doG Save Me From Gun Control Abject Ignorance

This began as a comment reply to PZO, but got long and involved enough that I had a what the hell? moment, and plopped it up here as a full post, for fun and profit.

Geez, Evan. What do you think happened in medieval Europe? In ancient China? In modern Somalia? In our own western frontier before “the law” would come in? Plenty of well armed people, plenty of violent crime.

I know that the comparisons aren’t exact overlays, there were no firearms in feudal Europe or China, but the historic principle remains the same: Those bent towards power and control will use violence, will take away power and control from everyone they possibly can.

I will also offer up the recent spate of accidental discharges by approved and trained conceal carry idiots that there is at least one other, never discussed, downside to your desire.

As with so many issues, people get a meme in their heads and it never changes (e.g., “If you don’t love America, why don’t you move to Somalia?”). But hell, even a BBC documentary series had to admit that Solamlia is doing pretty well without a central government—and I say arguably better than with one.

Since 26 January 1991, most of Somalia has had neither, yet the economy has not only been resilient, some sectors have shown remarkable growth.

Or how about this comparison, same BBC source?

Screen Shot 2014 12 06 at 10 20 11 AM

PZO continues:

“but the historic principle remains the same: Those bent towards power and control will use violence, will take away power and control from everyone they possibly can.”

I’m aware of that. To wit:

Screen Shot 2014 12 06 at 10 25 05 AM
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The US has not only the world’s highest prison population, but highest per capita (excluding Seychelles, a tiny island nation). Compared to Somalia? Well, according to this UN report from 2012, there were 950 prisoners in a population of 10.5 million (9.5 per 100,000), compared to 2.2 million in a US population of 316 million (868 per 100,000).

It reminds me of something I recall reading in Solzhenitsyn once, paraphrasing:

“Where there are laws you will find crime.”

…And it’s not so far fetched as concluding that firemen are the cause of fires—since they’re always found at the scene (…or that cholesterol causes heart disease because you always find it in atherosclerotic lesions).

“I will also offer up the recent spate of accidental discharges by approved and trained conceal carry idiots that there is at least one other, never discussed, downside to your desire.”

I’m sure it’s far more prevalent than the recent spate of accidental automobile crashes by approved (licensed) and trained driving idiots. Actually, more people still die in automobiles, but just barely. For obvious reasons (safety engineering) automobile deaths have been declining for decades. Gun deaths have been flat as a total number, meaning that population adjusted, they’re decreasing too…doubly good considering gun ownership rates have increased substantially, owing to liberal gun laws since 1995ish. I looked for a graph with all firearm deaths adjusted for both population AND gun ownership (both having increased substantially), but didn’t find. If someone else can, please pop it in comments.

There are more firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens than ever (and far more than in ancient times), combined with less violent crime, ever.

PZO’s assertion would require the opposite in order to form a reasonable hypothesis. Moreover, as John Lott’s studies have demonstrated, states that have concealed carry, “shall issue” laws (burden of proof shifts to the State), there is no more crime. He and others have claimed that it’s less crime, but the important thing is that it can’t be claimed there’s more (more or less guns, more or less crime). Again, it would be necessary to show a statistically significant increase in violent crime for such an assertion to rise to the level of hypothesis worth giving a shit about, rather than one deserving of dismissal out of hand.

Here’s the current state of concealed carry in the US. 42 of 50 states are now either unrestricted carry (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont and Wyoming) or shall issue, where a permit for concealed carry can neither be delayed or denied unless the State can show cause (criminal convictions, domestic violence, etc.).

US State Concealed Carry
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Before the mid-90s, most States had laws making it very difficult to get a concealed carry permit. You had to demonstrate a “legitimate” need according to the State’s definition of legitimate. Between 1973 and 1995, per capita violent crime in the US bounced between about 40 and 51 per 1,000. Since 1995, the rate has consistently decreased to now LESS THAN 4 per 1,000 (2013, FBI data: 387 violent crimes per 100,000)! Violent crime less than a 10th of 1995, in the face of the most liberal gun laws nationwide since the early 1900s, and more guns in the hands of more people than ever.

I’m not claiming more guns are the cause of less crime. I’m claiming that there’s less crime and more guns, i.e., more guns are definitely not causing more crime, because there is less crime. Can minds wrap?

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So what of PZO’s assertion now? Legitimate hypothesis? And now, consider that graph above, and the continuing decrease in violent crime since 2009 to a level under 5 per 1,000, and compare that to estimates of total private ownership of guns in the US. It was about 200 million guns in 1999 compared with a violent crime rate of about 30/1,000, to about 300 million today (estimates range from 300-330 million—I took the BATF figure) compared to a violent crime rate of under 5/1,000.

And yet, enormous swaths of the population remain as gullible of the facts and their interpretation, as do these Gallupers in 2011 (probably even worse now, in the face of violent crime dropping by another 50% since).

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Now, let me predict exactly what’s going to happen, if it hasn’t already. Stand by for headlines showing that VIOLENT CRIME INCREASED! And, should we get a year were it falls to 1-2 per 1K, but then next year is 2-4 per 1K: VIOLENT CRIME DOUBLES!

There will always be some violent crime somewhere, but we’re enjoying the lowest rates ever in history, in the face of average citizens having more financial means and freedom to own and now, carry their weapons, than ever.

Now, let’s have some more lafs at the expense of ignorance.

Disarming the Myths Promoted By the Gun Control Lobby (Forbes)

A widely-known study conducted by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz in the 1990s found that there were somewhere between 830,000 and 2.45 million U.S. defensive gun uses annually. A National Crime Victimization Study (NCVS) which asked victims if they had used a gun in self-defense found that about 108,000 each year had done so. A big problem with the NCVS line of survey reasoning, however, is that it only includes those uses where a citizen kills a criminal, not when one is only wounded, is held by the intended victim until police arrive, or when brandishing a gun caused a criminal to flee.

For these reasons, the Cato researchers investigated published news reports which much more often reveal how Americans use guns in self-defense. The data set is derived from a collection of nearly 5,000 randomly selected incidents published between October 2003 and November 2011. Still, the authors also recognize limitations with this approach, since many defensive incidents are never reported by victims, or when they are, never get published. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the successful self-defense outcomes are those where the defendants’ guns are presented but never fired.

Most of the actual self-defense shootings in the Cato study didn’t involve concealed carry licenses, but more typically had to do with responses to residential invasions. Of these, 488 involved home burglaries. In addition, there were 1,227 incidents where intruders were induced to flee the scene by armed inhabitants, circumstances that might otherwise have resulted in injurious assaults including rapes and murders.

Yes, I know: “news” media outlets are not going out of their way to report or highlight these events. A blurb on local news is about all I ever see.

From the same article, a really good laf, comparing citizens with police.

Then there is the argument that more private gun ownership will lead to more accidents because the average citizen isn’t sufficiently trained to use a weapon defensively. While gun accidents do occur, the Cato study indicates that they are the most overstated risks. There were 535 accidental firearms deaths in 2006 within a population of almost 300 million people. Although every lost life is tragic, the proportion is not particularly startling.

On the other hand, Newsweek has reported that law-abiding American citizens using guns in self-defense during 2003 shot and killed two and one-half times as many criminals as police did, and with fewer than one-fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%).

When seconds count the cops are only minutes away.

This one is not a lafing matter at all. Those poor Great Britains.

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The same Forbes article addresses that, too.

Finally, on the subject of public safety, just how well have gun bans worked in other countries? Take the number of home break-ins while residents are present as an indication [“hot break-ins”]. In Canada and Britain, both with tough gun-control laws, nearly half of all burglaries occur when residents are present. But in the U.S. where many households are armed, only about 13% happen when someone is home.

Stop being Fucktards about guns. Go out to an indoor or outdoor range and get some education and training such that you can get over your childish, irrational fear. Otherwise, have the true courage of your convictions.

@Project_Veritas: Journalists, Politicians Refuse to Post Lawn Sign saying “HOME IS PROUDLY GUN FREE”

Update: It occurred to me after posting this that one valid objection to my post might be: could the lower violent crime rate be positively associated with our highest-in-the world prison population (absolute and per capita)? Always good to argue against yourself, sometimes, if clarity and understanding is the aim. Well, I didn’t search exhaustively, but this HuffPo article breaks things down. Of the US prison population, about 50% are over drug offenses (16% in 1970), and 10% immigration. While there’s undoubtedly some crossover with violence, I doubt it could be significant, since no DA is going to prosecute a dope charge when he has murder, aggravated assault or robbery at gunpoint to prosecute.

So, near as I can tell, about 60% of the US prison population is in there for non-violent “offenses.” Just another day in “The Land of the Free.”

Update 2: It occurs to me that at a number of guns in the US estimated at 300-330 million, that’s a gun for every man, woman, child and infant. Tell me when that sort of statistic has ever been true in the history of mankind. And we have the lowest violent crime we’ve ever known of. Kinda tears it: gun control people of every conceivable stripe are every conceivable color of Fucktarded. I wasn’t going to do this, but, my arsenal:

IMG 0645

One handed handgun practice (yes, I know it’s a hostage target…two heads are better than one, economically).

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  1. Steven on December 6, 2014 at 14:32

    The next idiot that sites the wild West as violent will force me to toss rocks at their faces. The wild West was actually not that violent when it came to crime. It was actually far safer than all the cities back east. It’s silly westerns that made it appear that it was violent. Murder rates were far higher in the eastern cities. In the west most everyone has guns thus it created a safety net for the innocent. Actually most violence perpetrated was by our own government against Indians and the original settlers. When the trains can’t through guess whom initiated the violence?

  2. Bret on December 6, 2014 at 15:06

    Evidence such as what you presented made the Democrats’ emotional plea for tighter gun control, and subsequent failure-induced frustration, following the recent school shootings all the more foolish, albeit predictable.

    Their arrogance in the wake of that political defeat was truly disgusting to behold, saying the NRA had the country bought and paid for and other nonsense. It never seemed to occur to them that they might simply be wrong about the logic of the matter or hiding from relevant facts.

    On that note, it is amazing to watch Republicans and Democrats argue about drugs and guns. Each side employs impressive logic on one issue (mainly concerning policy futility due to unstoppable black markets) and then abandons that still relevant logic on the other.

    While public mass shootings are always horrific, I did develop some hope for America’s future when the people did not rise up in the emotional aftermaths of those tragedies and demand unconstitutional, counterproductive policy. Maybe we won’t follow in all of Europe’s footsteps after all. Either that, or maybe we have to become socialists first, then give up our guns.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 6, 2014 at 16:13

      “…all the more foolish, albeit predictable.”

      That’s the rub. In certain areas (thankfully, some of the drug rationality is finally penetrating even the old people so I don’t have to wish they’d just die off), you can literally predict how things will turn [badly] by simply knowing the truths of matters.

  3. Bret on December 6, 2014 at 16:21

    …you can literally predict how things will turn [badly] by simply knowing the truths of matters.

    Or the honesties of matters in any event. ;-)

  4. Sarah on December 7, 2014 at 19:16

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting all of these stats together in one place! This must have taken you a lot of time to put together, and it’s a beautiful renunciation of the common lie that’s told by our mass media.

  5. robm on December 7, 2014 at 18:36

    You are shipped wrecked, end up on a deserted island with 50 people you can choose option 1 or 2
    1- everyone has a gun
    2- 2 people have a gun
    what is your choice?

  6. SteveRN on December 8, 2014 at 03:08

    The stat about citizens Vs police and the rate of accidental shootings of innocents was interesting, especially in light of the protests currently taking place. I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that, most private citizens know that if they kill the wrong person, you are in for a world of legal shit and possibly prison time, while cops know, if they accidentally kill the wrong person, the system will back them up. The worst that is LIKELY to happen is losing your job, paper work, paid vacation and an investigation that goes nowhere is the most likely consequence. Economics 101, the cost of being wrong is not as great for a cop as it is for a private citizen, increases the likely hood of them being wrong.

    • sdiguana on December 8, 2014 at 06:31

      Amen! its amazing that most people claim to understand economics, but things like this have such an irrational disconnect.

      but but but, how would they do their job if they were liable for their actions?! Probably like the rest of us.

  7. sdiguana on December 8, 2014 at 06:29

    30/30 Carbine … My favorite! I’m a 3rd generation owner of one of those.

    Onto the topic at hand, I’ve found that most people have an unstated, irrational fear, probably from the MSM, that guns kill people… as in the person who was holding the gun was the tool and the gun was the murderer. Its an eerie mysticism they hold that I can’t explain better than that.

    I have remedied that mentality in a number of people by offering them a free trip to go shooting with me. Rabid gun controllers more often than not turn into gun owners (or at least gun-neutral) after being trained on the safety and use of a gun. If it costs me $10 and a few hours, fine. One mind saved at a time… :) Plus it gets me to go shoot more often which I don’t do as much as I ought to.

  8. John on December 8, 2014 at 09:09

    There’s a really interesting case in Florida right now. This story contains both ridiculous arrest footage, and asinine anti-gun logic from state attorneys. This case is the epitome of how stupid anti-gun thinking can get.

    Man arrested for violating law prohibiting open carry in Florida.

    A guy was walking down the street the day he got his CC permit; black guy, wearing wife beater, gun on his hip. Someone calls cops. Cops swarm him, thrown him to the ground, etc. He gets arrested and convicted for violating the law banning open carry. Here’s the arrest video

    So a gun rights group gets behind him, case is appealed, eventually winding up at oral argument in front of the appellate court focusing on whether the ban on open carry is unconstitutional. Basically, the logic is that the Constitution gives the right to bear arms, Florida requires a license to carry concealed and bans open, thus even though its a “shall issue” rule its an unconstitutional requirement on carrying.

    So here’s the oral argument video.

    The state attorney, besides coming across as generally incompetent (like not knowing basic facts), makes some assertions that open carry is inherently dangerous because kids could walk up and grab your gun, etc. (It isn’t addressed that the cops open carry).

    My favorite part of this oral argument video is at about 21 minutes when the attorney for the state demonstrates that she is an idiot. A judge asks the state attorney how when the person already licensed to carry a gun concealed, it is worse if the gun is openly carried.
    The attorney states affirmatively that requiring concealed carry “reduces the injury and death by firearms” and “reduces the incidence of unlawful public shootings.” Another judge seems surprised and asks her for the studies demonstrating this claim. She says “thats just to me common sense.” She’s pressed for information on any studies that back up her claim… “uhhh I’m not aware of any studies.”
    I couldn’t believe she made such a baseless claim to an appellate court. In any court hinging your argument on conjecture and presenting it as fact can be fatal (and certainly “unethical”). That demonstrates the anti-gun thinking pretty well. “Its just so obvious these things are dangerous that anything we think up that could happen is teh facts!”
    The judge then asks her about her “common sense” argument framed another way, as in, isn’t it common sense that people are less likely to mess with the guy that obviously has a weapon, thus making it common sense that open carry is safer? Once again, she hits on the fear that kids will grab guns off people’s belts.

    The funny thing about the law is Florida has exceptions so that you can open carry when going to or from fishing or camping. I suppose the defendant in this case would have looked much less menacing if he had a fishing rod in his hand to accompany the gun on his hip!

    • John on December 8, 2014 at 09:23

      Vermont has by far the lowest incident of gun murders per capita in the county and they allow either open or concealed carry without a permit. Nevertheless, you see them ranked #1 on articles with titles such as Craziest Gun Laws in America.

    • Evan Eberhardt on December 8, 2014 at 11:45

      Just think about it. Only someone suicidal would approach others that are openly carrying firearms. And since that isn’t most criminals, guns openly displayed are a deterrent. This isn’t complex stuff here. Yet we put these idiotic ‘Gun Free Zone’ signs right in front of schools, filled with little humans least able to defend themselves. Would a castle from the olden days ever have displayed a sign saying ‘Weapon Free Zone’? More likely, they had weapons coming out the wazoo and promptly had them on display through guards.

      Of course, culture still affects rates. Vermont wouldn’t have high crime regardless most likely (higher maybe, but since it’s like 95% white and poverty is pretty low, crime just isn’t a huge issue). Whereas, in gang filled rat-holes of Chicago, it’s known every gang member is armed yet the fools still go fuck with each other on a regular basis (regardless of very tight gun control in that city, which of course just creates more criminal black markets…funny how demands get supplied regardless of laws).

      • Paul on December 29, 2015 at 02:56

        Pretty simple indeed. Ever been to South Korea? Strictest gumn laws going and zero crime.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 29, 2015 at 07:22

        I’ve been to South Korea about 15 times.

        Not that it matters, I did have a Pusan taxi driver chase one of my buddies with a scewdriver over a dispute about payment in 1982.

        At any rate, your premise is false, and it took five seconds with Google to verify that.

        The other weeors you make in terms of comparison are best explained here:

      • Paul on December 29, 2015 at 12:15

        good thing that taxi driver wasn’t carrying, huh? my premise is absolutely accurate and can easily substantiated by 1) staying there for a week or 2 or 2) reading this or this

      • Paul on December 29, 2015 at 12:33

      • Richard Nikoley on December 29, 2015 at 13:16

        You said zero crime.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 29, 2015 at 13:17

        While you’re at it, compare Mexico’s gun laws to murder rates.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 29, 2015 at 13:25

        The biggest problem with your cherry-picking “analysis” is that you are comparing a rather small, completely homogenous culture to an enormous melting pot comprised of dozens of sub-cultures.

        If you want to cherry pick, then pick some states that have more homogenous cultures. There are some states in the US that were they countries, would have some of the lowest rates in the world, in spite of liberal gun access.

        BTW, open carry is now legal in 48 states, Texas being the last now to allow concealed carry holders to open carry if they wish.

        Gun sales at all time high, with last black Friday sporting upwards of 180,000 new sales. The left have turned out to be the most successful gun salesmen of all times.

        Suck on it.

    • John on December 8, 2014 at 12:09

      Yeah I mentioned Vermont without much context (demographics, crime, etc.) to illustrate the anti-gun reaction to guns per se (“thats crazy!!!!”), potentially at odds with contextual significance. Richard did a great job with this post in demonstrating logical disconnect.

      People are pretty afraid of black guns, particularly if the phrase “assault weapon” is associated with them.

      I love the car example. The argument is often something like cars serve a purpose besides killing. Well I find target practice fun, and also like having nice things that could assist in saving my life, if needed. At least I can still buy nice kitchen knives without filling out federal and state documentation.

  9. Doug on December 9, 2014 at 04:16

    Richard –
    Is that a Winchester 30/30?

    My dad gave my son one from the late 1800s…..crazy that it still shoots. Scares me though most likely for illogical reasons. The lever action is getting a little tricky, but it is a beautiful firearm.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 9, 2014 at 08:00

      Yep. Always loved the gun since borrowing one to hunt deer in W Oregon where there’s too much foliage to use a scope. I’d always thought about getting one, then back around 2005 or so when I learned they were going to stop producing it, I went and got one.

      That one was made in 1943. Good as new.

  10. bob r on December 10, 2014 at 16:52

    There appears to be some evidence that the violent crime rate drop is due to reduction of lead in gasoline:

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