On Gun Control

This is why I love and miss Penn and Teller!

Comments

  1. The Frenchman says:

    That clip, while slightly amusing grossly over simplified the argument against gun control.

    First, the V-Tech killings weapons were purchased through legal channels, by a person who had already been pegged as having phsychological issues. In addition, the weapons used were semi-automatics.

    Like countless other issues facing this country today, we do not have the benefit of going back in time. If we could and our forefathers had the benefit of foresight or better yet the constitution was allowed to evolve with the times, then things could be very different.

    We all understand that criminals obtain guns, for the most part illegally, but one has to think that the legality of guns does lend itself to the availability of weapons, because I think it is reasonable to assume that those weapons were originally purchased legally and then made it to the black market and used by criminals.

    No pro gun pundit can argue the huge disparity between gun related deaths in US vs Europe or Asia for that matter. Gun’s are still used by criminals in these parts of the world but because it is illegal to own by anyone there is much better control. Let’s be clear that in most of Europe rifles used for hunting are allowed under strict control.

    OK so we cannot dream of a back track to ban guns completely and there is an argument for the fact that, given this fact that there is a valid self defence argument, not that I truly believe that it actually works. I would love to get a statistic on how many killings have been deterred because the law abiding citizen pulled a gun on a would be killer.

    So the question, given the above is, what is the true justification for access to anyone of semi automatic weapons ? Either for justifying the self defence argument or even more proposterous for hunting ?

    All of the gun control laws mentioned by Penn are indeed probably ridiculous, but has there been any thought to replacing these stupid laws with one that make sense, like not issuing guns to mental patients, like the savage that snuffed out 33 lives in VA ?

    A couple of years ago I watched a doc on this issue where the gun industry was creating bio tech finger print technology on the gun handle that only allowed the original owner to fire the weapon. Why has this not been introduced ? If it has why have all law abiding gun owners not been asked to hand in their old tech guns and replace them with these new guns ? If 50% of owners did this imagine, over time, how many accidental shooting of kids playing with their fathers guns, would evaporate and if this technology were in place, guns could not transfer into the black market because the changing of finger print recognition would have to happen through legal controlled channels. That a legal gun could not be owned by anyone else until………

    We have the technology, why has it not been pushed hard by legislators.

    Let’s also be clear that today there are plenty of non-lethal options, stun guns etc. The story shared by the lady who lost her parents is absolutely heart breaking and I cannot argue her desire for revenge which I know drives her to believe that if she had had a gun on her she could have stopped the death of at least one of her parents. But what if she had had a short range stun gun, could she not have stopped the killer from functioning long enough for another patron to have jumped the MF and kicked his head in ? So someone will argue ” what if she missed with the stun gun “, to which I reply, the same likely hood of missing exist with a real gun, worse yet she could hit a bystander, which is highly likely in a pressure situation like this.

    The variables are infinite but the reality is that something has to be done, because for every tragedy like the VA tech one that calls attention to this issue, there are hundreds if not thousands of accidents, with legally aquired guns that are not reported nationwide.

    It’s too late to take guns out of everyones hands but the pathetic arguments from both sides, but mostly from the pro gun lobby are just too weak to take seriously. Something needs to be done that is intelligent, makes use of all of the technology we have at our disposal today ( if a $ 600 laptop can have finger print technology, why can’t we force it on gun manufacturers ). Will the impact be felt overnight, of course not, but at least pro active measures will be in play and we will not longer have to listen to the fucking bullshit excuses using the constitution which was written in the 1800′s when the US was the wild west and in order for food to be put on the table, one needed to hunt, with a two shot rifle, not a semi automatic 20 shot glock.

    Instead we listen to everyone argue for and against and fucking nothing gets done to improve things.

    The VA killings happened with legally purchased guns by a unstable person and how about the guy who killed that ladies parents, was that gun purchased legally and used by the owner ?

  2. “If … our forefathers had the benefit of foresight or better yet the constitution was allowed to evolve with the times,”

    They did. It has.

  3. “If … forefathers had the benefit of foresight or better yet the constitution was allowed to evolve with the times,”

    They did. It has.

  4. Lutoklawski says:

    You make some very fine point, Frenchman.
    Clearly, this is a hard subject to understand for us europeans.
    Because there have been little gun laws in the US, pretty much all criminals have them. Guns are available to everyone, and under those circumstances I guess I would want one myself.
    In my country, Norway, not even the police are allowed to carry guns! (Usually, that is.) So whenever you run into a criminal, he does probably not carry…

  5. Lutoklawski;

    Washington DC has the strictist gun laws in the country and yet the highest amount of gun crime.

    If the availability of guns were the cause of crime, then Switzerland should be a bloodbath.

    Many years ago teenagers who were on the rifle team would bring their guns to school – no problem. But there have been many cultural changes, notably the drug trade and the high illegitmacy rate among the underclass.

    Crime is directly proportional to the number of fatherless ill-disciplined young men in a neighbohood. Check the statistics.

  6. Christian B says:

    Yes, Penn & Teller are entertaining, but are they right? I don’t think so. There were some pretty lame excuses used as arguments in that episode. Frenchman has good point in the legality of the whole thing (illegal guns are guns that first were aquired legally).

    And to carry a gun yourself does not scare off criminals. It just starts an arms race. If a armed criminal enters your house and suspects that you might be armed too, he is probably very prepared to use his own gun. Therefore the chance that someone gets killed incerases radically. In the same way the death penalty just makes criminals act more desperately when in a situation where they know they are facing the chair if caught. It’s no good.

  7. Lutoklawski says:

    Well, let´s imagine that you´ve got a neighbourhood full of those ill disciplined young men. Would you rather have them running around with guns, or not?

    Clearly, if they are armed (have easy access to guns) you would want to arm yourself as well. But if they are not armed (as would be the case in Norway. I don´t know about Switzerland.) I would not bother.

    As for Washington, I don´t know much, but how hard is it for a bad guy to get himself a gun there? Clearly, if gun crimes and random kills was a common thing, I would want to arm myself as well..
    But if that´s not the case….it just comes of ass….overkill;)

  8. “A couple of years ago I watched a doc on this issue where the gun industry was creating bio tech finger print technology on the gun handle that only allowed the original owner to fire the weapon. Why has this not been introduced ? If it has why have all law abiding gun owners not been asked to hand in their old tech guns and replace them with these new guns ?”
    – The Frenchman

    The statement about everyone turning in their old guns in order to get new guns is the most ridiculous statement in your post. As if accidental shootings are a bigger problem than when it’s intentional. Surely the gun industry would love the government to force everyone to buy their new product. Imagine the increased sales & revenue for the gun industry! Cha-ching!

    Having a pool in your backyard is more dangerous to young children than having a gun in the house if you go by the numbers.

    Most guns are semi-automatics btw, so it’s not like that fact is a big deal.

    It comes down to this: the US is a country founded around individual rights. I don’t want to give away my rights because of the actions of someone else.

    That’s not to say that mandatory gun education, safety training, & a few other things wouldn’t be a good idea, but banning or mandatory actions for existing guns will never happen in a million years.

  9. No pro gun pundit can argue the huge disparity between gun related deaths in US vs Europe or Asia for that matter. Gun’s are still used by criminals in these parts of the world but because it is illegal to own by anyone there is much better control. Let’s be clear that in most of Europe rifles used for hunting are allowed under strict control.

    Yes, but murder is a relatively rare crime compared to other serious crimes and clearly guns are used to prevent or deter others from committing those other violent and property crimes. Lets take a look at other English-speaking countries like Australia and the United Kingdom versus the U.S. in crime rates: NationMaster’s stats reveal that Americans as a whole rank only slightly ahead of Australia and the UK in assault, we rank between the UK and Australia in robberies, we rank behind the UK and Australia in burglaries, we rank between Australia and the UK in rapes, and we rank behind Australia and the UK in car thefts. Only in murders do we substantially outrank Australia and the UK.

    Now factor in the reality that the US population has a far more substantial percentage of high-crime ethnic minorities than either the UK or Australia. We have approximately a 35% non-white population in the United States. 15% of that is a black population with several times the crime rate of white Americans. Another 15% is a Hispanic population with about three times the non-Hispanic white population’s crime rates. You would expect with such demographics the United States would have a far greater crime problem than the British (who have a relatively small high-crime Muslim population) or the Australians (whose largest non-white ethnic minority is East/Southeast Asians who are a low-crime group) when in fact we are pretty comparable to them overall.

    Even when it comes to murder, ethnic composition is a major issue: about half of all American murders are committed by blacks; Hispanics are at least three times more likely than non-white Hispanics to be incarcerated for murder. When you factor in the ethnic differences between the three countries, the gap between non-Hispanic white Americans, white Brits, and white Australians narrows substantially regardless of the presence of guns.

  10. Frenchman do you know what it means if guns are semi-automatics? All it means is that when you pull the trigger one round is fired and the next is automatically chambered (in some guns each trigger pull will yield two or three bullets fired). That just means one pull one shot. Not really scary, just scary sounding. Regardless, that is immaterial because I think that people should be able to carry fully automatics.

    Criminals are evil not dumb. If criminals suspect that their victims are armed they don’t enter an arms race, they find an unarmed victim. A criminal with a handgun probably has much less than a 1% chance of dying while trying to rob an unarmed victim. A criminal with a handgun probably has a 50% chance of dying while robbing a victim who has a handgun. A criminal with a fully automatic rifle (this means that when you press and hold the trigger the gun keeps firing bullets until the magazine is empty) probably has a 10% chance of dying while robbing a victim who has a handgun.

    Now I am not guessing at these probabilities to show that the best chance for criminals to die is by having their victims armed. Rather I am suggesting that a career criminal is not going to undertake a dangerous repeating activity. If a person needs to undertake an activity 12 times a year to survive and each iterance of that activity carries with it a 10% chance of dying, then carrying out that activity 12 times means that person has an about 72% of being dead after those 12 iterances. Criminals will not take that risk. The best way to ensure that risk level is to allow for an armed populace.

    However all of this is secondary to the real reason that the countries need an armed citizenry. The main reason is so that the people of that nation can rise up and overthrow the government if they need to. Penn and Teller talk about this in the entirety of this episode. If the government and its agents are the only people that have the ability to exert force they will be in complete control.
    People will have to do what the government says.

    Lets be honest, the real reason that people in the US pay their taxes is not because a congress, which was duly elected by the people of the respective states and congressional districts, passed a bill which was signed by the president, who was duly elected by the electoral college, which set a level of income tax which is allowed by the 16th amendment of the US constitution which was rightly ratified by 3/4 of the various state, commonwealth, and union legislatures. No! The real reason people pay taxes is because if they don’t men with guns will put them in jail. If only the government has this power of force then we become serfs! Now you probably don’t think this is possible because you think, “this could never happen in our country, the people would march in the streets!” What happened when the people marched in the streets of Tiananmen square? Or better yet ask SM what happened when people march in Egypt?

    I don’t mind your naiveté, just don’t force it on me.

  11. It is a shame someone didn’t brain the crazy kid at V. Tech after he started killing people.

    frenchman, almost every gun is semi-automatic jackass. If it fires as you pull the trigger it is semi-automatic. Why would you write such a long post about something you know nothing about? Why the fuck would everyone hand in their guns (won’t happen btw) for new more expensive finger print guns if they can just put an NRA trigger lock on it?

    “there are hundreds if not thousands of accidents, with legally aquired guns that are not reported nationwide.”

    Bullshit. Provide some evidence to back up this nonsense.

  12. BrooklynJon says:

    The fact remains that the relationship between gun ownership and violent crime is pretty much a scatter plot. This is true both within the USA, and internationally. Israel and Switzerland are bristling with weapons. Both countries have a very low crime rate. Strict-gun-control Washington DC has a breathtakingly high crime rate. New York has seen a precipitous drop in its crime rate without any change in its gun laws, which are pretty strict, just as they were in the high crime 80′s.

    It probably matters relatively little whether people are armed or not. It would, of course, be nice if there were better enforcement of existing laws, such as the one that would have prevented the V Tech shooter from being able to legally buy guns based on his psych history. It would also be better if we didn’t heavily advertise the fact that certain places do not have any guns – the moronic “Gun free zone” signs and all. VT is a “gun free zone”. VMI is full of weapons and people trained to use them. The fact that VT and not VMI was shot up is not a coincidence.

  13. B.J., VT has cadets and the gun laws should and would exlude mister choad from buying a weapon. He shot teachers and students because he could. I would bet that he chose a specific class because he thought they were weak (victims).

    This is off topic and out of line, but do Doctors love Scrubs the T.V. show? I think most people love Doctors even though you are worried about it. I am sending a back-punch hug your way (hammer fist not gay punch).

  14. The Frenchman says:

    Tommy, your statement ” Only in murders do we substantially outrank Australia and the UK. ” Does this stat not make my case for me. I am sorry, but Europe has as much if not more ethnic minorities than the US and they are the ones you mention doing all of the other crimes. The fact is that the minorities in the US are easily armed and therefore stupid arguments turn into murder. Killing a guy using a knife is hand to hand, killing with a gun, takes a little finger pressure in haste and there is no going back.

    Mikek, you salle pute ! If you want to argue a point save the insults you imbecile. I don’t need to be an expert about guns to argue my point. If there wasn’t a difference between a manual gun and a semi auto, there wouldn’t be a distinction. Does it make that much of a difference, maybe not, but it just means being able to shoot that much faster. Having to cock a gun means the possibility of a fumble, especially in a high pressure situation, which means could allow time for someone close to react and brain the sick fuck as you expressed.

    http://thegreenman.net.au/mt/gun_deaths_in_usa.htm ,

    This was the only table I could find ( in a quick search ) with gun deaths per category. It was in 2001. In the accidental column the total for one year was 802. I imagine that you would laugh at this figure as inconsequential, but if this happens to be your five year old on the guerney, I am sure your opinion would change. As for the assinide assumption that I suggested that all guns should be returned for the higher tech ones, maybe you and others should re-read my post where it said that ” if even 50% and it won’t happen overnight “.

    Unlike you, it seems, there are thousands of responsible citizens in this country who want to protect their loved ones but do so responsibly. Up until the point where these high tech guns become readily available, which you would think the gun industry as you say would promote for their own benefit but have not, there has been little other choice. If these were to become available, then I am pretty certain that law abiding citizens would take the initiative and buy the high tech gun to carry around so they can feel ” safe ” and keep the other guns locked away. Make a law forbidding the re-sale of any non-finger print tech gun from a certain point on.

    Mikek makes my point though for me, pro gun people for the most part, are not interested in providing solutions, but rather bitching about their constitutional rights as though this is the argument to end all arguments. They believe it absolves them of any responsibility for the problem, simply because they haven’t killed anyone. In fact they argue there isn’t a problem. Ignorance is bliss. It isn’t guns that kill people it’s……… The better argument is that guns make it that much easier for hopped up maniacs to kill people in a fit of rage. The VA killings might not have happened without easy access to guns. You can’t give a black market gun trader a VISA !!!!!!

    By the way Lutokowski, I live in the US but do not feel any need to have a gun. I lived in NYC for 12 years and trust me I went into some super freak neighborhoods and travelled the subway too many times for my own good in the wee hours, wasted and in a suit. I got mugged a couple of times, but I gave them what they wanted and walked away unscatthed. Maybe I would have saved a couple of hundred bucks by having a gun, but I probably would have been in jail right now for murder because I would have used that gun to bust a cap in the asses of these punks. Not having this weapon at my disposal saved me from making some huge mistakes. Yes, I can’t save myself from the freak who comes in with the sole purpose of killing, but I have to hope that I will never confront such a situation.

    My point is simple, it is easy for all of us to write off all of the gun deatha that occur in this country if none of us have suffered loss at the hands of a mad gunman, but the simple fact is that the figures are ridiculous compared to pretty much every other civilized nation on this planet.

    I agree 99% of the solutions on the books today are pathetic and products of spineless politicians who want to appease both sides. So maybe it is time for, especially the gun owners in this country to stop whining about their constitutional rights because they know full well that they will not give up their guns unless it is from their cold dead hands, so how about contributing to the problem and coming up with common sense solutions. The expected response about how pathetic my solution is regarding the replacement of low tech with high tech is typical ” will never happen you jerk “. How about we fucking try ? huh ? How about we try to impose change instead of reacting like defeatists and give up on finding solutions.

  15. The Frenchman says:

    The first page of that link I added to my last post

    http://thegreenman.net.au/mt/archives/000473.html

    These figures are sickening and to write them off because they might be at the hands of ethnic minorities in this country is not really relevant to the argument. Fact is that black, brown, white, most are Americans are so what is the argument. In addition as I mentioned before, Europe in particular has huge low income ethnic minority populations but the incidents of murder are factually lower, because killing someone with a knife or other implement is that much harder. These are facts that cannot be argued.

    Again, if I am asked for stats, I repeat, I would love for someone to provide even a rough statistic on the number of deaths that have been prevented because the law abiding citizen was weilding a gun.

  16. Lutoklawski;

    If the police cannot guarantee they will always be able to prevent me from being a victim, shouldn’t I have a means to defend myself? Or do you think I should be a willing victim, and therefore encourage even more crime?

    The Frenchman:

    You say you’ve been mugged several times and you just politely gave the mugger what he wanted. That just encourages more of the same. You seem glad that you had no means of defending yourself. Now what if you were a woman and somebody wanted to rape you? Would you still be glad you did not have a weapon? As a woman, there is no way you can fight against the strength of a man. Living in an area where you get mugged pretty often, would you be willing to put a sign up in front of your house saying “I do not have guns in my house’?

    Your link list homicides, but it does not break out justifiable homicides – that shootings in self-defense. That also include police shooting criminals.

    Given that the US is a land of 300 million people where half the men and a third of the women own weapons, Americans are very restrained when it comes to shooting each other.

    Now how many crimes do guns prevent? The figure I heard on the news the other day was 500,000.. Keep in mind that most gunowners use the weapon to hold the criminal at bay until the police arrive.

    More on guns, crime, and statistics here:

    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st/st176/s176d.html

    Quote: “In the 1960s a New York-based antigun group printed signs for its members to post on their homes, “THERE ARE NO GUNS IN THIS HOUSE.” But the signs came down and the organization withered after a large number of those homes were robbed or burglarized.31 On the other hand, during a 1974 police strike in Albuquerque, N. M., armed citizens patrolled the streets – and felonies dropped sharply.32”

  17. brooklynjon says:

    Frenchman,

    “Mikek makes my point though for me, pro gun people for the most part, are not interested in providing solutions, but rather bitching about their constitutional rights as though this is the argument to end all arguments.”

    I agree. The same could also be said of the imbiciles who insist that it is their right to publish guides to make a nuclear bomb, and such. I would also include those who get on CNN to announce that free speech is under assault, with no hint of irony.

    Personally, I think both sides of the debate can get a little screwy. And the gun laws can get a little bizarre.

    For instance, in New York, one of the ways the government limits gun ownership is by making it inconvenient to get a license. It requires three trips to a relatively obscure location in Queens, for which there is precious little information online, during their short business hours. The bottom line is that people who actually work during business hours would have a very difficult time getting a gun license. Not so for those with ample free time on their hands like, say, a pimp or a drug dealer.

    Perhaps the solution would be to encourage free enterprise to find a way to control guns. If, say, the gun manufacturer was fined a stiff fine for any unjustifiable homicide performed with their weapon, then they would have an incentive to prevent their guns from falling into the wrong hands. OTOH, they would also have an incentive to leave the country, so maybe that wouldn’t work. I’m thinking “out loud” here.

    But I am concerned about the obvious way to defeat a fingerprint system with a stolen gun – that is to steal the fingertip as well. Another problem with fingerprint systems is that they are not very robust in the field, giving wrong results when the hand is dirty, for example. (I made some costly purchasing mistakes in this area recently, so I know more than I care to about the failings of fingerprint systems).

  18. brooklynjon says:

    mikek,

    Most doctors I know, and I know a few, don’t have a lot of time for TV. But I have heard people opine that Scrubs is the most realistic medical show. Having watched ER and Grays Anatomy a few times, I can say that that’s not saying much. I did watch Scrubs once, and thought it pretty cute. Frankly, I think my life on Labor and Delivery is a lot funnier, and also more compelling, than any medical show I’ve seen.

  19. The Frenchman says:

    Toady, I don’t think that my giving in to those muggers made me or anyone else more of a target and I certainly hope you are not making the point that I should have done more. I don’t think you are but just in case. The dramatic reduction in crime in NYC in the last 10 years or so is a direct result of a dramatic increase in law enforcement, not the increase in NYC residents brandishing fire arms. Time square which is where I was first mugged was not always the pleasant place to be that it is now. Active govt intervention has changed things. Crime still exists but is dramatically lower then before.

    The money I lost has long been forgotten, but if I had had a gun as mentioned I probably would have gunned them down, because I was so incensed. I might think twice about pulling a gun on a criminal face to face, because he is already hopped up with a super light trigger finger. The gun would be used after he started running. Yes, in the case of a mad man who comes in blasting, then straight for the gun and bullet in the head, possibly taking a couple of innocents down with him.

    It is naive to think that pulling a gun out on a criminal is such a light hearted event as though any defender would be able to calmly point a gun when faced with danger. It’s not a casual event and therefore the outcome cannot be foretold. Would one prevent a crime or cause an escalation ?

    I have said this before, in other posts, I am no passifist nor do I stand on the left, but let’s look at what a gun owner who injures or kills a criminal, must face in terms of legal penalties. What is the point then, if you can get sued or even charged with manslaughter ? I would love to see this change because any violent criminal act, should be dealt with in the harshest possible way. I completely support the death penalty.

    I am not asking anyone to lay down and take it but what you are stating with your rape example is that absolutely everyone should be carrying a gun. There are, as I have mentioned, very effective, non-lethal ways of fighting off such attacks, tazers, sprays etc. Many people don’t have the stomach to kill and certainly not the presence of mind in such incredibly high stress situations to pull out a gun and use it. Gun ownership requires little if any training.

  20. The Frenchman says:

    Brooklyn J, I agree with you full heartedly that way too many are allowed to cower behind the constitution instead of face the times we live in. Some question, ” where do we draw the line then, who is deciding for me ? “.

    Someone above stated that the consitution has evolved, in my view not quickly enough. There are lines drawn everyday on what is acceptable to society every day, with the web, child porn, so as you state why in the hell can’t people who put plans on building Nukes be placed in the same category.

    The constitutional right to bear arms has evolved but in a very bad way. When it was written, we did not have the kind of weaponry we have today, yet no real limits have been enforced short of fully automatic weapons. It is one thing to own a self defence weapon but another to own an arsenal.

    I was not aware of the flaws of finger print technology but am quite certain that it has to do with the half assed effort made by gun manufacturers to properly R&D. So if this is not the most feasible how about another form of techno ID. We can start cars with an FOB, you want to carry a firearm, you have to have a special electronic sensor on you to allow the gun to be fired. If that sensor is not within a specific arms length range, then it won’t shoot. If you sell the gun legally, the new buyer has to re-apply for a new sensor. Today this can be done very cheaply. We have the technology today to at least reduce the amount of gun related violence, but it seems very little will.

    You want your guns and your law abiding, then you shouldn’t mind adapting for the safety of everyone. You still get to kill innocent stuff in the forest, but your 5 year old can’t kill my five year old because he happened upon your gun tucked away in your underwear drawer. The black market gun trade would dwindle etc.

    There are solutions !

  21. Frenchman;

    Not everyone should have a gun and I certainly agree with that.

    As for incurring penalties if you kill an attacker – that depends on the state. In the more liberal states, perhaps, depending on the situation. In the other states, you’d get public approval. The fact is, most states in the country have no problem with people using guns to defend themselves.

    Were tazers and pepper sprays as effective as you think, very few people would be crime victims.

    Washington DC has the strictist gun laws in the country and the highest rates of gun crime. There is no correlation between crime and gun laws. You have implicitly pointed this out when you said it was better policing that brought down NYC crime.

    But to respect everyone’s choices, let’s do this. You do not believe in using a weapon against an attacker, so don’t own a weapon. But allow those who live in bad neighborhoods do what they must to protect themselves in a legal manner. Some of us would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.

  22. Genius, pure genius. Right to carry works.

  23. Well I wouldn’t want to see gun ownership legalised in the UK but -

    “I was not aware of the flaws of finger print technology but am quite certain that it has to do with the half assed effort made by gun manufacturers to properly R&D. So if this is not the most feasible how about another form of techno ID…”

    - this misses the point. Even if you did come up with a foolproof technical solution, even if you voted to outlaw guns throughout the US, it doesn’t solve the problem of all the guns already out there that might be a bit out of date, but are still capable of killing. And assuming the law-abiding citizens replaced their guns with safer models or turned them in when they were banned, then a higher proportion of the guns would be left in the hands of criminals.

  24. Lutoklawski says:

    “. In the other states, you’d get public approval. ”

    That´s fucking bizarre.

  25. Roman Kalik says:

    Firstly, the recent shootings were preventable by law, by a system that is already in place. This time, the system failed. This should be looked into, but is not the main problem.

    The main problem is the availability of illegal guns. And many those, by the way, aren’t local guns. Back in the assault-rifle ban days, gangs in LA carried AK47′s. Now, I may not be American, but I do know the good old Avtomat Kalachnikov isn’t US-made.

  26. Roman Kalik says:

    So how to prevent illegal gun availability? For the domestic companies, demand much stricter security measures for gun deliveries and exports. On the international, demand the same measures from other countries and clamp down hard on smugglers.

    For legal owners, the answer is education, education, and making sure that known criminals and the mentally disturbed can’t buy guns.

  27. # 24

    “That´s f—ing bizarre.”

    That type of reaction might be emotionally strange to you, but if you think about rationally I believe it makes sense. If a person is a career criminal, arguably they have a negative aggregate value for society. Thus society is better of with that criminal in the ground. So society should encourage more of that type of behavior which put the criminal in the ground.

  28. brooklynjon says:

    Roman,

    Of course the mentally disturbed shouldn’t buy guns. But how do you know who is mentally disturbed and who is not? Mental disturbances are not static, and there are privacy concerns. For that matter, there are plenty of people out there missing a screw or two who have never been diagnosed.

    And who gets to decide what exactly a mental disturbance is? Is substance abuse a mental disturbance? Someone on methadone? Someone who smokes a joint once every few months? Alcohol? Caffeine? How much?

    If my wife had post partum depression, how long would she be ineligible for a firearm? And would that make me ineligible too?

    One of the reasons the system failed in the VT case is that it’s so damn hard for the system to work.

    Frenchman,
    I like your key fob idea. You just have to get people to store the fobs away from the gun, otherwise they’d both get stolen at the same time anyway.

    “You still get to kill innocent stuff in the forest”

    Not my idea of a good time. I’m only interested in killing guilty stuff (meaning criminals who have entered illegally) in my house. And even then I’m not really interested in killing so much as rendering them harmless.

  29. Stephen

    Well I wouldn’t want to see gun ownership legalised in the UK but

    You might have to make knives illegal

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon2007-04-09td.html

    Quote: ‘Britain is experiencing a spate of murders that suggests a population increasingly unable, or unwilling, to control itself. A recent survey suggested that the British are now more prone to knife-fights than any other people in Europe. Guns have also become fashionable, despite—or is it because of?—stringent laws against them’

  30. Xylo, Britain is a more violent country than many people imagine. If we all had guns, there would be hundreds of murders every Friday and Saturday night.

    As for banning knives, I just can’t see any practical way of doing it. Luckily they are less effective weapons than guns.

  31. “. In the other states, you’d get public approval. ”
    That´s fucking bizarre.

    Shouldn’t be too bizarre. It’s called self defense & most people don’t have a problem w/ it. “Waiting for the police” is no guarantee of personal safety in such an event.
    In all States shooting an attacker is considered justifiable & you won’t do any prison time for it, providing you don’t own the gun illegally, & there were a STILL a danger to you when you shot them, ie: not in the back as they’re running away, or after the danger has passed, tho each state’s legal standards on this are different.

  32. Lutoklawski says:

    #27

    “# 24

    “That´s f—ing bizarre.”

    That type of reaction might be emotionally strange to you, but if you think about rationally I believe it makes sense. If a person is a career criminal, arguably they have a negative aggregate value for society. Thus society is better of with that criminal in the ground. So society should encourage more of that type of behavior which put the criminal in the ground.”

    Well, applying this somehow utilitarianistic logic to society is – in my book – bizarre. This twisted sense of rationality is infact dangerous. That feeling is not merely my emotional reaction, I could defend it philosophically and rationally as well if you´d like.

    Alot of people have a negative aggregate value for society, but we still don´t kill them. Shooting a junkie over your watch proves serious lack of respect for human life.

  33. Here’s something re: statistics of guns used to prevent a crime from:
    http://www.gunowners.org/fs0404.htm, no doubt a purely unbiased & objective, in a BBC sort of way, source.

    One study says they’re used in self defense 2.5 million times a year, another says 1.5 million times yr (circa 1995,1997 resp.) & “firearms are used 80 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives”
    (Studies are: http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/KleckAndGertz1.htm
    http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf )

    They do cite their sources pretty well at least.

  34. From another site, objective by BBC standards:
    http://www.chetbacon.com/stats.htm
    FIREARMS AND SELF-DEFENSE

    Survey research indicates that there are more than 2.1 million
    protective uses of firearms each year, far more than the number of violent
    criminal gun uses reported by the FBI. Most self-defense uses do not
    involve discharge of a firearm. In only 0.1% of defensive gun uses is a
    criminal killed, and in only 1% is a criminal wounded. A Department of
    Justice-sponsored survey found that 40% of felons had chosen not to
    commit at least one specific crime for fear their victims were armed, and
    34% admitted being scared off or shot at by armed victims.

    U. S. Department of Justice victimization surveys show that the
    protective use of a firearm lessens the chance that a rape, robbery or
    assault attempt will be successfully completed and also reduces the
    chance of injury to the intended victim.

  35. Hollowpoint says:

    Alot of people have a negative aggregate value for society, but we still don´t kill them. Shooting a junkie over your watch proves serious lack of respect for human life.

    As someone with a permit to carry a gun, I’d never shoot a junkie (or anyone else) over my watch- to do so would be illegal and goes against the training I had in getting my permit.

    However, I would shoot them if they tried to take my watch while brandishing a weapon, because they now pose a threat- you have no way of knowing if they’ll leave you unharmed because you complied; many have been killed, raped or seriously injured even though they complied with the demands of an armed attacker… who is then free to do it again to someone else.

    Given the legal, financial and emotional repercussions of being involved in a shooting- even when clearly in self-defense- it isn’t worth the loss of a $200 watch or the insurance deductable on your car. Having the means to protect yourself against an armed attacker, however, is priceless.

  36. Hollowpoint says:

    The main problem is the availability of illegal guns. And many those, by the way, aren’t local guns. Back in the assault-rifle ban days, gangs in LA carried AK47’s. Now, I may not be American, but I do know the good old Avtomat Kalachnikov isn’t US-made.

    The AK-wielding gang member is more a product of Hollywood than reality. I’m sure it’s happened, but realistically they prefer handguns since it’s pretty hard to walk down the street with an AK-47 without drawing unwanted attention.

    Even during the “assault weapon” ban, one could still buy a semi-automatic clone of an AK-47 in the US, complete with 30 round magazine (I happen to own one that I bought simply because I disagreed with the ban), and no doubt there are criminals who have them. However, the vast majority of gun murders in the US are committed with handguns, not so-called “assault rifles”. Most of them are owned by people like me who just think they’re fun to shoot, and also want to be prepared should zombies attack en masse :)

    The problem is that gun crimes aren’t always treated seriously enough- if the police catch a drug dealer illegally carrying a gun, the justice system seems to be more concerned about the drugs than the gun, which to me is insane.

  37. The Frenchman says:

    Hollowpoint seems to be the kind of law abiding citizen with the training and control to handle a gun, but so many gun owners, who purchase legally, I believe have the same restraint. Cue road rage etc.

    As for the liberal states cheering on defense killings, if my memory serves my again, in NY, I remember a subway rider who killed an attacker and while the public for good reason cheered, he was taken to jail. Forget the outcome, but no matter, he didn’t walk home that night. I know of other cases but will not waste everyones time with link and so on. Self defense killings are many times prosecuted.

    Not to be sarcastic but once again, despite points on both sides, we reach no conclusion. The ” want to find a solution ” side makes suggestions while the pro gun side just says it’s my right, so be damned with the negative ripple effects.

    I remember while living in NY, the city, during Christmas, held a guns for toys campaign, it was actually pretty sucessful. Unfortunately, I think rather than all being destroyed they were re-sold by the city to other states. Nevertheless, the fact that a concious effort was made to recognize the problem and provide creative solutions that might seem proposterous as flying once did, at least shows that an effort is being made to try.

    The big problem, like with so many other issues is that the US govt knows full well that the balking will subside very quicly after an event like Va Tech happens, they throw some sound bites out there and then it’s washed under the carpet. Is there no middle road ? I guess not.

  38. brooklynjon says:

    Stephen,

    Luckily they are less effective weapons than guns.

    Not at close range, they’re not. And I say this as a gun owner who used to regularly carry a knife.

    Hollowpoint,

    “the justice system seems to be more concerned about the drugs than the gun, which to me is insane.”

    Yup. IMHO, the whole “war on drugs” is insane. As a society, we have much bigger fish to fry.

    To the various gun guys here, anyone want to suggest ammo for home defense for a 12 gauge shotgun in a wood frame house? Good stopping power is essential. Non-lethal would be a plus. I’m all ears.

  39. The Frenchman says:

    BJ, absolutely agreed on the proximity of the FOB to the gun. Imperative, a slight inconvenience, but worth it in my opinion. Maybe this is not the solution but it would be refreshing to see attempts to create a feasible alternative to the status quo. This needs to be done by those castly more qualified then someone like me who does not own a gun. Unfortunately it is these very people who seems bent on simply throwing their rights at the argument and leaving it at that.

  40. brooklynjon says:

    Come to think of it, is it a coincidence that most of the notably violent American cities – St. Louis, Detroit, New Orleans – have French names? The odd man out is Washington, which was designed by Pierre L’enfant, so it has a good French pedigree as well. Nomad, Frenchman, any thoughts?

  41. I think the case you’re thinking of Frenchman was the Bernard Getz case, who shot 4 kids in a subway for trying to mug him. His gun was unlicensed & he did 8months for that, but was eventually acquitted of other charges. Full story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernhard_Goetz. I remember this, it was big news back then.

  42. BrooklynJon says:

    Ah yes, Bernie Goetz. He shot four, leaving one paraplegic. Not coincidentally, Derrell Cabey, the one rendered paraplegic, was the only one of the four who did not later become a violent felon. I remember arguing that case with my liberal suburban classmates in college who couldn’t seem to understand that four teenagers, towering above you with their hands in their pockets, asking for money, while you’re sitting surrounded on the subway, did not reasonably constitute a threat.
    As Bugs would way, a buncha moroons!

  43. Everything that you wanted to know about the “Subway Shooter”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernhard_Goetz

  44. Whoops – too slow on Goetz. How about this from the NRA. “Research by award-winning criminologist Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz reveals Americans use guns for self-defense as often as 2.5 million times a year–that’s three to five times more often than they are misused by criminals.” http://www.nraila.org/media/misc/Blackman.htm

  45. Frenchman,

    Does this stat not make my case for me. I am sorry, but Europe has as much if not more ethnic minorities than the US

    Not a chance. The only significant population of non-white high-crime minorities in Europe is the Muslim population. France has the highest Muslim population in all of Europe and it still composes only 10% of the population. The United States is a full 35% non-white, with about 30% of that being composed of high-crime Hispanics and blacks (and blacks are an extraordinarily high-crime population; it is no coincidence that both Washington DC and New Orleans are among the most crime-ridden cities in the United States). Britain and Australia are not even remotely close in their percentage of non-white high-crime minorities. For example, according to the CIA World Factbook, only about 8% of Australia’s population is non-European. The largest segment of that is East Asians, a group that tends to have even lower violent crime rates than Europeans.

    I was going to remark on your semiautomatic comment also, but I have to give you credit: at least you identified the action correctly. Ignorant American socialist, Lawrence O’Donnell, recently identified Cho’s weapons as automatics!

  46. But I am concerned about the obvious way to defeat a fingerprint system with a stolen gun – that is to steal the fingertip as well.

    They may not even have to go that far. I recall about a year ago reading about a guy who was able to demonstrate how even expensive fingerprint identification systems were easily defeated by capturing someone’s fingerprint on bubblegum! Even the ones that are supposed to detect human moisture were easily defeated by simply wetting the bubblegum.

  47. BrooklynJon says:

    tommy,

    I would favor a mitochondrial DNA system. That way anyone and his mother could use his gun.

  48. The only significant population of non-white high-crime minorities in Europe is the Muslim population. France has the highest Muslim population in all of Europe and it still composes only 10% of the population

    10 % do not signifie that they are are all magrebin, you should add black africans too, and good part of the blacks are not muslins ;

    as high crime, do you say “car-burnings, drugs-dealing, robbing, school-teacher-assaults ? cause what I call high crime is murders, and those are either from indigenous frenchs or immigrations, (scuse-me, but rather from our frank origins people) and that doesn’t happen in our every-day papers, just from times to times

  49. 31. d00d:

    ““. In the other states, you’d get public approval. ”
    That´s fucking bizarre.

    Shouldn’t be too bizarre. It’s called self defense & most people don’t have a problem w/ it. “Waiting for the police” is no guarantee of personal safety in such an event.”

    Yes, it is bizarre – if you drew a gun instead of just giving up your money you’d be much more likely to get out of said incident unscathed. Additionally, the chance of hitting an innocent bystander is also reduced to near zero, in contrast to an untrained person pulling a gun in a highly emotional situation.

    21. Toady:

    “Washington DC has the strictist gun laws in the country and the highest rates of gun crime. There is no correlation between crime and gun laws. You have implicitly pointed this out when you said it was better policing that brought down NYC crime.”

    Sure there is a correlation – getting a gun in Washington DC is just a matter of crossing the border to a more gun-friendly state, unlike Europe, where getting a gun across the border is a difficult, high-risk operation; more or less impossible when arriving by plane. If every state in the US banned pistols/revolvers for all but registered sportsmen, and rifles for all but registered hunters, gun-related crime would drop dramatically. You might still have a high crime-rate, but you’d see alot fewer cases of crime with a deadly outcome, and that’s ‘slightly’ more important than pride or money, isn’t it?!

  50. The Frenchman says:

    Merci Nomad for the clarification on the very prominent African population in Europe that was missed by Toady. You saved me from having to mention it. Crime is rampant throughout Europe, but the incidence of death as a result of crime is far lower.

    On the issue of measures to counter fingerprint technology or even the FOB. It goes without saying that like everything else, there is always a way around the system, but that doesn’t mean you stop trying or worse yet do nothing. First of all, with the bumble gum example, one assumes that the criminal would even have access to the original fingerprint in the first place. Gum hardens and how many criminal are going to keep a wad of gum in their pocket whenever they need to pull the gun out and will that gum be passed down through to the next sale ?

    It’s about complicating matters. Making it more complicated to simply pull the trigger on a whim for the criminals. Diminish considerably access to guns for the criminals and suddenly the need for law abiding citizens to carry diminishes right along with it. High end criminals will always have guns as they do in Europe and Asia, but rarely are random killings perpetrated by these high end ciminals. I appreciate the stats on how many crimes have been prevented thanks to the law abider brandishing a gun. Ask and you shall receive. The figure sounds inflated but I will not argue. I am not looking to split hairs or rip the gun from your cold dead hands. No one is absolved from trying to resolve the ripple effect problems that come with a gun happy society. Keep your guns but become part of the solution. Stop being so pig headed about your rights and recognize that toddlers die regularly from irresponsible law abiding gun owners leaving their guns around. The figure I was able to obtain of 809 accidental deaths seems small as a number, but draw a picture of 809 probably kids and see if that doesn’t shock you. That’s about 1/3 of the lost on 9/11 and in Iraq. It would be better if I could get figures for the past decade, but let’s just say for the sake of argument 809×10 = 8090 accidental deaths at the hands of guns. How about deliberate murders ? If every husband who wanted to kill his wifes lover had to be a breath away from the french guy =) and had to repeatedly stab him with a knife and wrestle, how many french guys would still be living in this country.

    That many black market guns were once legally purchased ones. As gun owners you have more power than we do to influence gun mfg’s, gun lobbies etc. to get shit done, so do your friggin part. It’s a cope out to pull out the constitution.

    BJ, as for the correlation between the most gun happy US cities and their French ancestry. Quoi dire, I want to come up with something cute to say, because I know it was friendly poke, but my mind is blank, which as you have probably already determined is a rarity for me =), and if it were not for the heavy subject matter we are always addressing, I am never short of pithy little tidbits to amuse. The one thing I will say though is that I appreciate the plug on France’s influence in this countries history. This comment I know will result in a fire and brimstone from all the French haters on this board =).

    Again, pro gunners, solutions, be part of the solution instead of belly aching about your rights.

  51. brooklynjon says:

    Frenchman,

    You can’t smirk on the internet, but you read me right. Our national language was nearly French. But then again, our national symbol was very nearly the turkey. ;-)

    bj

  52. Sometimes the US government sells surplus materials, including guns. Some automatic weapons can be acquired that way. The rapid-firing feature of these weapons is disabled, but knowledgeable people know how to restore it. However, the real key to the situation is to sift the buyers.

    An unstable acquaintance of mine wanted to buy such a weapon, and he was required to furnish affidavits from members of the community that he was known by them to be a responsible person. Nobody would swear to that: he did not get his gun.

    I would extend that requirement to handguns.

  53. Lutoklawski

    Alot of people have a negative aggregate value for society, but we still don´t kill them. Shooting a junkie over your watch proves serious lack of respect for human life.

    If those people harm no one but themselves, that’s only a problem for them and not the rest of us. But someone who means you physical harm has no respect for human life himself. He is a threat to society. If criminals get themselves killed by a victim defending himself, that’s one less menace for everyone else.

    The lives of criminals are not more sacred than the lives of their victims.

    Adam B:

    If every state in the US banned pistols/revolvers for all but registered sportsmen, and rifles for all but registered hunters, gun-related crime would drop dramatically

    Do you really think the drug dealers and criminals will politely comply? We can’t even get them to stop selling drugs.

    Kennesaw would seem to counter your argument.
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55288
    “25 years murder-free in ‘Gun Town USA’
    Crime rate plummeted after law required firearms for residents”

    All;

    You might want to weigh this whole argument in terms of advantages and disadvantages of weapon ownership. As a previous poster pointed out with links, guns save more lives than they end.

    http://www.chetbacon.com/stats.htm
    Quote: “U. S. Department of Justice victimization surveys show that the
    protective use of a firearm lessens the chance that a rape, robbery or
    assault attempt will be successfully completed and also reduces the
    chance of injury to the intended victim.”

  54. The Frenchman says:

    BJ, what’s wrong with the Turkey ? :)

    Sadly ( for you ) you cannot escape the French, we are like the fungus on our cheese. We infiltrate and leave a cloud of BO in our wake. Think how our lack of showering positively impacts the environment. At least we are proactive !

    It’s a love/hate on both sides. We make love to and steal your wife’s while they are on our shores, you shoot ours while they are on yours, it’s a win win ;) .

    Vive Valerie, not only does she have a French name but she both expands on the problem ( how in God’s name can anyone justify the re-sale of weapons to the public, no less auto’s, by our govt ????????. One would think that for law enforcement sake, they would at least sell them overseas ) but she also provides a solution. Albeit an expansion on laws already on the books ( registration ).

    Why would there be opposition to such an expansion on a law ? If you are law abiding and STABLE, then a little extra work should not be such a stretch. It’s easier to buy a gun then it is to register your car or get a credit card.

    I know, I know, the black market……….. Think though 32 lives saved this month if ” Valeries ” law had been in place.

  55. Adam B.

    Sure there is a correlation – getting a gun in Washington DC is just a matter of crossing the border to a more gun-friendly state

    Okay, so they go next door to Virginia to get their guns, where the laws are more liberal. So why doesn’t Virginia have just as high a gun murder rate as DC?

    Frenchman;

    Stop being so pig headed about your rights and recognize that toddlers die regularly from irresponsible law abiding gun owners leaving their guns around

    Your comment is fictional junk. More toddlers die in car accidents, bathtub drownings, illness, or parental abuse than have ever died from playing with guns – and even those other incidents are highly irregular.

  56. hehe Frenchman, BJ made an allusion to Bush so full hearted that he spared the turkey :lol:

  57. The Frenchman says:

    Toady, “More toddlers die in car accidents, bathtub drownings, illness, or parental abuse than have ever died from playing with guns – and even those other incidents are highly irregular”

    Come on man, stop splitting hairs with me. I am not going to list all of the ways guns cause death by accident. I use this as the most dramatic example and the issue here is guns not deaths of toddlers by other means. You are stating the obvious. The fact that toddlers die by all of those other means does not negate my argument. I was making the larger point that more needs to be done to prevent even one friggin child from being able to accidentally kill his toddler friend. You completely fail to see that there is a problem. As far as your concerned, it’s ” who gives a flying fuck “. By your argument I could say that pool fences are pointless because toddlers die in car accidents etc. Measures a constantly taken by the car industry to, at least reduce this figure. You however seem bent on not producing any solutions to the problem. One toddler death by accident is too many.

    Look further than the simplicity of the sentence and find the message and for christ sake stop taking me on as if I am saying ban guns. Your position is do nothing and that’s not acceptable.

  58. Frenchman,

    No pro gun pundit can argue the huge disparity between gun related deaths in US vs Europe or Asia for that matter

    Of course somebody can argue your point, because it’s obviously wrong! The vast majority for gun related homicides in the US every year is from gang violence, not these occasional shooting sprees in offices, schools, post offices, etc. Show me a country that has the same level of violent criminal street gang activity that doesn’t have the same level of gun homicides, if you want to make your point! You can’t just make blanket statements about completely different cultures and societies and expect people to take them at face value! Have you ever even been to Asia!? There isn’t much violent crime in any Asian country I’ve been to (which is many) – period. That’s not the case, in the US. This is a violent culture, with or without guns.

  59. BJ,

    To the various gun guys here, anyone want to suggest ammo for home defense for a 12 gauge shotgun in a wood frame house? Good stopping power is essential. Non-lethal would be a plus. I’m all ears.

    If anybody answered you, I didn’t catch it, so I will. Almost anything fired from a 12 gauge shotgun will have good stopping power. Unfortunately, I can’t think of much more lethal at close range than a 12 gauge shotgun, so I don’t know what to say about the “non-lethal” criteria. Anyway, I think I’d recommend birdshot, as it won’t penetrate through walls/floors/ceilings very far. That’s only my recommendation at close range, mind you! 00 buck shot is the best bet if you aren’t sure of the conditions. That’s what police and military usually use with their 12 gauges. Deer slugs are also an option but you don’t get a scatter pattern with those so accuracy counts.

    That’s an excellent choice for home defense, by the way. I think the sound of the slide racking would send most intruders looking for an easier target. Everyone knows what that sound is from the movies. So, there’s your non-lethal option.

  60. Frenchman,

    You seem very concerned with the possibility of accidental deaths of toddlers who go over to a friend’s house and get shot with a handgun. You suggest the gun manufacturers implement biometric, or FOB kill switches.

    Wouldn’t a less costly plan be for the parents to investigate the household to which they send their children over to play? Most gun owners are very serious about properly storing their firearms especially if there are children in the house. Verifying that there are no guns in the house or if there are, that they are properly stored shouldn’t be too costly.

    I don’t know for certain but I suspect that your proposal of biometric or FOB kill switches would go over like a lead balloon to most gun-owners, especially if the gun is primarily used for protection. No one who thinks they might need their gun for protection would want one the features of their gun to be the possibility of catastrophic failure if they forget their FOB or their is a malfunction with the biometric sensor.

  61. Frenchman;

    I was making the larger point that more needs to be done to prevent even one friggin child from being able to accidentally kill his toddler friend. You completely fail to see that there is a problem

    Because the problem is with the parents, not the guns. Guns already come with safety locks. You want a world where a parent is never irresponsible and kids never die from their oversights. It’s impossible. There will always be distracted parents who leave out the detergent for the kid to eat, or let him wander onto the highway, or leave him in the car to suffocate on a hot day (and there are hundreds more cases of overheated kids in hot cars than toddlers shooting their playmates with Daddy’s gun).

    No law is going to knock common sense into parents who don’t have it. You might have more success if you get people to pass an IQ test before letting them have children in the first place.

  62. Roman Kalik says:

    Craig, true about the sound. The shotgun is one of the scariest weapons available to the general population. At least, that’s what people believe due to movie overdose.

    Frenchman, compulsory gun education for gun owners would be a great deal more useful than technological gadgetry that may fail, and fail when the gun is needed.

  63. Christian B says:

    I feel gun control comes a bit too late for the US. Then again, it has to start somewhere. There’s something very wrong in the idea that “I need to arm myself to feel protected” in a time of peace. I can understand hunting (if it’s done with a real rifle, not a fully auromatic monster). I can understand having guns as a sort of hobby (as long as you keep all guns locked away when not drooling over them). But arming yourself to protect yourself just gives you an illusion of being protected. The criminal always has the upper hand since the criminal gets to make the first move. In a neighbourhood of drivebys one gun will not save you. It’s crazy to let people arm themselves that easily in a country where it’s okay to show extreme violence on tv, but bare skin is censored.

  64. The Frenchman says:

    Toady, I am not looking for laws but technology. My focus is not only on toddlers, again I use this as the most dramatic example of accidental killings, but the same could be said for impulse murders, that we know might not have happened if not for easy access to household guns.

    Mark, how many times have new technologies been introduced and been received with trepedation or ridicule. If weapons manufacturers are capable of making mil spec battle ready weapons with low failure rates why can’t they do it for the ” home ” market ? It will take time for gun owners to adjust. Gun owners already lock up their guns which poses the same time delay risks that might occur with a technology gun. Have a code to enter, we trust code to secure our houses. It’s simply about not defeating all efforts to change the status quo. I have a five year old and he is starting to have play dates and it has been brought to my attention that I should ask this question of other houses ” do you have guns ? ” Do I press to see the guns, therefore vexing the home owner. The natural verbal response is always going to be ” there safe “. My wife’s father was a NYC homicide detective, one who you would most count on to secure his weapon. My wife played with it constantly, found all of the hiding places, despite all of his efforts.

    We could all define countless examples of different cases and you will never find a one size fits all solution, but to not try ?

  65. Sometimes the US government sells surplus materials, including guns. Some automatic weapons can be acquired that way. The rapid-firing feature of these weapons is disabled, but knowledgeable people know how to restore it. However, the real key to the situation is to sift the buyers.

    People who go through hurdles with the BATF can get automatic weapons outright. However, these surplus military weapons aren’t the source of automatic weapons on the street. Nor, contrary to popular belief, are many of automatics found on the street the product of converting semiautos to full auto. Instead, most are simply imports smuggled in from overseas.

  66. I can understand hunting (if it’s done with a real rifle, not a fully auromatic monster).

    No one hunts with fully automatic weapons. Yes, people do sometimes hunt with semiauto M16s and the like. Functionally, however, a semiautomatic assault rifle is no different than a semiautomatic hunting rifle. Many of these hunting rifles even take the exact same caliber ammunition (and 5.56mm is by no means the most lethal ammunition on the market). That was why the assault weapons ban is so ridiculous: it basically bans weapons that look “scary” rather than banning weapons that are functionally different.

    The ignorance of some liberals about guns is amazing. Case in point, here is Carolyn McCarthy discussing the need to ban a gun component she cannot even define. (Additional irony: the only function of the gun component in question is to reduce the chance of someone from burning their hand when touching the barrel. But because it makes a gun look scarier, it must be banned!)

  67. Roman Kalik says:

    I agree with Tommy on the assault rifle ban. I’m all too familiar with the M16 assault RIFLE (note the word, it’s important) and it is just that. With the added advantage of firings bursts for shorter ranges.

    They told me to avoids bursts in the army though, and focus on one-bullet accuracy. That’s how hunters use them, too. It’s just a scary-looking rifle that makes people think of war movies.

    Seriously, for anyone who knows guns this sort of thing is just plain stupid. It’s all about the image!

  68. brooklynjon says:

    Toady,

    “No law is going to knock common sense into parents who don’t have it. You might have more success if you get people to pass an IQ test before letting them have children in the first place.”

    Darwinian natural selection at its finest, I say!

    Craig,

    Thanks. It’s that click-click that I’m really after.
    Are there different types of birdshot? Or is it all pretty much the same?

  69. Christian B says:

    #66

    Okay tommy, you got me. *bang* I’m one dead liberal. The good kind, right?

    But it changes nothing. Easily obtained guns is no good for society. And why would gun control matter to people who are into guns? Gun loving men and women should be all for gun control. I mean, it’s not gun prohibitation. It just controls WHO has them (well,it’s supposed to anyway, but nothing’s perfect).

    People who are into guns will always find ways to get guns (pass the test, be sane, don’t do crime, and so on), but that doesn’t mean guns should be easily obtained by anyone for “protection”. It just isn’t enough control to present three forms of identification and have a clean record. It’s NOT. And, you should not get the gun straight away. There should be a waiting period. People with clean records but wrong set of mind do crazy stuff sometimes, as we know. The inconvenience of gun control is not a good reason to be against it.

    Can someone give me the statistics on how many civilians actually have managed to protect themselves from criminals with their gun? And how many legal guns end up as illegal guns after their former owner either lies dead or wounded on the floor, or just get robbed of their gun. Bye, bye legal gun.

    Does someone actually care where the illegal guns come from? There’s no need to smuggle guns to the US, ’cause there is enough of that commodity there already.

  70. Christian B,

    Okay tommy, you got me. *bang* I’m one dead liberal. The good kind, right?

    For the record, I wasn’t criticizing you. I don’t know what your political beliefs are and could care less whether or not you choose to own or even know anything about firearms. I am just tired of so many liberals in the political and media world, without the slightest clue about firearms, spreading misinformation among the general public. I can hardly blame a not-so-knowledgeable public for believing that the assault weapons ban took automatic weapons off the street (and the hunting market) because that is exactly what many anti-gun politicians and pundits seem to imply when discussing those “dreaded, evil-looking” semiauto rifles and the need to ban them.

    Roman Kalik,

    Of course, you cannot even get those burst-fire weapons on the civilian market. Three-round-burst-firing M16A2s are no-nos just like full automatics. Only plain old one-shot semiautos are allowed on the civilian market. With the M4 carbines they use nowadays, they have gone back to full auto in the military.

    I was in the Army as well and you are completely correct about one-shot marksmanship in training: they definitely do emphasize that “one shot, one kill” philosophy. Besides, the SAW is a lot more useful than the M16 when it comes to putting suppressive fire on the field.

  71. Roman Kalik says:

    Tommy, I know. It’s as if the way the rifle looked turned into an automatic again, even though it wasn’t. :D
    And there are *hunting* rifles out there that are much more dangerous, and yet they don’t look too scary so they’re okay.

    And yeah, the M16 is not for suppressive fire, that’s what the giants who can lug a machine-gun in one arm are for. That and what they can do to buildings. ;)

    Burst-mode in the M16 is purely for stopping power at short/medium range, when the other guy is too close for comfort.

  72. Lutoklawski says:

    # 69, you make some very fine points.
    Thank you.

  73. brooklynjon, shotgun ammo comes in three flavors: birshot, buckshot, & slugs. Slugs are a single lump of lead & can take out a bear, buckshot is like shooting ballbearings & will take out deer or people, & birdshot runs from 9 (smaller bb pellets) for things like quail, doves, etc, (skeet/trap is usually 6,7,or8). turkeys are a #2, ducks # 4, #5, or #6 birdshot or something like that. When you get to 0 & 00 it’s called buckshot. I googled some articles on home defense & #2 birdshot was mentioned, but I’d put some more research into if if you’re really needing it for home defense.
    If you’re asking about what ammo you need for a shotgun, assuming you own one, no offense, but it means you need to take some classes.

    I found a non-lethal shotgun round that’s shoots balls of pepperspray,(http://www.policeone.com/police-products/less-lethal/projectiles-launchers/press-releases/85079/) but the irony is that you have to be in the military to get the non-lethal rounds(or police). You wouldn’t want pepperspray exploding anywhere near you in inside a house anyway, so it’s probably a good thing.

  74. Here’s an example of a bad idea for gun control: creating a police state
    http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070425/OPINION04/704250310/0/OPINION
    You know it’s funny, I don’t even own a gun (had ‘em growin up) but damn, I’m guess pretty into being able to get one if I want to.

  75. BrooklynJon says:

    d00d,

    Being a scholarly kinda guy, I wish there were classes I could take about guns and ammo. Unfortunately, that’s not the sort of thing that happens regularly around here. I suspect that sort of thing is more likely to get taught on papa’s knee in most parts of the country. But here I am, with no papa or grandpa left, in an environment that is generally hostile to gun ownership. So I try to eke out whatever info I can get.

    #2 probably sounds about right for my purposes. I’ve also heard about shells of coarse salt – nonlethal but hurts like a b-tch, I imagine. Can you buy these, or do people “roll their own”?

  76. BrooklynJon says:

    link: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/article/article_read.asp?aid=160784&sid=78&htl=%2Fcolumn%2Fcolumn_feature.asp%3Fsid%3D78

    Fatal Gun Accidents At Historic Lows
    A new report from the National Safety Council indicates that accidental firearm-related fatalities remain at record lows, and accidents involving youths continue to decline significantly.

    According to the report, firearm-related fatalities plunged 40 percent between 1995 and 2005, giving fatalities from gun accidents the largest percentage decrease of all measured types of accidental fatalities in the U.S.

    In addition, accidental firearm-related fatalities among children ages 14 and under declined 7 percent in 2005 when compared to the previous year and were down 69 percent between 1995 and 2003.

    All this with record American gun ownership — more than 290 million, and with 47.8 million households having at least one firearm.

  77. Hey BJ, there are probably indoor ranges in your area. You could always buy a few boxes & see what happens to your paper target w/ the various loads. Many urban ranges only allow pistols, so you’ll have to make sure you find one that’ll allows rifles/shotguns. Google would probably turn up a firearms safety class in your area or close enough, which is about the best you can expect as there’s probably no shotguns 101 class @ the local community college.
    Check out any trap/skeet clubs w/in ur greater area. it’s a lot of fun.
    All of New England’s a suburb of NYC, gotta be one around there somewhere w/in a few hrs drive ;)

    Rock salt shotgun loads are a roll your own kind of thing that great-grandpa used to do. unless you’re experience w/ reloading ur own shotgun shells, I wouldn’t recommend it…

  78. We can all look to Sandmonkey and see what happens to a govt when they don’t fear the power of the ordinary citizen: the citizen gets trampled.

    We can also look to France where citizens and police both are afraid to walk down certain streets, because they are outnumbered by muslim thugs.

    The right to bear arms keeps both criminals and governments in check.

  79. no2liberals says:

    I’ve said I all I need to say, about private ownership of firearms, in the link below.
    http://nukegingrich.wordpress.com/2007/04/17/from-an-unapologetic-gun-owner/

    As for the idea of using rock salt in shotgun shells, you might want to reconsider, after viewing episode #33 at the box of truth.com.
    For home defense, I prefer the venerable .45ACP eith RBCD Performance frangible loads. They have a website.

    As for the person that wanted to know the stats on personal defense use of firearms in the U.S., there are many sources.
    You can google Dr. Gary Kleck, of Florida State University, a former gun control advocate…no longer.
    You can also google Dr. John Lott, and he has a blog also. Dr. Lott, along with another researcher, analyzed the crime data for all 3,140 counties in the U.S., from the period of time between 1977-1996. The result was his groundbreaking book, “More Guns-Less Crime.”
    Here is an excellent source for firearms related crimes.
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/guns.htm

    This link regards research from Dr. Kleck, concerning the frequency of defensive gun use.
    http://www.pulpless.com/gunclock/stats.html

    As does this one.
    http://www.handguncontrol.net/

  80. Smarty, watch your back, packs of thugs are recapturing you, they allready are invading your empty-head

  81. Pro Libertate says:

    Sorry to bust your bubble, but when you suggest that guns lead to high crime or murder rates and that in Europe, those rates are lower because of gun control, you are totally wrong!

    I’m Swiss and hence I can tell you the average Swiss citizen has almost the same number of guns as the average American. I have 8 of them, including the military assault rifle I was given as my property after I left the military service.

    There are about 1 million such rifles – those now privately owned plus those of active service men.

    Add to that an average of 3 private guns – including hand guns – per household and you’ll find that there are about 10 – 20 million guns in a country with 7.5 million inhabitants. No one knows how many, because there is no gun registry.

    Does that mean that we have a massive problem with gun crime? Not in the least! Switzerland is still the safest country in Europe, although the situation has been getting worse since 1999.

    Why 1999? Because that’s the year when the gun laws changed. Before 1999, gun law was a matter of canton (State) law. 60% of all cantons allowed gun carry without a permit.

    In 1999, this was replaced with a federal law that requires a permit to carry a gun – a permit that is almost impossible to get, unless you are rich and can hire a professional body guard.

    So what did this massive restriction of gun rights do to Switzerland? Well for one, it brought us the first mass shooting ever! It also lead to a constant increase of violent crime by 15% per year, which now amounts to over 250%.

    This is exactly what I predicted during the campaign opposing the new gun law, but of course back then the media just called people like me “crazy”. They all promised that the new law would lead to LOWER crime rates, but they never apologized when they were proven wrong…

    You might want to take another look at the facts overall.

  82. Sorry Pro Libertate… does not compute, head exploding….

  83. Here’s my point of view: My wife and I are 60-ish, retired, live in the US. We are both licensed to carry concealed handguns, and we both do. So do our grown children.

    In the US, the Supreme Court has ruled that police have no duty to protect individuals. That means that if something bad happens, it’s not their fault. But they will eventually get there and write a report. It’s like that in a lot of foreign countries I have been to.

    Those of us who do carry-in lots of different states in the US, as all but a few may or shall issue concealed carrry permits-do so because we feel that we have a responsibility to protect our families, ourselves, and others. It’s a choice between protecting your loved ones, or choosing not to. There’s nothing theoretical or political about it.

    It isn’t easy to get permits. In our state, courses (with exams) on law, firearms safety, weapons and their operation, defensive tactics, conflict avoidance and resolution, and decision making are required. Range qualification to the same standards as police is necessary. By the way, my wife, a retired physician, is also a Concealed Handgun Instructor, certified by our state Department of Public Safety, and teaches the course and certifies applicants. The state police, the DPS, are strongly behind the program, as they have established that it serves both the good of the individual, and the public good. Criminals are deterred, lives are saved, people are safer as they go about their lives and work.

    Maybe this system wouldn’t work in France, Britain , or Australia. Those people never really developed a yearning for independence from an overly-oppressive government (notwithstanding the French Revolution, which didn’t stick, giving way to socialism). They always seem to expect their governments to solve their problems, and make excuses as to why they can’t be responsible for this or for that. Of course, governments are more than willing to take liberties from citizens, in return for promises that they will be safer and can sleep better at night.

    It works here in the US. In localities where citizens are likely to be armed, night burglaries, home invasions, and the like are rare. Criminals pick places that are unoccupied to burglarize, and thugs look for people who won’t make a fuss to rob and assault.

    The downside is that the level of commitment, learning, and proficiency required to protect oneself and others with efficient weapons is not for everyone. If you think it may be for you, give it a try. If you live where your hands are tied, learn “open-handed” self-defense. But do Something. Don’t live your life as a victim, or one who accepts that he may be. Life is too short to wait for others to make things right for you.

  84. no2liberals says:

    AV&R
    Well said.
    Personal responsibility is the missing ingredient for far too many.
    For our friends from different lands, especially Europe, our traditions are substantively different.
    There has never been a walled city in the history of the U.S. We don’t, and have never, viewed ourselves as subjects, or needed a sovereign to protect us.

  85. I just stumbled upon this site and would like to add a few things.
    First, I agree with the spirit of your statements. Some people really should not have access to guns, Safety courses should be offered, etc.
    I feel as though I must point out that I live in Alaska, the state that has arguably the most lenient gun control laws in the entire U.S. It is no surprise to many that a state that does not require a license to carry a concealed weapon has one of the lowest, if not THE lowest rate of gun-related crime. That trend is evident in the fact that the states with the most lenient gun control laws tend to have the lowest rates of gun-related crime. Furthermore, the states with the most draconian gun laws (New York, Illinois, California) have the highest rates of gun related crimes. What this shows, if nothing else, is that the legality of any particular thing does nothing to effect the user’s intent.
    Truthfully, if we are to eliminate crime, gun related or otherwise, we must eliminate the circumstances (poverty, ignorance, lack of opportunity) that lead to it.
    Part of what we need to do is to educate people on the real consequences of their behavior. As a veteran of the Iraq war and a hunter, I know fully well what firearms are capable of doing. Unfortunately, most people anymore only know what they see on TV and movies. Pop culture has also told people to shun academics in favor of a “ghetto” lifestyle.
    Sorry to butt in like that and I hope I didn’t offend anyone.

  86. Si vis pacem, para bellum says:

    There are more gun laws in the USA than in many other countries. The problem with the gun laws in the USA is that they are completely unenforceable. Weapons bans do not work. Look at the crime rates in London. They took guns away from lawful citizens and now they have a problem with lawful citizens carrying knives to protect themselves. The police can not always be there to save you when a bad guy decides to make you his next meal ticket. Forcing people to be reliant on the state for protection forces them into powerless subservience.

    Gun deaths in the USA ARE much higher than say England but look at the population difference. Most of the gun deaths in the USA are criminal on criminal, drug related or gang related. It is estimated that law abiding citizens successfully defend themselves 2 million times a year with firearms in the USA. That is only counting the incidents that are reported. It is impossible to know how many go un-reported.

    Self reliance, independence and personal freedom are the corner stones of the USA, always have been. To force Americans into powerless servants of the state, goes against everything that the USA stands for. It goes against the grain of every American, native or immigrant. The answer is not to take firearms away from the good guys. The answer is to get them away from the bad guys. THAT is where it gets complicated. THAT is the issue we should all be discussing. In the state of Florida it has been shown that a person with a Concealed Weapons and Handgun License is 7-8 times less likely to commit a crime than any other person taken from the population at random. Lawful citizens are not the problem. Criminals are.

  87. Rich Johnston says:

    Violent crime is down in the UK you know. Been falling for ten years, and back down to early eighties levels.

  88. I’m usually amused by Penn&Teller and all, but in this instance I think you should go to self defense expert Tim Larkin or Mark “Animal” MacYoung and ask if they think you should buy a gun for “self protection”.

    Their answers suprise (perhaps disappoint is a better word) a lot of people.

  89. guns could be for “self-defense” and it can work wonders but it’s not advisable for hot-headed people who might not be even capable in taking a joke. otherwise, you can get a stun gun. self defense through martial arts were only good if you practice that every day… :)