today, ever more police are being armed. Justifying the assignment of armed squads to block roads and carry out random car searches, a police commander asserts: “It is a massive deterrent to gunmen if they think that there are going to be armed police.”25 How far is that from the rationale on which 40 American states have enacted laws giv‐ ing qualified, trained citizens the right to carry concealed guns? Indeed, news media editorials have appeared in England argu‐ ing that civilians should be allowed guns for defense.26 There is currently a vigorous controversy over proposals (which the Blair government first endorsed but now opposes) to amend the law of self‐defense to protect victims from prosecution for using deadly force against burglars.27

      The divergence between the United States and the British Commonwealth became especially pronounced during the 1980s and 1990s. During these two decades, while Britain and the Commonwealth were making lawful firearm ownership increasingly difficult, more than 25 states in the United States passed laws allowing responsible citizens to carry concealed handguns. There are now 40 states where qualified citizens can obtain such a handgun permit.28 As a result, the number of U.S. citizens allowed to carry concealed handguns in shopping malls, on the street, and in their cars has grown to 3.5 million men and women.29 Economists John Lott and David Mustard have suggested that these new laws contributed to the drop in homicide and violent crime rates. Based on 25 years of corre‐ lated statistics from all of the more than 3,000 American coun‐ ties, Lott and Mustard conclude that adoption of these statutes has deterred criminals from confrontation crime and caused murder and violent crime to fall faster in states that adopted this policy than in states that did not.30

      As indicated in the preceding footnote, the notion that more guns reduce crime is highly controversial. What the contro‐ versy has obscured from view is the corrosive effect of the Lott and Mustard work on the tenet that more guns equal more murder. As previously stated, adoption of state laws permit‐ ting millions of qualified citizens to carry guns has not resulted in more murder or violent crime in these states. Rather, adop‐ tion of these statutes has been followed by very significant re‐ ductions in murder and violence in these states.
      To determine whether this expansion of gun availability caused reductions in violent crime requires taking account of various other factors that might also have contributed to the decline. For instance, two of Lottʹs major critics, Donohue and Levitt, attribute much of the drop in violent crime that started in 1990s to the legalization of abortion in the 1970s, which they argue resulted in the non‐birth of vast numbers of children who would have been disproportionately involved in violent crime had they existed in the 1990s.31

      The Lott‐Mustard studies did not address the Donohue‐ Levitt thesis. Lott and Mustard did account, however, for two peculiarly American phenomena which many people believed may have been responsible for the 1990s crime reduction: the dramatic increase of the United States prison population and the number of executions. The prison population in the United States tripled during this time period, jumping from approxi‐ mately 100 prisoners per 100,000 in the late 1970s to more than 300 per 100,000 people in the general population in the early 1990s.32 In addition, executions in the United States soared from approximately 5 per year in the early 1980s to more than 27 per year in the early 1990s.33 Neither of these trends is re‐ flected in Commonwealth countries.

      Although the reason is thus obscured, the undeniable result is that violent crime, and homicide in particular, has plum‐ meted in the United States over the past 15 years.34 The fall in the American crime rate is even more impressive when com‐ pared with the rest of the world. In 18 of the 25 countries sur‐ veyed by the British Home Office, violent crime increased during the 1990s.35 This contrast should induce thoughtful people to wonder what happened in those nations, and to question policies based on the notion that introducing increas‐ ingly more restrictive firearm ownership laws reduces violent crime. Perhaps the United States is doing something right in promoting firearms for law‐abiding responsible adults. Or per‐ haps the United States’ success in lowering its violent crime rate relates to increasing its prison population or its death sen‐ tences.36 Further research is required to identify more precisely which elements of the United States’ approach are the most important, or whether all three elements acting in concert were necessary to reduce violent crimes.

      CONCLUSION

      This Article has reviewed a significant amount of evidence from a wide variety of international sources. Each individual portion of evidence is subject to cavil—at the very least the general objection that the persuasiveness of social scientific evidence cannot remotely approach the persuasiveness of conclusions in the physical sciences. Nevertheless, the bur‐ den of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, espe‐ cially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra.149 To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world.

      Over a decade ago, Professor Brandon Centerwall of the Uni‐ versity of Washington undertook an extensive, statistically sophis‐ ticated study comparing areas in the United States and Canada to determine whether Canada’s more restrictive policies had better contained criminal violence. When he published his results it was with the admonition:

      If you are surprised by [our] finding[s], so [are we]. [We] did not begin this research with any intent to “exonerate” hand‐ guns, but there it is—a negative finding, to be sure, but a nega‐ tive finding is nevertheless a positive contribution. It directs us where not to aim public health resources.150

  14. Couldn’t agree more with your assessment, Richard.

    My indoctrination as a young child, a military brat, was weaponry respect. As a result, my boys are taught not only in target practice, but gun selection, disassembling, cleaning, proper storage; the general respect given to a piece of weapon. But since I am fully responsible for their security and others who may be affected by them, I also realistically analyze their thinking, their friends, their diet, their video gaming time, their computer/tv watching, their other outside adventures, etc. I want them to be responsible men who know how to think, but if I noticed any cracks in their thinking, I would quickly shut down many things including weapons.

    And as far as mass murders from semi-automatic weapons, which seem to be mostly committed by young white males who were previously or currently taking ADHD-type meds, Jim Jones killed over 200 people with cyanide. If someone wants to commit a shock and awe event, they will find a way. Hmm, suicide bomber?

    @Bert – ‘Why is the trend to wait for the proper authorities?’
    I believe this is because our legal system makes one hesitate on whether or not to try to stop an event from happening lest they get hung out to dry with a sympathetic ‘tard’-jury. A CW holder is not liable to help; they can, but they don’t have to. When the fear of being sued in court by the thug’s family is greater than being able to duck out and let someone else take care it, we have a nation that gives the upper-hand to the criminal. Imagine you stopping a gun-wielding thug, killing him dead right there, and then you have a jury of indoctrinated Canadian-minds blame you for the killing! Makes me stop to think about whether it’s safer to shoot or run.

    We are a Republic, though, not a democracy. The Bill of Rights protects our individual rights with, I believe, the 2nd amendment being the most important. If I cannot protect myself from anyone, government included, then we might as well shut up and walk ourselves to the sheep-holding pen. For those who believe we are a democracy with mob-rule and you believe in taking all guns away, I don’t care how educated you are, you are a moron and wouldn’t last in a world without someone taking care of you.

    • For those who believe we are a democracy with mob-rule

      That’s true for me…

      and you believe in taking all guns away,

      And, NOT me. I don’t even have a gun. Don’t feel I need one… Yet. Maybe by next year… :-(

      Currently, my two 100-pound dogs and swords are good dissuasions. But if things degrade much more – and they will now, with real food in the crosshairs again, irradiation of our foods increased, codex alimentarius set to be implemented, and our HNIC in for another four destructive years… Plus the push to ban all means of self-defense (Includes guns, swords, knives, pipes, glass, scissors, bottle openers, whatever you can use)… Maybe it’s time to stop retreating, to draw the line in the sand and dig in?
      “They” have plans for that, too, of course, but there’s GOT to be a point when we decide we won’t just take whatever scraps fall from “their” table.

      (“They” and “their” above have little real meaning, hence in quotes. Elites of various stripes exist, some are visibile, some not, but all “above” the “common rabble.” Funny how I consider myself Conservative, which means I’m a classical liberal, which means I sound like a revolutionary. :-P )

  15. Has anyone noticed that gun control zealots are also fanatical advocates of leniency towards the criminal element in society?

  16. Agree with you Richard. Many people don’t understand what a semi automatic weapon is. They assume it is a machine gun. Others, who understand a little more, are concerned about magazine capacity. I am a woman with a permit, and I struggle to find an answer to helping prevent some of these senseless deaths, especially of children. For a while I struggled with the idea that banning semi automatics may save lives, thinking it is the larger bullet capacity that is the problem and perhaps if the clip had to be changed sooner, someone could intervene and a life could be saved. I now know large capacity clips are available for handguns as well and a clip can be changed in a second anyway. One thing I struggle to understand is why so many men are SO passionate about their right to own every gun out there. It completely takes away their ability to have any sort of open mind to even discussing options. Its like someone is trying to confiscate their balls.

    Here in Ct an 8 year old boy died trying to operate an Uzzi machine gun. He was with his father at a gun range. I guess his father and the so called safety personnel on staff thought that was an ok thing to do. As the boy pulled the trigger, the gun went out of control, went up to his head and killed him. Yes, I agree with you, adults should know better and be more responsible. However, I don’t know if its a woman thing but I can easily say, ok, innocent children are being killed because some adults are sick or just stupid assholes – you don’t have to be mentally to use poor judgement – maybe I can give up my right to own an UZZI in the hope that it might prevent a tragic incident from happening, and if just one child could be saved, my sacrifice is so worth it. I know it is not as simple as this, just trying to make a point that being social beings and living in communities, we have to be somewhat open and come together on some things… shouldn’t we be willing to try? People can not be trusted to be responsible… they just can’t.

    • “You don’t have to be mentally ILL to use poor judgement”
      I’ve got to start proofing my comments.

    • ‘One thing I struggle to understand is why so many men are SO passionate about their right to own every gun out there. ‘

      I own 2 different handguns and definitely want another, mainly because my PPK jams, my SIG is a bit heavy to carry, and I really want a revolver. I suppose if I hunted, I’d want some other type of gun. Mostly it depends on the context of where it’s going to be used.

      My husband and boys want them all. They also want crossbows, compound bows, throwing knives and all the fastest, coolest cars in town.

      When a group of people (mob-rule) decide to limit something else that a person desires, where does it stop? I say the fastest, coolest car in town has more potential to kill my son and anyone else around him than his Remington 22. Should mob-rule then decide that a Mustang Roush be banned?

      • “I own 2 different handguns and definitely want another, mainly because my PPK jams, my SIG is a bit heavy to carry, and I really want a revolver.”

        I don’t understand why more people don’t go with a revolver for their first gun, they are pretty much foolproof, if you want more capacity buy a speed loader.

      • You could have saved me a lot of money, Rob, if you had been around when I was buying! But, these look cool. So for those who are buying their first gun – take other’s advise and shoot many until you find the right for you.

    • ‘People can not be trusted to be responsible… they just can’t.’

      I don’t understand how you can make the leap from sensationalized random incidents to “all people.” Are we all to be relegated to wearing shoes with velcro because we can’t be trusted to not strangle someone or hang ourselves by the shoe strings; should we be forced to drive a prius because we can’t be trusted with a 2-ton truck; should we give up alcohol because we can’t be trusted to drink wine just at dinner; should we be forced to drink pasteurized milk because farmers can’t be trusted to make clean raw milk (oh, wait, that’s already happened); and the endless, tiring list goes on – all in the name of children safety. And in the meantime, every day, you not only give away your rights but also expect to take mine.

      I’m sorry that some people are stupid and can’t handle certain things. It’s not my responsibility, though, to give up what I can handle because others cannot.

      • All that you have said makes sense and I understand your reasoning. My husband uses the same arguments, especially the car one. It is a topic that triggers (no pun intended) a lot of emotion. Main difference being though, that guns were invented as a weapon to kill, not so with cars. This is a huge distinction between guns and other things that kill. And don’t bring up the sport of target sport of target shooting – let’s face it most of target shooting is so that one can become good at just that – hitting the target and learning to handle and become familiar with the gun.

        The only place we really differ is that I feel as a societal being, it is my responsibility to give up what I can handle because others can not. Not everything… but certainly something. Isn’t that what highly evolved civilized people do? Otherwise its the Hatfield’s and the McCoys all over again.

      • “Main difference being though, that guns were invented as a weapon to kill.”

        But as a tool, it has become primarily a weapon of deterrence and defense.

        It’s cool how that works, with tools. Someone always figures other uses for it.

        “it is my responsibility….”

        Fine, then get to it, get in line. So long as I’m not forced to be included, I’ve got no quarrel.

      • Kris – you don’t offend me, but when you say “I feel” that’s exactly how you are trying to argue your point – you overwhelmingly feel, not think. It’s not a criticism necessarily, there are so many feelers around especially women, I’m just not much of one. So when media sensationalizes extremely tragic, random events, the feelers are overwhelmed with grief and feel they need to do something; that’s the whole point in showing the pictures of the killers, the pictures of the grievers, the pictures of the weapons, the pictures of the idyllic town shattered, the pictures of the glowing candles – to evoke feeling. This is one way to cope when kept in check with thinking. However, since you are a feeler, your emotions are being played by those who are pulling your strings for their benefit. Be aware of that type of mind control, it’s very subtle, but very real.

    • “People can not be trusted to be responsible… they just can’t.”

      I presume that includes you.

      • Oh wow Richard. I guess you took it as an attack on your manhood, which by the way I never meant to do. Was just making light of the situation a bit by trying to be funny. Always a risky thing to do I guess. Ok, I’ll take my toys and go home. Sorry if I offended anyone.

      • Not at all. I just presume that if someone makes a general statement like that about people, they must be including themselves.

        Simple logic, right?

    • Kris: “maybe I can give up my right to own an UZZI in the hope that it might prevent a tragic incident from happening, and if just one child could be saved, my sacrifice is so worth it. ”

      Your option — however, you may NOT give up MY right to own a Uzzi!!

      Yes, it’s tragic that a child was killed because his father was an ass! However, it cleans the gene pool; such a parent should not be raising children. How many parents are you interested in controlling to raise their kids better? No more single parents with multiple children from multiple sperm donors? No more ‘absentee’ fathers? No more working mothers? LIFE is dangerous. Some people who should NOT die early DO die early. This is Nature, red in tooth and claw! Careless and stupid people get hurt and die. Careful and wise people sometimes get hurt and die too. Rules and laws should NOT be made on behalf of the stupid or careless!

      • “however, you may NOT give up MY right to own a Uzzi!!”
        Some of you just sound SO ANGRY. What are you afraid of? Seriously… is it that you think you are going to be protecting yourself against an army someday? I am not poking fun… I am asking because I know a few people who believe they will, and I guess I just don’t understand the level of passion over this issue. I am trying to. You are fighting this passionately over your right to talk on the phone while driving, so there has to be a nerve touched somewhere.

        “It cleans out the gene pool.”
        The innocent child met his horrific death, not the asshole father!!!!!!! OMG I wouldn’t want UZZI carrying Eleanor deciding who was low in the gene pool.

        “This is Nature, red in tooth and claw!”
        This gives new meaning to “Free the animal… biting commentary…”

        “Rules and laws should NOT be made on behalf of the stupid or careless!”
        What do you think laws and rules are for? Do you think all us highly evolved ‘trustworthy’ (apparently doesn’t include me – wink at Richard) people will just do the right thing… the rest will most likely be killed anyway. No stop lights… no speed limits… only the assholes will die? Wouldn’t that be nice.

      • Shit, I did it again…
        You are NOT fighting this passionately over your right to talk on the phone while driving, so there has to be a nerve touched somewhere.

      • “apparently doesn’t include me – wink at Richard”

        On the contrary. If I had kids, I already know that you would make an excellent babysitter—and I really can’t think of a more profound statement of confidence.

        I’m absolutely fine with you, Kris.

      • Thanks so much Richard!

      • “No stop lights… no speed limits…”

        With all due respect to AC/DC, this ironically very real, and saves lives and hard-earned property.

        http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/essays/traffic-guru

        “In the last few years, however, one traffic engineer did achieve a measure of global celebrity, known, if not exactly by name, then by his ideas. His name was Hans Monderman. The idea that made Monderman, who died of cancer in January at the age of 62, most famous is that traditional traffic safety infrastructure—warning signs, traffic lights, metal railings, curbs, painted lines, speed bumps, and so on—is not only often unnecessary, but can endanger those it is meant to protect.

        “As I drove with Monderman through the northern Dutch province of Friesland several years ago, he repeatedly pointed out offending traffic signs. “Do you really think that no one would perceive there is a bridge over there?” he might ask, about a sign warning that a bridge was ahead. “Why explain it?” He would follow with a characteristic maxim: “When you treat people like idiots, they’ll behave like idiots.” Eventually he drove me to Makkinga, a small village at whose entrance stood a single sign. It welcomed visitors, noted a 30 kilometer-per-hour speed limit, then added: “Free of Traffic Signs.” This was Monderman humor at its finest: a traffic sign announcing the absence of traffic signs.

        “Monderman wasn’t an obvious candidate to become a traffic revolutionary. Born in the small Friesland village of Leeuwarden, son of a headmaster, he worked as a civil engineer, building roads, then as an accident investigator, examining how crashes happen. But he was an unusually fluid thinker. Over lunch during my visit, he excitedly told me that he had been reading about the theory that delta societies tend to foster innovation because of their necessary flexibility in dealing with potentially changing landscapes. He saw a parallel with the low-lying Netherlands. “I think the Dutch are selected for that quality—looking for changes—by the landscape.”

        “And Monderman certainly changed the landscape in the provincial city of Drachten, with the project that, in 2001, made his name. At the town center, in a crowded four-way intersection called the Laweiplein, Monderman removed not only the traffic lights but virtually every other traffic control. Instead of a space cluttered with poles, lights, “traffic islands,” and restrictive arrows, Monderman installed a radical kind of roundabout (a “squareabout,” in his words, because it really seemed more a town square than a traditional roundabout), marked only by a raised circle of grass in the middle, several fountains, and some very discreet indicators of the direction of traffic, which were required by law.

        “As I watched the intricate social ballet that occurred as cars and bikes slowed to enter the circle (pedestrians were meant to cross at crosswalks placed a bit before the intersection), Monderman performed a favorite trick. He walked, backward and with eyes closed, into the Laweiplein. The traffic made its way around him. No one honked, he wasn’t struck. Instead of a binary, mechanistic process—stop, go—the movement of traffic and pedestrians in the circle felt human and organic.”

        A good read. I love driving in Europe where on the equivalent of our highways (not freeways) they still have traffic circles, and I am an expert at them. So much more life enhancing than stopping at a light for a 90 degree intersection.

      • “With all due respect to AC/DC, this ironically very real, and saves lives and hard-earned property.”

        And, this, is why I keep reading especially the comments because you seem to find the stuff I never knew existed. Thanks!

      • I’m not generally a big fan of Reagan, but he was never more right than when he said “it’s not what you don’t know that’s the problem. It’s what you know that isn’t so.” As per Richard above, spontaneous order often beats the pants off of whatever the experts come up with.

        I don’t mind people being wrong, but I really mind people being wrong and then being given authority and then telling me to do a wrong thing.

        Why are people angry? Well, first off, it’s the internet. Hardly anybody is as angry in RL as they are on the internet. The reason I’m passionate is that I think that the gun controllers are wrong. I fundamentally believe that fewer guns sold legally will NOT lead to less violence.

        The reason I’m not passionate about the phone thing is that I acknowledge that talking/texting on the phone is dangerous. Though (what “they” know that isn’t so) making it illegal tends to make it even more dangerous because people hide the phone under their line of sight.

        Any time you consider something that “society” should do or “government should pass a law”, first consider – what if you’re wrong? What if they people making the rules are just as incompetent as the people who you don’t trust to NOT have rules.

      • “I don’t mind people being wrong, but I really mind people being wrong and then being given authority and then telling me to do a wrong thing.”

        But that’s baked into the cake. That’s the tradeoff for the bliss of ignorance, the _feeling_ of safety.

        This is the brunt of my message: your safety is a consequence of the freedom to produce values, and others too in trade, such that your most obvious, logic, _safe_ route is production and trade. True safety is a consequence of deeper cultural factors such that peril typically comes down to accidental and chance, such as an airline crash.

        Politicians want you to believe that it’s them. It’s a contributing factor, as Western states are far better than used to be in terms of human well being. There’s one argument still left, however, and it’s the toughest one: we might be better off without it, or at least severely curtailed.

      • I would disagree that the actual politicians are a contributing factor. I think the political system itself is a factor inasmuch as it promotes freedom in a fairly decent structure, but the individuals involved are almost universally worthless or harmful.

        “There’s one argument still left, however, and it’s the toughest one: we might be better off without it, or at least severely curtailed.”

        I’m not understanding. What is the argument against? and what is the “it” we might be better off without?

      • So what if they’re wrong? The worst that will happen is you will be UZZIless. People fear it will keep going and going but it won’t.

        Keep in mind that politicians are just people, trying to do their job. They are under tremendous pressure right now to do something. And they will. And if it doesn’t work, at least they can say they tried but were wrong… not the biggest of deals.

        Ever been to a place outside of this country you thought was a living hell? I have. Upon returning had to stop in Puerto Rico. I must have still looked terrified, because the airline attendant kept staring at me. He finally looked me straight in the eye and said, “You can relax now, you are home.” I hadn’t been thinking PR was the US. I felt a wave of peace come over me and began to cry; if I wasn’t in such a hurry, I would have kissed the ground. When frustrated with some injustice, I always try to recapture how great that feeling was… and the thought of how great this country is.

      • No, the worst thing that could happen is that the gun nuts are right and fewer guns will result in more violence. The worst thing that could happen is that somebody you know and love will die because they couldn’t defend him-/her-self. I’m not confident that’s the case, but it’s the worst case scenario.

        As to whether it will keep going or not, there are people who want to ban all guns. Every single one of them. They’ve attempted to do so in the UK and in Australia so saying that it won’t keep going is, unfortunately, wishful thinking.

      • “As to whether it will keep going or not, there are people who want to ban all guns. Every single one of them. They’ve attempted to do so in the UK and in Australia so saying that it won’t keep going is, unfortunately, wishful thinking.”

        Fortunately, that would ignite a civil war in the US. That would not be a good thing, but we’re the last ones standing.

      • Joshua,
        Do you even LIVE in the US?
        Have you ever read the Communist party platform? What about the Democrat one? I’ll give a hint, if you read one, you read the other…

        (Could never be @$$ed to read the Republican party platform – I started to and after #2 or #3, asked out loud why they SPECIFICALLY fought AGAINST those things; I decided they were lying shmucks, and closed the page. Same as Democrats. Whoever wins, WE lose.)

      • Dammit, POLITICIANS are people who GET OFF on CONTROL. OF YOU. They don’t care how old their “date” is, if it’s a he/she/trans/goat, as long as they CONTROL things. And their Fear is being foudn out – their tears are over being found out and LOSING CONTROL. They have no conscience, morals, soul. ALL of them, from Chris Christie (?sp?) to Hitlery Clinton to “Living proof the US doesn’t assassinate ANYONE” Jimmy Carter.

        They aren’t humans, they have NO, ZEROP, self-control, and an external locus of control – and they believe EVERYONE ELSE must be the same.
        They want to keep you a naughty child they can punish on a whim, forever.

        STOP thinking these creatures think like YOU. it was the DEVIL that invented law, NOT GOD. Because ultimately, it ALWAYS becomes, “All animals are equal, but Some animals are MORE equal than others.”
        Woman > man before the law these days.
        Black > white.
        Child > adult.
        And who will talk for the animals…? (Animals > humans, though not yet in law. But look at UN Prop 27… Read between the lines and look at the number for SUSTAINABLE human life. Are YOU among the chosen?)

  17. Richard, I have never commented on your site before, but I wanted to let you know that you convinced me to go buy my first gun. This is the finest arguments I’ve ever seen on either side of the debate.

    • I’m thinking the same thing. Really.

      • Cool, guys.

        Try to get it from a local gun shop, and ask them about the best places to get some basic training. It doesn’t take much at all and I guarantee that their enthusiasm in helping you will go far beyond the money they’ll make in the gun sale and ammo over time.

        American gun nuts are some of the finest people you’ll ever get to know.

      • Thinking Ruger gp100. 357. Definitely local! Any thoughts on this revolver?

      • I think it’s all a matter of personal preference. I have an old .38 revolver, an old Ruger .22 revolver. Also, a Sig Sauer 40 S&W and another semi .308 that I have up at the cabin.

        My next gun will definitely be a 1911 .45

      • I’m with Richard on this one – personal preference. Shoot a bunch of guns before you decide what to buy. Find a range that rents all different types and fire away. Also, if you plan on carrying, take the weight and size into consideration.

        I’ve got a Glock 23 (40 S&W mid-size). It never jams unless I put shitty range ammo in it and it’s pretty good to carry/conceal with most clothing. It fits my hand like a glove, too, with the fat handle accessory thingy (sorry for the technical jargon).

      • I have a GP100 and its a fine gun, but its my “fun” gun. It’s too big (6″ barrel) to be my home defense gun. That’s a Glock 19. It is a personal choice, first and foremost.

      • The gun I keep at the office is a GP100, imo it makes sense to buy one used at a good gun shop, they are indestructible, it will be professionally cleaned and it will save you a lot of money. There are millions of them in circulation.

        Like Todd I got the one with the 6″ barrel so it would not be something to carry.

      • Stacy Nikoley says:

        Best weapon for purely home defense is a good old pump action 12 gauge with bird shot. Will cover wall to wall in a hallway being fired from the hip.

      • aminoKing says:

        “American gun nuts are some of the finest people you’ll ever get to know”

        My last trip to the USA proved this point to be 100% correct. The people on the gun range were some of the most polite, considerate and genuine people I’ve come across. If everyone I met was like that, I’d have very little in this world to be disappointed about.

  18. Someone may have already posted this, but it is worth reiterating: http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf.

  19. This post and much of the included commentary has been revelational for me. Very informative.
    My slow shift away from anti-gun sentiments has been swiftly expedited. It started with bowling for columbine and has continued ever since. Thanks for encouraging more and more rational thought.

  20. A case for rational preparedness. Given that American society produces these kind of wackos and they can get guns, it is absolutely irresponsible to keep groups of children together in advertised “gun free zones” supervised by unarmed unprepared caretakers. Schools recognize and prepare for the risk for fires, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, but when it comes to shooters they are negligent.

    http://www.policeone.com/active-shooter/articles/2058168-Active-shooters-in-schools-The-enemy-is-denial/

    • jonw – you’re expecting irrational gun control simple-minders to think rationally?! Impossible. The minions believe gun control will eradicate all gun violence; and government believes that gun control will eradicate all self-defense – they work synergistically to take away everyone’s personal liberty and individuality.

  21. Can this be possibly be true? Is the Examiner a credible source?

    32) Since the alleged shooter’s father is VP of GE Capital, and (like “Batman shooter” James Holmes’s father) was scheduled to testify at the Senate Hearings on the LIBOR scandal, is there a LIBOR connection to this event?

  22. Since this thread has more or less turned into an echo chamber, I thought I’d throw this comment into the mix that I first left at Itsthewooo’s blog, with a few minor alterations…

    American gun nuts love to blast you with carefully selected statistics supporting their case but there’s one statistic so damning they’ll rarely mention it: The U.S. has a gun homicide rate that’s at least 10 times the average of other NATO nations .

    The question is, why?

    I’m not sure anyone has the definitive answer but one thing I do know is that Ameriklans NEED their ‘niggers’. As long as they “can point their fucking finger and say, ‘Look! There’s the bad guy’” – as Tony Montana / Al Pacino so brilliantly observed in his drunken stupor restaurant rant – they can avoid having to look in the mirror and ask themselves, “Why…?”

    “Why do WE have such a creepy obsession with violent video games, violent movies (eg Scarface) and ASSAULT rifles (‘say hello to my little friend’)?”

    “Why are WE so violent… and hateful… and covetous… and warmongering?”

    “Why do WE so casually acquiesce to invading SOVEREIGN nations on trumped up, BULLSHIT pretenses knowing full well that countless INNOCENT men, women and children will be raped, tortured and/or murdered by our ‘brave boys’ just so we can STEAL their resources and install psychopathic dictators in our image that will set them back 100 years – all the while delusionally pretending that WE are civilized and THEY just ‘can’t get it together’???”

    Oh, that’s right… they’re just (sand) ‘niggers’. But when 18 white kids (2 of the 20 were ‘minorities’) get whacked, suddenly, it’s the end of the fucking world and Ameriklans are wandering around in a daze holding candles and/or pontificating on da interwebz wondering, ‘Why, oh why?’

    The answer to all those questions sure as HELL ain’t cuzz you’re angels.

    b-nasty – do you have a link that supports your assertions?

    • Well first, you’re conflating a great deal here. The subject is civilian ownership. I would agree that the US in general and cops in particular (as pointed out in those Vox Day quotes in my post) are more lethal to the unarmed.

      While it’s inaccurate as stated in the linked article ( and cherry picking nations too), doesn’t really matter. It’s just as in the health debates. You have to look at all-cause mortality. What does it matter if you keep a bunch of people from dying of heart disease, only to have more of them die, sooner, from cancer and other things?

      The only meaningful way to look at it is rates of all battery (classified by degree of injury) and all homicide. The tool used to do either is irrelevant. Similarly, if you have the same number of burglaries, but they’re using knives and bats instead of guns and going in hot to boot, what have you accomplished?

      By the way, Luxembourg has a homicide rate of 9 per 100,000, all firearms are completely outlawed. Germany has a homicide rate of .93 per 100,000, combined with a gun ownership of 30,000 per 100,000, or about a third of people.

      Explain that one, please.

      • By the way, that homicide rate for Lux was from 2003. The US homicide rate in 2003 was 5.7 (per 100k) and as of 2010 was 4.8.

      • This site shows a 2003 homicide rate of 1.0 per 100K. I’d be interested to see the link you’re quoting from.

      • Stacy Nikoley says:

        In 2003 wasn’t the “assault rifle” ban still in effect. I believe it expired in 2004. And yet in 2010 the murder rate was less? Simply impossible, His royal highness just told me today that I’ll be safe if we ban assault rifles… I’m so confused. LAF…

      • ‘Explain that one, please.’

        I can’t because I’m almost certain your homicide rate for Luxembourg is incorrect…

        Do you have a link for your Luxembourg stats? The latest homicide info I could find for Luxembourg is for 2008: 2.5 homicides (any method) per 100K. The TOTAL number of homicides in 2008 was just 12 so perhaps the figure of 9 that you cited is also the total rather than the rate per 100?

        “While it’s inaccurate as stated in the linked article (cherry picking nations), doesn’t really matter.”

        I purposely quoted the more conservative gun murder rate of 10 times as opposed to the 20 times rate used by Congressman Moron. As explained in the article, the 10 times rate was arrived at comparing the U.S. murder rate to all countries belonging to NATO which is a reasonable basis of comparison that does not define cherry picking.

        Even if you want to use all cause homicides as a basis of comparison, the total homicide rate in the States is still multiple times that of other NATO nations. You can plug in any (NATO) country you want and compare it to the U.S.

      • http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No2_KatesMauseronline.pdf

        pg 652. Incidentally, that’s a pretty good read and it’s all from an international perspective.

        As has been noted earlier, a super high percentage of our homicide rate of 4.2 is attributed to black-on-black and hispanic-on-hispanic gang-style and drug violence (no doubt some honkeys in there, too). I don’t have figures but at only 4.2 per 100,000 anyway, I bet it would make a significant dent.

        Moreover, I also suspect that Europe’s more liberal drug policies, enforcement and prosecution have a significant impact on having less “outlaws” fighting over turf and business.

        Here’s a good chart on homicide rates by country that you can sort on any column you like.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

      • Opps, forgot the link under that last paragraph. I edited it in.

        I find it interesting to also sort the chart by absolute numbers. Kinda puts things in perspective a bit more. We have it pretty good in the US, I think. I’ll bet that homicide decreases substantially once we finally end the war on drugs and get sensible about treating it as a health problem, like alcohol abuse.

      • OK, I see where you got your numbers from but it still seems that the 2002 Luxembourg murder rate of 9.0 from the PDF is incorrect. It doesn’t match the number from gunpolicy.org (2.1) whereas the wikipedia link you provided above matches exactly the gunpolicy.org rate for Luxembourg 2008: 2.5 murders per 100K and 12 total homicides. So I think it’s reasonable to assume that the PDF number of 9.0 murders per 100K for Luxembourg 2002 is WAY off. I’m curious about where THEY got it from.

        Luxembourg Murder Rates per 100K according to gunpolicy.org:
        2008: 2.58
        2007: 1.3
        2006: 1.5
        2005: 1.5
        2004: 0.5
        2003: 1.0
        2002: 2.1 ******** seems in line with the others. 9.0 is just OFF
        2001: 2.4
        2000: 1.8
        1999: 0.694 8
        1998: 0.94
        1997: 0.95
        1996: 0.96
        1995: 0.49

        Without hard numbers on the proportion of U.S. murders due to drugs and gangs any comments would be just speculation but they would have to be a HUGE percentage to even begin to dent the 10 times higher murder rate of the U.S. compared to her fellow NATO members average.

      • The two groups at most risk of homicide in the USA are young black males and young hispanic males. They’re also the groups most likely to be involved in the illegal drug trade. Last I checked, their homicide rate was something like 20/100K, vs. the non-hispanic white American homicide rate of about 2.5/100K. So, yes, the vast majority of homicides in America are prohibition-related.

      • Ok, I see, then. It’s extremely important to you that 4 in 100,000 are murdered in the US (about median on global terms) in an extemetly diverse melting pot society that is greater than all of W Euro homogenous discrete societies in total landmass and population, engages in a massive war of drugs, has a huge border from which drugs emanate (with hugely higher murder rates in Mexico and all of C America), etc., etc.

        It’s just the guns, isn’t it?

        How abut state your position?

      • Hey ATM

        Further to my last, about gang related homicide, there’s this, but I’ve not tried to crunch data yet.

        http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/Survey-Analysis/Measuring-the-Extent-of-Gang-Problems

      • Pretty much a mixed bag and if you look at the FAQ on the issue, you’ll understand why. There’s little starndarization of definitions, reporting criteria, or reporting at all. One this does seem clear is that a pretty high percentage of all homicides in dense urban areas like LA, Chicago, NYC are gang related.

        ~~~

        The number of gang-related homicides reported from 2006 to 2010 is displayed by area type and population size.

        From 2006 through 2010, a sizeable majority (>80 percent) of respondents provided data on gang-related homicides in their jurisdictions.

        The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2006 to 2010. During the same time period, the FBI estimated, on average, more than 16,000 homicides across the United States (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01.xls). These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 12 percent of all homicides annually.

        Highly populated areas accounted for the vast majority of gang homicides: 63 percent occurred in cities with populations more than 100,000, and 22 percent occurred in suburban counties in 2010.

        The number of gang-related homicides increased approximately 10 percent from 2008 to 2009 and then again from 2009 to 2010 in cities with populations over 100,000.

        In a typical year in the so-called “gang capitals” of Chicago and Los Angeles, around half of all homicides are gang-related; these two cities alone accounted for one in five gang homicides recorded in the NYGS from 2006 to 2010.

        Among agencies serving rural counties and smaller cities that reported gang activity, more than 80 percent reported zero gang-related homicides. Five percent or less of all gang homicides occurred in these areas annually from 2006 to 2010.

        Overall, these results demonstrate conclusively that gang violence is greatly concentrated in the largest cities across the United States.

      • ATM:

        First, thanks for stepping into “the echo chamber.” Appreciated.

        For now, another thought about something I’ve said to people in the whole gun debate over the years. The thinking is kinda binary, polarized. Either guns contribute to more crime, or less crime. Or it makes no difference. Only three options.

        A big deal was made of Joh n Lott’s book back when, “More Guns, Less Crime,” where he compared various stats in counties and states that had passed “shall issue” concealed carry laws with those that had strict control and appears to have shown less crime.

        Well, maybe. While not digging in deeply—I’m actually not a gun nut, they are a tool I like to have in my toolbox—I was not totally satisfied. After discussing it with a NASA physicist and fellow hang-glider pilot, he said this and I’ve been stealing it ever since: “More or less guns, more or less crime.”

        There is really only one firm conclusion that can be drawn from the 40+ states that now allow concealed carry and have to issue a permit unless THEY can show you are not fit (the laws are essentially a shift of burden): it does not increase crime in the general sense. Not at all. And I’m not interested in meaningless distinctions between stabbing someone 12 times, bashing their head in with a bat, or shooting them with a gun.

        And that’s enough for me.

    • “Why are WE so violent… and hateful… and covetous… and warmongering?”

      That is the question humans have been trying to answer for thousands of years, it is the basis for all religions, the big WHY?

      I think that in reality all we can try to do is attempt to be conscientious towards our family and friends, so a person may think “I need to protect X, Y and Z,” the fact that humans do terrible things on a regular basis in no way negates “I need to protect X, Y and Z,” if anything it reinforces that need.

      To expect an individual to shoulder the ills of all humanity is too much, the best we can do is to shoulder the ills of our tiny little corner of humanity.

      • IF ONLY America would stick to their little corner of humanity.

        The problem with your comment is that you’ve got, what, 200+ MILLION Americans ‘supporting the troops’ who are responsible for over I MILLION Iraqi murders and who knows how many Afghan murders, the majority of whom were INNOCENT men, women and children who were zero threat to America and Americans. These people didn’t just kill themselves. That makes everyone who supports their killers complicit in their murder.

        Add up all the deaths from the recent mass murders and they are an infinitesimal drop in the bucket compared to the murders caused by American troops, tanks, bombs, planes, missiles etc. Don’t even get me started on the PURE EVIL that is depleted uranium.

        If my original comment wasn’t clear enough, the point is this: If Adam Lanza was certifiable for murdering 20 innocent children and 7 adults, then what does that make all the Americans responsible for and supportive of the killers of over a million plus innocent Iraqis, Afghans, Lybians and Pakastanis (by way of cowardly drones)? You CANNOT have it both ways.

        Adam Lanza is dead and gone. Good fucking riddance EVIL KILLER. Hundreds of millions of Americans need to forget about Adam Lanza’s issues and turn their gaze inwards and ask THEMSELVES what kind of creature supports the murder of over 1 million innocent HUMAN BEINGS including hundreds of thousand of CHILDREN just so they can steal their fucking resources and have cheap gas to drive their fat asses all over the place?

        There’s actually a much bigger picture here than just guns, butter and your “tiny little corner of humanity”.

      • ATM:

        I agree with you.

        This is nothing at all like the shit that went down in WWII, even though lots of innocents got caught up in that. However, the threat was pretty clear, there.

      • 1 million Iraqi deaths, my tuchus. Those studies are totally bogus. A more realistic estimate’s much lower, with about 2/3 of the actual killing done by Iraqis killing each other (Sunni vs. Shi’ite, mostly).

        If America had stuck to our own little corner of the world, the rest of it would be speaking German or Russian.

      • 1) I’m not interested in the opinion of someone who doesn’t have the brains to realize the difference between a just war and an illegal invasion / occupation.

        2) So the fact that Americans intervened in WWII gives them carte blanche to murder countless millions and steal billions in Central America, Africa, the middle east and far east Asia? I suppose the family members of all those murdered should just be grateful that they’re not speaking German or Russian? Those are rhetorical questions, I’m not interested in your ignorance.

        3) Nobody will ever know exactly how many people were murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan. The point is that hundreds of thousands to millions of people would still be alive if America hadn’t illegally INVADED two sovereign countries. Or is that too difficult for you to understand?

        4) You’re EXACTLY what’s wrong with Americans – willfully ignorant, trying to defend the indefensible, no remorse for the countless dead or the horrors and atrocities your country has committed, and you arrogantly think the entire world should be eternally grateful to the U.S. regardless of the bullshit and evil it pulls.

      • ATM

        I’ve known Tim for about 15 years. He has essentially encyclopedic knowledge of history in a surprising many facets.

        He’s not always patient, but he’s very, very far from ignorant.

      • Tim

        Do you make distinctions between a threat such as was Japan & Germany circa 40s and the–to me–peskyness of the Islamic whatever?

        I think it’s safe to say that their basic and essential delusional nature will come home to roost. Moreover, we always have the option–speaking on pure geopolitical militarist terms–to bomb them into the Stone Age. In the meantime, I have to say that for the last almost 10 years, this seems to me like a nation building shortcut.

        Do you really think that just getting out completely and letting them to themselves would really put us at grave risk?

      • 3.. Illegally? That’s just funny. If you want to make an argument as such, you are far better off sticking with morality.

        4. Actually, the world is and should be eternally grateful for America. Pretty much everyone knows that, implicitly.

        I’m not a fan of the Middle East thing, at all. I was initially taken in, for a coupla years, but that was outrage over 911.

        I was a Navy officer, trained to know the capabilities of every single tactical weapon in the Soviet arsenal and how to counter them from a ship at sea with 72 100 mile range surface to air conventional missiles, 8 tactical nuclear versions (2 mile kill radius), 16 surface to surface missiles that can deliver over horizon, and numerous torpedoes and eocket fired nuclear depth charges.

        I quit in 1992 when my time was up. Why? The wall came down, I saw the geopolitics changing, I saw the effort to contrive new enemies that I didn’t see as enemies in the same respect,

      • Hi Richard,

        Tim Starr is just a name to me. I judge people based solely on what they write. IMO, he threw in 2 half assed comments written 2 minutes apart making counter claims with no supporting links. I’m not even going to bother responding to the 19:05 one cause I can already see where that’s heading and I’m perhaps guilty of already veering slightly off topic (although there was a bigger picture I wanted to point out).

        The 19:03 comment I called him on because it’s just plain arrogant and ignorant:

        “1 million Iraqi deaths, my tuchus. Those studies are totally bogus. A more realistic estimate’s much lower…”

        Oh, OK. The great Tim Starr has spoken, I’ll just take him at face value because…wait, who the fuck is he and why should I take him at face value?

        “If America had stuck to our own little corner of the world, the rest of it would be speaking German or Russian.”

        Sorry Richard, but IMO, no intelligent person would ever write such a retarded statement. I believe what he wrote is a non sequitor (no sarcasm, I’ve never used the term before)? It’s completely illogical and he deserved to be called on it.

        One of my internet pet peeves are half assed / drive by / poorly thought out comments. I think they’re insulting to bloggers who presumably put effort into their posts, and they also just clutter up comment threads like they’re proclamations from God. I rarely comment anywhere on the web (although today I’m on a bit of role :), but when I do, I try to put a bit more than 2 minutes of thought into it.

      • It’s “non sequitur”. It’s true that its not material to the debate in general, but you’re the one that took it from individual gun ownership to geopolitics, military intervention, etc. so?…

        I have no idea what the real number of Iraq deaths arem the split between what we did, they did according to their 14th century dirt-scratching proclivities, and what it would be in any case.

        But I don’t think he overstates his case in terms of German and Russian, had we remained non-interventionist as we had been. Did you notice he said German “or” Russian? He used that specifically.

      • The non sequitur part I explained in…
        2) So the fact that Americans intervened in WWII gives them carte blanche to murder countless millions and steal billions in Central America, Africa, the middle east and far east Asia?

        I didn’t mean the jump from gun ownership to geopolitics was illogical. As I stated, I wanted to add some perspective and draw attention to the big picture which I thought was being overlooked.

      • 3.. Illegally?
        War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal

        Iraq war illegal, says Annan

        “4. Actually, the world is and should be eternally grateful for America. Pretty much everyone knows that, implicitly.”

        Surely, you jest. My statement was “you arrogantly think the entire world should be eternally grateful to the U.S. regardless of the bullshit and evil it pulls.”

        Key word is ‘entire’ world. There are tens of millions in Southeast Asia, Central America, South America, the Middle East and Africa who are not at all grateful to America for murdering their friends and family via proxy wars, coups and invasions.

      • Well, ya, but once you start getting into the sins of America and what a blight it is on the world in general, 200+ years and counting, you begin to squeeze out North Korea, Zimabwe, former Soviets, Khmer Rouge, Chicoms, VC and hosts of other saints America has unjustly foiled for the greater detriment.

      • Oh, wow, Cofi Anan?

        I bite my tongue, then.

        I guess you are unaware that since 2003, this is an anarchist blog. The very word “illegal” sends me into uproarious laughter.

        As to eternal gratefulness, that’s for any individual to decide, of course. Atrocities are aspects of the State. Are you really, truly interested in State atrocity? I’d sincerely hope so. If so, then go Google “Death by Government,” professor Rumell, U Hawaii, if I recall.

        America isn’t innocent. Very far from the most guilty, however. Moreover, the utter devastation of the most guilty count as some extenuating circumstance for America, given that it was the chief obstacle geopolitically.

        That is, of course, if you’re interested in a break from whatever echo chamber it is ou frequent.

      • It’s quite a feat for someone claiming to be free and hating anything coming from the state, to have swallowed hook, line and sinker the “state propaganda” of the United States. Wake up guy, all your certainties above are State lies, all of them.

        You left the navy because you felt the enemies were contrived. If you had even the inkling of historical knowledge going beyond the state propaganda, you would know that the “enemies” before were exactly as contrived as after that (read Smedley Butler’s essay “War is a racket” from 1935 as a starter).

      • One thing the USA and UK have done that I think deserves praise is further the notion of freedom around the world. I am sickened by our wars, but I take the good with the bad.

        2012 was the best year ever to be a human being. http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/121712-637369-golden-age-created-by-private-sector.htm That is mostly the result of greater freedom, which is mostly the result of the USA, which draws much of its freedom philosophy from the UK, which has since forgotten most of it sadly.

        Has the US done disgusting awful terrible things? Yep. Sure has. Does that negate all of the good the US has done? Nope. Sure doesn’t.

      • I’m sure that the Polish people, as well as Russian at the time, agree that Hitler was a contrived enemy. Also, the people in all the Pacific Islands overrun by Japan (and occupied China and Korea at the time). Then of course, there’s all the Eastern block, formerly independent nations that were absorbed into the USSR, the North Vietnamese certainly know that China was contrived, as do the Taiwanese and North Koreans.

        It was all a scheme by the US. Thanks for the “enlightenment.”

      • Yes, most of them are the results of schemes by the oligarchic hyperclass of which a good part operates from the US.
        You should really read something else than mainstream approved history books. But that you wouldn’t dare, that would be reading about “oh noees, conspiracy theories” or worse being called a revisionist. That, poor little Richard, couldn’t allow to happen.
        Don’t bother answering, I’m out of here. Good bye.

      • I’ve actually modified my thinking a lot over the past 3 decades on a vast array of subjects, and many as a result of more obscure writings. Also, from keeping an open mind—though not so open as to allow my brains to fall out.

        “I’m out of here. Good bye.”

        As always, suit yourself.

      • …The problem with most grand conspiracy theories, particularly those involving some imagined, coordinated superclass pulling strings is that like God, they’re not falsifiable.

        So for instance, when it’s pointed out that the old German aristocracy attempted to assassinate Hitler…oh, that was just a ploy, see, to further the aims. Everything that could count against something demonstrating that there is no grand plan, no secret too big to keep is just part of the overall plan.

        The simple answer, however, is that various aristocratic families gained a head start through vast landholdings, learned over time that industry and producing values and such was the best strategy for maintaining political power and influence, and that very same industry and value production over time undercuts their power. Etc.

      • Back in the late 90′s I read David Icke’s book The Biggest Secret. Shape shifting reptilians and the illuminati etc. Some of it made sense. As an anti theist I was open to some of his arguments. It made as much sense as Christianity or other ideologies.
        I’ve dismissed all of them, simply because whatever religion you look at in western civilization, they all suffer from obesity and SAD diseases without exception.
        David Icke himself is a physical wreck.
        There is not one group of people on the planet who you could consider as a “super race”.
        That’s why conspiracy theories are a mainly a load of bollocks.

      • “Shape shifting reptilians”

        Roddenberry was a fucking genius.

      • “That’s why conspiracy theories are a mainly a load of bollocks.”

        Look, they are easily explainable. In an advancing civilization of real productivity where you really do have to got off your ass, starve, or go on public assistance (once mom’s basement and dad’s computer is no longer an option).

        Everyone always looks for blame, an easy excuse. I argue against that, but fundamentally, from a human animal basis. I know a lot is fucked up. But I don’t accept any excuses. Grand oligarchs and shape shifting reptiles are excuses.

      • Actually, 7th day Adventists seem to suffer from less obesity / have longer lives. See Blue Zones by Buettner.

      • Dude most Americans turned against the Iraq war very quickly, most Americans are against the general Drug War (though they prefer psychiatric war), most of the crime is committed by Black and Hispanic young males. The gun toting rednecks of America are mostly absent from the crime stats. e.g. stats of states such as Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, etc (per capita) full of gun nuts and without much crime.
        The American state is indeed fucked up and can be indicted on all your charges. Sadly, most people have no clue and never will have much clue of how the state operates, no population understands their own state better.

    • It’s strange. I agree with almost everything you had to say, but it is almost completely non sequitur.

  23. I’m just being pedantic (your point remains valid) but it is the NSW Bureau of Crime and Statistics – NSW being one of the main states in Australia. Additionally sexual assault is more than just rape – I think it is assault of a sexual nature or something similarly circular.

    I’m not sure over exactly what timeframe the Australian statistics are quoted over so I won’t comment on them, but I have to admit back in the day when I did my research on the issue I was surprised (and a little chagrined) to find out that we had a higher assault rate than the US.

    Thanks for an insightful article.

  24. I think it might be interesting to look at where weapon technology might be heading. So lets pretend in the future there will be a small hand held device, like a laser pointer of today, that will instantly vaporize any person its light touches. Going further, what if we can just type a persons name into some computer program and they die. Basically, if you are in favor of legalization of all weapons, when will it ever be the case that we begin outlawing them? Is it in our common good to slowly de-escalate the presence of weapons in our world or are we going to slowly escalate them to the point that killing can be done easily, cheaply and without anyone knowing (which it will no doubt eventually head one day)?

    • Teddy:”de-escalate the presence of weapons in our world”

      But you don’t actually mean that though do you? You mean de-escalate the presence of weapons LEGALLY OWNED BY LAW-ABIDING folks… You’re not agitating for the cops to start rousting criminals and stealing their guns. No, no, you want them to register and take MY gun!! I have never in my life shot anyone. I probably never will. I will ALWAYS carry concealed where I can, because you’re not interested in confiscating gang-bangers guns, just MY gun! (Reminds me of those PETA folks who will happily throw paint on an 80-yr-old woman’s fur coat — but won’t make a peep near a leather-clad Hell’s Angel!

  25. “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.”
    Do you mean that you think the parents and community members (say, the retired military, for example) should arm themselves and surround every school in the nation, every day, to protect the children? (that is an amazing thought — try to visualize it — amazing.)
    Or do you mean that parents should home school and not put their children in schools (of any kind)? I agree with that — schools are terrible places for children.
    On Jan. 3, when schools reconvene, are you going to arm yourself and go stand guard in front of the (locked) front door of your local elementary school? Maybe you and a couple of other retired military folks? Seems like a reasonable way to spend the day.
    These are real, serious questions and I’d like real answers. (I particularly like the idea of parents, armed to the teeth, encircling their kids’ school, facing outward. Sweeet!!)
    I have a 16 month old granddaughter and I intend to follow her everywhere, for as long as I am mobile, and shield her with my body. Dead serious here. I also intend to retire early and home school her.

    • Hey there Stacy

      I meant what I said. The responsibility is inviolable. That’s the starting point. I never proscribe or prescribe, but it sounds like you propose several better options for the ones you love.

      You have a lucky grandchild.

  26. aminoKing says:

    Rich, off topic: any views on this fecal transplant craze? Would you ever try it? I’ve thought about it but how the heck do you know what to look for in a donor? I’ve got no idea.

    • I nominate this comment for Thread Derail Attempt of the Century Award.

      • aminoKing says:

        Remnant, my question was genuine however, I will accept your nomination.

      • I’ve been guilty of that myself, and I was just kidding around. But it did bring a smile to my face.(“Guns in society? Nah, let’s talk about fecal transplants.”)

        My understanding of the fecal transplant therapy is that it has been extremely slow to gain “official” acceptance in the US, which makes it difficult to find a mainstream doctor who will do it. Other countries, including Australia, for whatever reason, have embraced the therapy in a more mainstream way. For people whose guts have been seriously damaged by things like long-term antibiotic programs, it has shown stunningly effective results. One good source of information on the topic is Art Ayer’s site Cooling Inflammation. Here is a link to his site under the search topic “fecal transplants”.

        http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/search/label/fecal%20transplant

    • no idea on the fecal transplant deal.

    • I take it the donor feces are inserted rectally?

      • gabriella kadar says:

        No. The filtered donor feces, so basically it’s a bacterial soup only, is inserted through a tube from the mouth.

  27. “Given that a law enforcement officer is 19.4 times more likely to shoot and kill an unarmed American than a private citizen”
    is a “private citizen” an armed citizen?

    • That’s true, Neal. For an apples to apples comparison, you’d have to calculate US gun owners against cops.

      • An interesting comparison would be the likliehood of a LEGALLY armed private citizen to kill compared to a cop. A large proportion of the civilian murder statistics involve gang and other crime, i.e. killings by people who owned guns illegally. If those statistics were available, it would make the point quite strongly that what gun control advocates are seeking is a total red herring: taking away guns from people who aren’t committing crimes with them…

      • Remnant, it’s been that way forever and I am done dancing with morons. These last three posts have revealed to me everything I need to know.

        ….

  28. There was a time when gun ownership meant obtaining food and protecting your land or livestock . Police supermarkets negate this for most people.

    So what this comes down to is my right to defend myself from the rare (1-2)idiots that break into my home while I’m actually there VS the very common occurrence angry person having access to very efficient weapons.

    Do you even need a license or any type of training before you buy a gun in the US ?

    Guns should be like cars , licensing , insurance ,no drinking or drug use while using or carrying , ect.

    You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when its waving a razor sharp hunting knife in your eye.
    - Hunter S. Thompson’

  29. ladysadie1 says:

    It’s very likely that I am the only person here who has ever experienced a real threat on their life. I have a much clearer understanding of the responsibility of protecting your children 24/7 than most of you ever will. It’s simply not possible to be with them 24/7. It’s ridiculously unhealthy to attempt it at any rate, you have to “arm your kids” with self sufficiency… self reliance… knowledge… then trust them and trust yourself that you’ve done the best you can to ensure their safety.

    One day the parole board will loose the animal that will once again hunt us. The ridiculous calls for banning this or that come from people who have never had a bigger threat than getting bumped from their manicure appointments. Let them live their lives knowing they are hunted, HUNTED, not by some random mythical boogeyman, but a real life predator whose sole driving force it to kill them.

    Your choices are a) sit in a corner sucking your thumb or b) get some skills and learn to protect yourself using the most reliable and efficient means available. I was never a “gun person” I was just indifferent to it. I cried the first time at the firing range. I fell into the arms of my instructor and cried because hurting someone isn’t at all in my nature. Gradually, I grasped the concept that I couldn’t use words, or throw magic fairy dust of prayers at the predator.

    I have cried harder than anyone over the school shooting incident at Sandy Hook. If those sweet, loving teachers were armed, they could have prevented the carnage. What the “survivors” are experiencing is an unspeakable horror that is a permanently imprinted part of them now. The perpetuation of their ‘victimhood’ by the media and do-gooders is disgusting beyond belief.

    So called “counselors” will drill them with platitudes that “I understand” “It’s ok to feel sacred” “The bad person is gone” “you’re safe now”…. UTTER Bullshit. Reporters follow them around. Reporters want their friends, family and neighbors to give the next ratings boosting sound bite. They will be terrified for months at every waking moment and sleep will come only at the point of physical exhaustion. Meanwhile, they will be drilled by every available “professional” in the finer points of fear and perpetual victimhood. No one will tell then to stand up and overcome it. No one will say, move past this horror. Oh, and friends and family will be scared too. The pervasive feelings of helplessness will be reflected in the faces of EVERYONE.

    The whole world is cheerleading for these people to be poster people for VICTIMHOOD. It is morally repugnant to me as a a victim-turned-survivor-turned warrior (and productive member of society).

  30. “It is morally repugnant to me as a a victim-turned-survivor-turned warrior (and productive member of society).”

    BRAVA ladysadie!! Dancing with reality isn’t always fun, but it beats the CRAP out of pretending and delusion!

  31. ladysadie1 says:

    Thank you Elenor! I have a local gal that I am going after that wrote this: http://www.marysvilleonline.net/articles/2012/12/20/opinion/doc50d242e781f5b195339869.txt

    Please, everyone feel free to tell her what you think!

    • I read SK’s idiotic “reasoning” – unfortunately there seemed to be no way to comment, so I left a 1-star rating (too bad there wasn’t the option of ZERO stars)!

  32. You know, its hard to find a rational discussion on this stuff right now, and I found the post and comments to be a lot more reasoned here than I expected. My question to the “guns everywhere” idea, is what if people don’t want to live in the wild west. My wife is a teacher and is terrified of this stuff. She doesn’t want to be in a gun fight or responsible to make life or death decisions when a shooter is on the loose. I’m sure derisive comments could be made about this, but 1) for all the tough talk a lot of people make, no one knows what they would do in that situation, 2) not everyone is ‘built’ for this type of situation, 3) she recognizes she isn’t. Its the type of specialization our modern world is built on. I think there is a middle ground to all this, but I don’t know what it is.

    • ladysadie1 says:

      “…what if people don’t want to live in the wild west.” reading something that stupid makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a plastic spoon, and not because of the lack of proper punctuation. How foolish.

      As for your wife, *she* doesn’t have to be armed. Simply allowing the option for those that are comfortable with firearms to be armed takes schools off the list of easy targets for violent offenders.

      • Why is that stupid? If it’s so foolish why don’t you state exactly why? Obviously Richard got my point. Besides the assumption that arming teachers will reduce this type of violence seems foolish to me.

    • “My wife is a teacher and is terrified of this stuff. She doesn’t want to be in a gun fight”

      Unfortunately, since schools are advertised “gun free zones” and sociopaths never seen to get that memo, nobody really has the option of whether or not to be in a gun fight. They should have the option to decide whether that gun fight is going to be a one-sided massacre, or one where force is met with equal force.

      My wife is a teach as well in her 30th year. I know which she’d prefer if she had the rational right to defend herself and the kids.

  33. Here’s a good read for you, Richard… and for the other side as well. Gun control is another one of those things that is woefully ineffective at doing anything, but damnit at least we did SOMETHING!

    http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

    • Excellent, and from someone VERY qualified (as you’ll see) to speak to the issue.

      “Armed Teachers

      “So now that there is a new tragedy the president wants to have a “national conversation on guns”. Here’s the thing. Until this national conversation is willing to entertain allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons, then it isn’t a conversation at all, it is a lecture.

      “Now when I say teachers carrying concealed weapons on Facebook I immediately get a bunch of emotional freak out responses. You can’t mandate teachers be armed! Guns in every classroom! Emotional response! Blood in the streets!

      “No. Hear me out. The single best way to respond to a mass shooter is with an immediate, violent response. The vast majority of the time, as soon as a mass shooter meets serious resistance, it bursts their fantasy world bubble. Then they kill themselves or surrender. This has happened over and over again.

      “Police are awesome. I love working with cops. However any honest cop will tell you that when seconds count they are only minutes away. After Colombine law enforcement changed their methods in dealing with active shooters. It used to be that you took up a perimeter and waited for overwhelming force before going in. Now usually as soon as you have two officers on scene you go in to confront the shooter (often one in rural areas or if help is going to take another minute, because there are a lot of very sound tactical reasons for using two, mostly because your success/survival rates jump dramatically when you put two guys through a door at once. The shooter’s brain takes a moment to decide between targets). The reason they go fast is because they know that every second counts. The longer the shooter has to operate, the more innocents die.

      “However, cops can’t be everywhere. There are at best only a couple hundred thousand on duty at any given time patrolling the entire country. Excellent response time is in the three-five minute range. We’ve seen what bad guys can do in three minutes, but sometimes it is far worse. They simply can’t teleport. So in some cases that means the bad guys can have ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes to do horrible things with nobody effectively fighting back.

      “So if we can’t have cops there, what can we do?”

    • …and:

      “The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started.”

    • DJ

      Thanks for that. It’s quite a read, 10k words I guess, but really worth it. I think I’ll have to put up a blurb on the blog this morning before getting to the planned post.

      • Larry made total sense with his arguments. For what it’s worth, I’m going to buy and read one of his novels. So he wins in this wonderful world of capitalism. Long may it continue.

    • DJ

      Yep, too good to pass up.

      http://freetheanimal.com/2012/12/arming-teachers-and-administrators-in-gun-free-zones-already-a-reality.html

      Thank you, sir. Who knows when I’d have seen that otherwise. It was perfect with the first 3 cups of Joe this morning.

  34. ‘Explain that one, please.’

    I can’t because I’m fairly certain your homicide rate for Luxembourg is incorrect…

    Do you have a link for your Luxembourg stats? The latest homicide info I could find for Luxembourg is for 2008: 2.5 homicides (any method) per 100K. The TOTAL number of homicides in 2008 was just 12 so perhaps the figure of 9 that you cited is also the total rather than the rate per 100?

    “While it’s inaccurate as stated in the linked article (cherry picking nations), doesn’t really matter.”

    I purposely quoted the more conservative gun murder rate of 10 times as opposed to the 20 times rate used by Congressman Moron. As explained in the article, the 10 times rate was arrived at comparing the U.S. murder rate to all countries belonging to NATO which is a reasonable basis of comparison that does NOT define cherry picking.

    Even if you want to use all cause homicides as a basis of comparison, the total homicide rate in the States is still multiple times that of other NATO nations.

    • “Even if you want to use all cause homicides as a basis of comparison, the total homicide rate in the States is still multiple times that of other NATO nations.”

      It’s somewhat higher and likely accounted for by the relatively large amount of gang-on-gang violence and drug associated activities with a major drug trade route with a thousand mile border to our south. I suspect that eliminating our War on Drugs would immediately reduce homicide and other rates of violence, just as it did when Prohibition was repealed.

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