Stricter Gun Laws Aren't the Answer

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    Jan 22, 2011 1:52 AM GMT
    From a Huffington Post / New Yorker Staff Writer:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-baum/after-tucson-stricter-gun_b_811696.html

    As a liberal Democrat, I worry about the damage we might do by rushing toward a fresh raft of gun-control laws. It's very hard to demonstrate that most of them -- registration, waiting periods, one-gun-a-month laws, closing the gun-show loophole, large-capacity-magazine restrictions, assault-rifle bans -- have ever saved a life. It's a hard thing to accept, but in a country of 350 million privately owned guns, the people who are inclined to do bad things with guns will always be able to get them. One might as well combat air crashes by repealing gravity.

    I'm not one for slinging statistics, because everybody can read into them what he wants to see. One, though, seems pretty hard to ignore: The rates of murder and other violent crime have dropped by about half in the past 20 years -- one piece of unalloyed good news out of the past two decades. During those same 20 years, gun ownership has gone way up, and gun laws have become far looser.
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    Jan 22, 2011 2:00 AM GMT
    There's a whole bunch of unfounded associations in that statement.

    During the last 20 years, we have led the developed world in gun violence and still do.
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    Jan 22, 2011 2:21 AM GMT
    "As a liberal Democrat..." my ass.

    I'm so tired of these "they'd get guns another way" argument. The majority of gun deaths are not caused by people like Loughner, and what we do know is that if Loughner would have had to reload after ten shots he would probably have been subdued quicker and less harm would have been caused.
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    Jan 22, 2011 2:22 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidThere's a whole bunch of unfounded associations in that statement.

    During the last 20 years, we have led the developed world in gun violence and still do.


    What's your point? The author addresses that specific point and points out murders and violent crimes have fallen substantially despite ever increasing levels of gun ownership by Americans.

    By your argument we should be seeing rising levels of gun violence and we do not. That the US leads could just as well be because of other factors including culture.
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    Jan 22, 2011 2:27 AM GMT
    Personally I am not convinced that additional anti gun laws will be that successfull, because it really is true that if anyone is intent on killing someone, they will find a way to do it, If their method of choice is killing with a gun then he'll get the gun.

    What's that old saying, art mirrors reality, or something to that affect, we are a society of entertained dumbed down and saturated with violence. Just take a look at the video games for kids, they're a constant barage of one violent act after another. I believe this has an affect on youth violence. If its violence a person is entertained by, then its a stretch to think that that person will be less likely to commit a violent act.

    Does anyone have statistics on the countries of Europe and their rate of violence, considered along side their gun laws, as in the stricter the gun laws the fewer murders? as apposed to gun laws having no effect.
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    Jan 22, 2011 2:37 AM GMT
    realifedad saidPersonally I am not convinced that additional anti gun laws will be that successfull, because it really is true that if anyone is intent on killing someone, they will find a way to do it, If their method of choice is killing with a gun then he'll get the gun.

    What's that old saying, art mirrors reality, or something to that affect, we are a society of entertained dumbed down and saturated with violence. Just take a look at the video games for kids, they're a constant barage of one violent act after another. I believe this has an affect on youth violence. If its violence a person is entertained by, then its a stretch to think that that person will be less likely to commit a violent act.

    Does anyone have statistics on the countries of Europe and their rate of violence, considered along side their gun laws, as in the stricter the gun laws the fewer murders? as apposed to gun laws having no effect.


    It's become an assumption that violence is the result of a bad education system, hollywood etc - particularly by those who next proffer "solutions" that amount to nothing more than censorship. It's just like porn and the mistaken belief that it leads to greater sexual violence. The reality is this: violent crime is going steadily down. If you believe that the level of violence in media kids are exposed to is going up, should not violence also be rising? An alternative theory is that guns in games provides escapism and an outlet that could otherwise be used for producing actual violence.

    I think those who argue against gun control are wholly universal in acknowledging that Americans have a higher level of gun violence overall. But there are a number of countries where there are high levels of gun ownership with substantially lower levels of violence as well like Switzerland.
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    Jan 22, 2011 2:40 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    q1w2e3 saidThere's a whole bunch of unfounded associations in that statement.

    During the last 20 years, we have led the developed world in gun violence and still do.


    What's your point? The author addresses that specific point and points out murders and violent crimes have fallen substantially despite ever increasing levels of gun ownership by Americans.

    By your argument we should be seeing rising levels of gun violence and we do not. That the US leads could just as well be because of other factors including culture.


    That murders and violent crimes have fallen remains debatable (are we just in a lull right now? The slow but steady climb in the 60-80's, is that related to increasing gun ownership? The fact that richer states have fewer violent crimes points to socioeconomic status as more of a determinant than just gun ownership):
    800px-US_Violent_Crime_Rate.jpg
    286px-US_Violent_Crime_2004.svg.png
    And handguns lead homicides by a wide margin that is unchanged overall:
    800px-Ushomicidesbyweapon.svg.png
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    Jan 22, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    realifedad saidPersonally I am not convinced that additional anti gun laws will be that successfull, because it really is true that if anyone is intent on killing someone, they will find a way to do it, If their method of choice is killing with a gun then he'll get the gun.

    What's that old saying, art mirrors reality, or something to that affect, we are a society of entertained dumbed down and saturated with violence. Just take a look at the video games for kids, they're a constant barage of one violent act after another. I believe this has an affect on youth violence. If its violence a person is entertained by, then its a stretch to think that that person will be less likely to commit a violent act.

    Does anyone have statistics on the countries of Europe and their rate of violence, considered along side their gun laws, as in the stricter the gun laws the fewer murders? as apposed to gun laws having no effect.


    It's become an assumption that violence is the result of a bad education system, hollywood etc - particularly by those who next proffer "solutions" that amount to nothing more than censorship. It's just like porn and the mistaken belief that it leads to greater sexual violence. The reality is this: violent crime is going steadily down. If you believe that the level of violence in media kids are exposed to is going up, should not violence also be rising? An alternative theory is that guns in games provides escapism and an outlet that could otherwise be used for producing actual violence.

    I think those who argue against gun control are wholly universal in acknowledging that Americans have a higher level of gun violence overall. But there are a number of countries where there are high levels of gun ownership with substantially lower levels of violence as well like Switzerland.


    I don't recall suggesting censorship not in any way, I did however, make an observation about the amount of violence our society's children are exposed to. You may have noticed that I raised two children of my own successfully and have 3 grandchildren, I've been a landlord to thousands of families through the years, that I was able to watch how the children were raised and the results and therefore have some experience.

    Government Censorship I am not for, but the families I have known and watched who used their own brand of Censorship in their own home to great results, The families who had no limits, far too frequently have children who are dead at a young age from violence, or commited violence and are in jail.

    These are just observations from living, and again, I am not suggesting the government get involved in censorship. Individual families certainly should though !!
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    Jan 22, 2011 10:00 AM GMT
    realifedad saidI don't recall suggesting censorship not in any way, I did however, make an observation about the amount of violence our society's children are exposed to. You may have noticed that I raised two children of my own successfully and have 3 grandchildren, I've been a landlord to thousands of families through the years, that I was able to watch how the children were raised and the results and therefore have some experience.

    Government Censorship I am not for, but the families I have known and watched who used their own brand of Censorship in their own home to great results, The families who had no limits, far too frequently have children who are dead at a young age from violence, or commited violence and are in jail.

    These are just observations from living, and again, I am not suggesting the government get involved in censorship. Individual families certainly should though !!


    My apologies, I should have been clearer in stating that I didn't think you were for censorship given you had said something to that effect on a different issue. Nevertheless, censorship is a logical outcome if you truly believe that increased violence is the result of media exposure by others. The broader data suggests that violence is falling while I think video games have become more graphic and violent (though I don't play but I'd defend the right of others to play). One of the funniest commercials I've seen lately is for one game that just recorded the presumably contrived reactions of outrage by mothers saying to the effect "I can't believe they would show something like this" in order to sell more games.

    Q - in looking at the stats, I assume you recognize that these are absolute values while the American population has continued to rise and gun ownership has been on the upswing.

    For my fellow Canadian, you can see the response in one of the many other threads you posted to. Short answer - they do affect me, in some cases directly, in this specifically, not so much. I do find it of interest, and I do take specific positions which are generally my own though in some cases do not have a specific view.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jan 22, 2011 11:29 AM GMT
    There's a very good reason they're called gun "nuts."
    And, the gun nuts won't be happy until every man, woman, and child is armed to the teeth.

    "Johnny, why didn't you do your homework ?"
    BANG !

    "I get so tired of people who leave their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle."
    BANG !

    "You're in my way."
    BANG !

    "Turn down that music."
    BANG !

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    Jan 22, 2011 2:49 PM GMT
    Ridder, the first graph is violence rate, not absolute numbers.

    The third graph is absolute numbers, but proves my point that handguns lead the way by a wide margin.

    As for stats on other countries, wikipedia has it too:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_AmericaThe US homicide rate, which has declined substantially since 1991, is still among the highest in the industrialized world. There were 17,034 murders in the United States in 2006[30] (666,160 murders from 1960 to 1996).[31] In 2004, there were 5.5 homicides for every 100,000 persons, roughly three times as high as Canada (1.9) and six times as high as Germany (0.9). A closer look at The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data indicates that per-capita homicide rates over the last 30 years on average of major cities, New Orleans' average per capita homicide rate of 52 murders per 100,000 people overall (1980–2009) ranks highest among major U.S. cities[32][33] Most industrialized countries had homicide rates below the 2.5 mark. "Homicide rate comparisons". http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/murder.html. Retrieved 2006-09-29. [34]