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Jul 25 2012

Another gun control argument

You know how the NRA types are always arguing that we’d be safer if everyone were carrying a gun? Yeah, every time I hear that line from now on I’m going to think of this guy.

112 comments

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  1. 1
    John Morales

    In Australian news: Gun applications soar after Aurora massacre.

    The number of people seeking to buy guns in Colorado has surged in the wake of the Batman cinema massacre.
    [...]
    Figures from other states including California, Oregon, and Florida are showing a spike in sales, something police say they have seen before and after other gun-related tragedies.

  2. 2
    michaeld

    @ john….
    I realize this wasn’t you saying it but… how can there be a spike in gun sales before gun related tragedies. Is there like some precognitive buying of firearms or do the killers buy so many there’s a noticeable blip 0.0

  3. 3
    Andy Groves

    How can there be a spike in gun sales before gun related tragedies?

    Gun-related tragedies in the US are like London buses – you just need to wait a few minutes before another one comes along…..

  4. 4
    kyoseki

    I thought that was odd as well, I think they meant to say “they have seen before, after other gun-related tragedies”

  5. 5
    John Morales

    [meta]

    michaeld, yeah, poor phrasing indeed; I think the intended meaning was that there have been previous instances of it in the wake of similar events.

  6. 6
    feralboy12

    Fucker shoots himself in the butt, injures two others, and runs away.
    I’m thinking he should have stood his ground.

  7. 7
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    Clearly this could have been prevented if the cashier and baby had both been armed.

  8. 8
    michaeld

    Well yes it probably was poor phrasing I just preferred considering a couple ideas taking the phrasing as given ;p.

  9. 9
    kennypo65

    @Feralboy12: Fanned and faved.

  10. 10
    eigenperson

    Don’t the gun folks always say, “there’s no such thing as an accidental discharge”? (That is, if someone is shot with your gun while you were in control of it, either you did it on purpose or you were negligent.)

  11. 11
    Trebuchet

    If you read the comments on the linked article (not recommeded if you value your sanity), the NRA types immediately started calling him a Democrat, based soley on PIDOOMA.

  12. 12
    michaeld

    @11 to be fair its just the one dumb ass repeating that over and over again.

  13. 13
    mythbri

    Jeebus H. Wafflechrist. I don’t want to have to think about guns in movie theaters or grocery stores.

  14. 14
    Area Man

    Those victims might have been saved if only more customers were carrying guns. One of them could have accidentally shot the guy before his gun went off.

  15. 15
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    None of you understand this. This guy was “No True Gun Owner”. This has nothing to do with Real Gun Owners.

  16. 16
    Randomfactor

    Don’t the gun folks always say, “there’s no such thing as an accidental discharge”?

    It was the Will of Gahd. Or maybe Landru.

  17. 17
    Skeptic Dude

    Nice PZ,
    You take an isolated anecdote to make a broad generalization of a country of over 300 million people.

    Hey maybe you could do something a little more scientific and compare statistics from a larger sample group then some redneck yahoo at a Wal-Mart? For instance you could compare Mexico to Switzerland.

    The former has possibly the strictest gun control policy with only one gun retailer in the country and penalties of years in prison for having any form of unregistered gun or ammo. The latter has nearly every adult male owning at least one automated weapon.

    Gee, I wonder which country is wallowing in a bloody civil war with tens of thousands being shot in the streets? It would have to be Switzerland, right?

    Because gun control is such an obviously flawless solution to gun crime, right?

  18. 18
    chigau (違う)

    Switzerland also has compulsory military service (for men).
    Do you really think that Switzerland has no control over gun ownership?

  19. 19
    mythbri

    @Skeptic Dude

    And having guns is an obvious solution to reducing gun violence.

    (Excellent candidate for the rule about commentors having “rational”, “reasonable”, “skeptic” etc. as part of their nyms.)

  20. 20
    blondeintokyo

    Or you can compare Japan with about every other country. There are about 12 guns deaths a year, and most are related to the Yakuza. When a psycho goes off, the only weapon of choice is a knife. Since the Akiharbara killings, carrying a knife with a blade of over 1cm is illegal. It was the right reaction. The police are vigilant and we just don’t see mass killings like this. The rest of the world looks at the US and shakes their heads. The Japanese are scared to go there and always asked me about the crime rate. In contrast, in Tokyo I can walk home drunk at 3am and not worry about being raped or robbed. I don’t know how I’m going to be able to get used to the dangers of city life once I go back to the States.

  21. 21
    alkaloid

    @Skeptic Dude:

    Don’t you think that the issues of Mexico having a massive multi-decade drug war (no thanks to the US government) and chronic political corruption/dishonesty might make a bigger difference in gun crime rates as compared to gun control laws?

  22. 22
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Because gun control is such an obviously flawless solution to gun crime, right?

    Yes, that’s exactly what PZ’s two-sentence article implied. Gun control is flawless. Stricter gun control laws will magically eliminate firearm injuries. No other factors in play at all!

    He certainly couldn’t have simply been pointing out that, the more people who are carrying guns around, the more chances there are for people to be shot for whatever reason.

    At least you aren’t pretending that an armed society is a polite society.

  23. 23
    gingerbaker

    “If you read the comments on the linked article (not recommeded if you value your sanity), the NRA types immediately started calling him a Democrat, based soley on PIDOOMA.”

    That’s because millions of idiots vote Republican against their own best interest simply because ‘Democrats want to take their guns away’. Every time a liberal blogger brings up gun control another Tea Party candidate gets his angel wings.

    Considering that deranged rampage shooters kill less people in the U.S. every year than get killed by lightning strikes, do you think that maybe – just fucking maybe – it would be a good strategic move to dump the gun control issue, considering that:

    1) The Supreme Court just specifically ruled that the 2nd Amendment applies to individual gun owners

    and

    2) we have more important stuff to get accomplished – like climate change, for example, which is going to murder billions of people in slow motion over the next 90 years – and we don’t need to hand more Tea Party Republicans their Congressional seats on a silver platter.

  24. 24
    Andy Groves

    @17: Switzerland has what you might call a “well-regulated militia”……….

  25. 25
    DLC

    On the planet Xxylmny, everyone is a fat ugly redneck.they all abhor violence and they all have a dozen fully automatic weapons, by Imperial Fiat of their grand exalted Poobah, Cragxex the Bald.
    Oh, and everyone must at all times carry a 50cm sword, unsheathed. It makes such hobbies as fishing and fucking a bit tricky.

  26. 26
    Area Man

    “You take an isolated anecdote to make a broad generalization of a country of over 300 million people.”

    What generalization? No one ever said that every gun owner out there is an irresponsible douche. They don’t have to be.

    The gun lobby insists that having more armed citizens will stop or mitigate shooting sprees like the one in Aurora. The counterargument is that having more armed citizens will also lead to more wrongful shootings, whether deliberate or accidental. This incident is a perfect example of that.

    It’s possible that the lives (or wounds) saved by heroic armed citizens stopping the rare crazed gunman will exceed those lost by accidents, acts of passion, or other mishaps that can happen when a person is packing heat in public. But given that accidental gun deaths alone equal one Aurora massacre every 5 days or so (injuries every 1 day), I’m a little skeptical about that, and you should be too.

  27. 27
    rorschach

    For instance you could compare Mexico to Switzerland.

    Why not compare Switzerland to the USA instead ? 45 vs 88 guns per 100 residents and 6 vs 10 per 100.000 population firearm deaths. Twice the number of guns per residents, and almost twice the number of gun-related deaths. A coincidence? Skeptical minds want to know.

  28. 28
    nms

    For instance you could compare Mexico to Switzerland.

    The former has possibly the strictest gun control policy with only one gun retailer in the country and penalties of years in prison for having any form of unregistered gun or ammo. The latter has nearly every adult male owning at least one automated weapon.

    Gee, I wonder which country is wallowing in a bloody civil war with tens of thousands being shot in the streets? It would have to be Switzerland, right?

    Since Mexico has such strict gun control, I do wonder where all these illegally aquired weapons are coming from

    Hmmmmmmm

  29. 29
    palefury

    Gun control in the USA is like shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    How do you institute gun control when everyone already owns four?

  30. 30
    Cynickal

    If his ass had a gun, it could have defended itself before that guy managed to get a shot off.

    “More guns is the solution,” is just victim blaming.

  31. 31
    madscientist

    That’s why despite the fact that I’m all in favor of ownership of a limited number of types of firearms (really, who needs a 0.50 shoulder arm, a 90mm recoilless rifle, or a high capacity rapid-fire rifle), I’m in favor of very strict gun control laws. That guy is also why I don’t want these dodos we call “air marshals” on board civilian flights.

  32. 32
    Yoritomo

    Gingerbaker @23:

    Considering that deranged rampage shooters kill less people in the U.S. every year than get killed by lightning strikes, do you think that maybe – just fucking maybe – it would be a good strategic move to dump the gun control issue [...]

    Deaths by lightning: About 44 per year.
    Homicides by firearm: About 10,000 per year.
    Maybe you don’t mind being shot as long as your killer isn’t a “deranged rampage shooter”, but I beg to differ.

  33. 33
    madscientist

    @palefury#29: You’re way off the mark. At least 30% of US citizens not only do not own firearms but they have no desire to own one. A 2009 Gallup poll indicates that around 57% of households have no guns whatsoever. Although the gun ownership rate is something like 89 per 100 people, that is because a large fraction of the gun owners own multiple weapons.

  34. 34
    donaji

    @skeptic dude
    I live I Mexico. Gun laws have never been much enforced. There have always been guns because they can be purchased so easily in the US. Gun control is practically impossible. In fact Mexico is now awash with guns because any criminal can buy whatever they like over the border, no questions asked. Buy the drugs and sell us the guns. Thanks a lot, neighbour!

  35. 35
    Menyambal

    I was just imagining what would have happened in that Aurora theater if half the audience had been packing guns. In the smoke and darkness, with people shooting at anyone else who had a gun out …

    Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC last night did a good piece on the NRA. He pointed out that Wayne LaPierre, the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association and main spokesperson, is getting paid a million dollars a year to push NRA “gun rights”.

    O’Donnell showed another NRA spokesperson saying that banning 100-round magazines would infringe our freedoms, which is worse than massacres. Then O’Donnell talked about the fact that we all have to take our shoes off in airport security checks because one guy, one time, tried a shoe bomb, which didn’t go off and wouldn’t have killed anyone if it had.

  36. 36
    Amphiox

    Considering that deranged rampage shooters kill less people in the U.S. every year than get killed by lightning strikes, do you think that maybe – just fucking maybe – it would be a good strategic move to dump the gun control issue [...]

    From http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/getting-real-with-mass-murder-stats/2012/07/25/gJQA1YY28W_blog.html (which incidentally is an anti-gun control piece), we find that in the last 34 years there have been 645 mass murder events and a total of 2949 deaths.

    That makes just under 87 deaths per year.

    Deaths by lighting, 44 per year.

    I’m a doctor, not a mathematician, but to my numerically untrained eye, 87 > 44.

    Also, the use of lightning as an analogy is an interesting one, since we actually have regulations and controls in building codes and such, and even public education campaigns in the past designed specifically to reduce the risk of death by lightning strike.

    If such regulations are uncontroversial for lightning, why not for guns?

  37. 37
    ginmar

    The people who most want firearms are the ones who are least able to handle them responsibly. It takes years of training to acclimate people to being shot at much less the skill of taking a breath and taking a moment. Therein lies the skill. Shooting is all about breathing and calm. Being the Bruce Willis is a hostage situation is nothing like that.

    My CO won my undying love and respect—in a totally asexual way, because he was more like a father than anything else—-when he began drilling into us on Day One: “Take one breath. Take one second.” There’s no glory in shooting someone, he suggested, while there’s heroism in bucking the system and saving one person to talk to later, maybe. Just not shooting somebody was an act of perspective. It was one life saved, unmarked. Talking is what wins battles, not blind shooting. I sighted down my barrel one day at a guy who by every sign was a suicide bomber and realized: “He’s just a dumbass.” Yes, they have those in wars, too. People don’t stop being people. And border lines don’t change people into something else, something more intelligent, something devious.

    Most of these bubbas are shooting cans or beer bottles (after drinking the beer) or paper targets. Movement and real life and real consequences changes things. Do I need to talk about tear gas and fumes? Some gases are heavier than oxygen and sink. Some are lighter and rise. Both can clog your eyes and make them run. Long guns are more accurate than handguns, which are designed only to kill people. An experienced unarmed person is better than an inexperienced armed person. That person can take your weapon away. And will.

    Oh and by the way? A gunshot does not knock a person off their feet. It does not blow them into the air. If it did, the shooter would be knocked off their feet, too. Stop watching stupid movies, people.

    But civilians don’t get the long and intense training soldiers do. They shoot at 25 meter paper stationary targets—-if at all. They have no experience being shot at. Darkness, a SWAT-like outfit, running victims, an inability to aim, tear gas, the difference between long guns and hand guns—-all of these make the guy who had a gun when Gabby Giffords was shot, who did not shoot because he assessed the situation and realized he was more of a danger than an asset—a real hero. SEALs could’t make that shot—-and three of them, on a bouncing Navy vessel, took out the Somali pirates who’d seized the skipper of the MERSK Alabama. In seconds.

    It’s funny—I’m really good with a weapon, and yet I just don’t get wound up with them or the ability to use them. I view them the way I would a fork. It’s an object. It’s a tool I’ve been taught to use, like other soldiers. So—huh?

    Hope this makes sense. I am very drunk.

  38. 38
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    More about the NRA. (If things keep going like they’re going.)

    Fix the real problem now! Linky: New York Times article 2042.

  39. 39
    susan

    Best article I read in the last several days on what can be done legally: What I Learned in Law School
    Best rant.

  40. 40
    rorschach

    Hope this makes sense.

    Not really. The problem here isn’t really people’s lack of weapons training. It’s the weapons.

  41. 41
    anubisprime

    All IQ’s are equal only some are more equal then others!

    ‘Concealed weapon’ makes ‘em feel like Dirty Harry or James Bond, it is a bit like political ambition…

    If anyone wants to be a politician they should be banned immediately from any ‘election’ where they are in danger of achieving their ego boost.

    What ever, wanting to be a senator, governor, representative, Dirty Harry or a Bond, James Bond, does not necessarily indicate competence just a self image crisis or a lack of humility, sometimes both.

    In fact anyone from the public that wants to be a ‘big man’ and wear a ‘Concealed weapon’ should be told publicly to grow up!
    Police, security and the military is another matter and one would hope that intense and ongoing training is a prerequisite.

  42. 42
    Jeebus

    I don’t know why it should be legal for a civilian to get something designed to kill other people, anyway.

  43. 43
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ Jeebus

    Heh, I love that gravitar you have.

  44. 44
    brucegorton

    I did a gallery on the shooting’s aftermath for work – and the thing that struck me was looking at photos of the local gun-shop, and eish the sheer hate.

    Guns don’t kill people, gun shops do.

  45. 45
    palefury

    @ madscientist. Sometimes people use hyperbole to make a point.

    The point is gun ownership is substantially higher in the US than anywhere else in the world, not to mention that many countries restrict the type of gun people can own (Hand guns and fully automatic assault rifles are designed pretty much for one thing – and that is killing PEOPLE).

    I am all for tighter gun control – i just don’t see how it would be practically implemented in a country like the US where there is such a “gun culture”. How on earth would you see about reclaiming all those guns that are already out there? – many would be unwilling to give theirs up even if the law were to suddenly tighten up.

    Even if you change who is able to buy a gun from now on, there are already so many guns already in peoples homes – it would not be that hard to get a hold of firearms if you were the kind of person who wants to go out and shoot a bunch of people. All you have to do is break into one of the 43% of houses and get yourself some guns – I am sure that if you are interested in perpetrating a mass shooting, breaking and entering would be a piece of cake.

    Not that I am saying that gun control shouldn’t be tightened, I am just saying that it will be a long up hill battle. Even if laws were tightened up tomorrow, you have to change peoples attitudes towards firearms and that could take many generations.

  46. 46
    tyrannical

    US motor vehicle accidents claim between 30,000 – 40,000 deaths per year. While irresponsible gun owners are dangerous, irresponsible drivers are more dangerous and far more numerous.

    While gun incidents are usually the result of intentional action, this specific example in the OP was pure negligence.

  47. 47
    pentatomid

    Aaaaaand once again Skeptic Dude misses the point completely!

  48. 48
    Gordon

    You cannot shoot someone with a gun you don’t have! Somehow this notion refuses to cross the Atlantic.

  49. 49
    Matt Penfold

    The point a few people have raised about training is important. Here in the UK most police officers do not carry firearms. When firearms are needed specially trained officers in what is called an armed response unit are dispatched. These officers undergo a rigorous selection process, before having to pass an even more rigorous training program. Once qualified they must re qualify in the use of firearms every few months, and spend around 25% of their time in training.

    By any measure these officers are well trained and well disciplined. And yet they make mistakes. Innocent people get shot and killed by them. If that can happen to highly trained people, just imagine what would happen if they had to undergo no training at all!

  50. 50
    Brian

    For me the TeaTard type reaction to such incidents (“if there were more guns out there, this wouldn’t have happened!”) is just one more indication of just how utterly sociopathic their kind is, not to mention utterly clueless. Sorry TeaTards, I am a veteran, I’ve been trained in the use of firearms, and I’ve been on both sides of a gun…and guess what? Incidents like Aurora go down so fast that by the time you even know what just happened….it’s all over. There is no “here…let me git out my gun and cap you” BANG! I am a hero!! moment. By the time you’ve put down your popcorn and your extra-large Coke, the 3 second window on your twisted sociopathic fantasy of wanting to cap someone has already passed.

  51. 51
    leejohnson

    I hate to say it, but the comments about gun control from many of my liberal friends follows the same track as comments about evolution from most creationists. It’s a mix of wild emotion, mixed up facts, vague statistics, and wishful thinking.

    Emotion: “… designed pretty much for one thing – and that is killing people”. Yes yes. Except there are 200+ million guns in America and not nearly that many deaths, so people must have other uses, okay? Those ‘assault rifles’ for example are used in a variety of shooting sports and are increasingly popular for hunting small game.

    Mixed up facts: “fully automatic assault rifles”. Can we all just agree that civilians in the U.S. cannot buy fully automatic weapons? New production of automatic weapons for civilians was banned in 1986. The existing civilian full-auto weapons now cost tens of thousands of dollars and are passed around between collectors and never used in crimes. Further, those civilian “assault rifles” are really just hunting rifles with black stocks and larger magazines. The .223 cartridge in the AR-15 is actually quite weak by most hunting rifle standards. ARs are popular because they are modular and very accurate, so they are great on the range. There are literally millions of them in civilian ownership in the U.S. and almost all are used to punch holes in paper.

    Vague statistics: Most of the comments here seem to agree that more gun control == less death. Okay. Prove it. In the UK, when all guns were finally banned from the public (they had very few to begin with), the crime rate went up for a number of years, and then returned to its previous level. The murder rate is the same. Guns are just used less often in murders. Here in the U.S., the Clinton era “Assault Weapons Ban” lasted for 10 years. Groups that reviewed the statistics have found no discernible impact on crime. “Assault weapons” are rarely used in crimes anyway. Do you want to bring the ban back? Why? It had no impact. The murder rate was falling during the ban and has continued to fall after it expired. Further, crime rates have fallen during the last decade while concealed carry rates have risen significantly. I’m not saying more guns means less crime, but the statistics certainly don’t prove the opposite conclusion.

    Wishful thinking: An otherwise smart friend of mine recently said “I just wish all the guns would disappear.” Right. And I wish the same for nuclear weapons and for AIDS, but that’s not how we solve problems in the real world. @palefury’s comments above are sensible. Guns are not going to go away. They are in our Bill of Rights and in 40%+ of households. What kinds of laws would *actually* reduce gun related crime? Most of the suggestions I hear are just wishful thinking and will have no measurable impact on gun related crime.

    Here’s my prediction: even if we could make all the guns disappear, overall crime rates would not be changed significantly. The U.S. is just a high-crime nation (or rather, a low-crime nation with areas of extremely high crime). Perhaps we would *actually* save some lives if we looked into fixing the causes of that all that crime to begin with.

  52. 52
    Matt Penfold

    Vague statistics: Most of the comments here seem to agree that more gun control == less death. Okay. Prove it. In the UK, when all guns were finally banned from the public (they had very few to begin with), the crime rate went up for a number of years, and then returned to its previous level. The murder rate is the same. Guns are just used less often in murders.

    Somehow and for some reason you forgot to mention that the murder rate in the UK is one quarter of that in the US.

    Was your failure to mention that simply an oversight on your part, or a deliberate attempt at dishonesty ?

  53. 53
    leejohnson

    @MattPenfold – I don’t think it really factors into the point I was trying to make. The murder rate in the UK was the same before and after the complete gun ban. Yes, the long UK history of discouraging public gun ownership may factor into their reduced murder rate today, but a public with a specific murder rate, taking the guns away does not seem to affect that.

  54. 54
    Matt Penfold

    Oh, and the actually data are:

    Homicides:

    UK 1.23 per 100,000 people.
    US 4.8 per 100,000 people.

    Both figures are for 2010.

    UNODC data on firearm homicides:

    US 3.0 per 100,000 people.
    England and Wales, 0.1
    Northern Ireland 0.7
    No data for Scotland.

    All data from 2009.

    Anyone wanting to claim the lack of availability of firearms has nothing to do with the lower murder rate in the UK needs to be able explain these data.

  55. 55
    Matt Penfold

    @MattPenfold – I don’t think it really factors into the point I was trying to make. The murder rate in the UK was the same before and after the complete gun ban. Yes, the long UK history of discouraging public gun ownership may factor into their reduced murder rate today, but a public with a specific murder rate, taking the guns away does not seem to affect that.

    The ban affected very few firearms, since it only applied to handguns. Most of those were competition pistols anyway.

    Now answer the question. You have had one chance, and proved unable to do so, which is not a good reflection on you. But have another try.

  56. 56
    Matt Penfold

    Oh, and because leejohnson failed to mention it (I wonder why!), the ban on handguns was enacted to stop mass killings such as Dunblane, rather than reduce the overall murder rate. He also forgot to mention that since the ban there has been repetition of a mass-killing involving firearms (He must have a really bad memory!).

  57. 57
    Jimmy_Blue

    @leejohnson #51

    Why is it that whenever anyone cites the UK, crime figures and the ban on ownership of firearms to argue against the impact of gun control they forget to mention that the way crime statistics were recorded, reported and compiled in the UK changed once in 1998 and again in 2002.

    Care to guess when the Firearms (Amendment) Act was passed? 1997.

    The changes in 1998 resulted in more crimes being counted than before 1998.

    Even the British Home Office has pointed out in its own publications that you should not compare crime figures before 1998 with those after. The same is true of figures before 2002 and after.

    You did take that into account right leejohnson? Right? You did know about these two changes and the impact they had on crime figures, right?

    I wish the pro-gun nuts would stop using vague statistics.

  58. 58
    Matt Penfold

    The U.S. is just a high-crime nation (or rather, a low-crime nation with areas of extremely high crime). Perhaps we would *actually* save some lives if we looked into fixing the causes of that all that crime to begin with.

    That is actually an argument for increasing the controls on gun ownership. If people in the US really are more murderous than the UK cousins, then letting them have access to the means of being even more murderous is not only foolish, it is recklessly irresponsible.

  59. 59
    Anri

    Skeptic Dude:

    Switzerland has nearly every adult male owning at least one automated weapon.

    So… let me get this straight… you are of the opinion that the government that fully controls the issue of firearms, of every weapon, every round of ammunition, mandates firearm training, and that makes the return of such weapons compulsory at a very specific time has lax centralized gun control?

    I hate to put it this way, but you’re not very smart, are you?

    Tell you what, you suggest Switzerland’s scheme at an NRA meeting sometime, see how much backing you get. Protip: might wanna wear something bulletproof when you bring it up. (That last bit’s a joke, for those that might not get it.)

  60. 60
    sambarge

    Tyrannical @ 46

    US motor vehicle accidents claim between 30,000 – 40,000 deaths per year. While irresponsible gun owners are dangerous, irresponsible drivers are more dangerous and far more numerous.

    Have you ever heard that saying about apples and oranges and not comparing the two? No? I didn’t think so, let me explain.

    You have taken 2 phenomena and compared them like there are no variables that separate them. Do you know why the deaths for car accidents seem high, if you’re not thinking? Because people are so more likely to be in a car every day than they are to be shot at every day. I know, shocking but true. You’re also more likely to die in your bathroom than as the result of a gun shot wound. So fucking what?

    leejohnson @ 51 – You know what drives me crazy about NRA-supporting, gun nuts? They always mis-construe or mis-represent data to support their arguments while insisting that the other side are a bunch of loony, do-gooders.

  61. 61
    Jimmy_Blue

    And as for Skeptic Dude @17:

    Really? Is that what passes for a solid argument in the pro gun lobby? I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that if there was an award for most clueless comparison you’d be right up there, but we can play this your way if you want.

    I call Japan v Somalia. Because obviously gun control is the only difference between the two.

    Oh, and in case you still don’t get it – two thirds of the guns recovered in Mexico have come from the USA. Now why could that be…?

  62. 62
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Perhaps we would *actually* save some lives if we looked into fixing the causes of that all that crime to begin with.

    There’s no reason for Americans to stop driving gas-guzzling SUVs because what we really need is nuclear fusion.

  63. 63
    Anri

    tyrannical:

    US motor vehicle accidents claim between 30,000 – 40,000 deaths per year. While irresponsible gun owners are dangerous, irresponsible drivers are more dangerous and far more numerous.

    Wow!
    With statistics like that, we might end up with some sort of… I dunno, licensing structure, as well as mandatory training, and a way to easily determine what car belongs to what person, and stop any car that’s not clearly marked!
    I shudder to think they might institute such draconian governmental overreach that will prevent anyone from using their car for any useful purpose, let totally alone any sort of fun! Heck, we might actually come to regard auto ownership and operation as some sort of privilege, rather than a god-given right! DOOM, I tell you, DOOOOMM!

    Derp.

  64. 64
    Reginald Selkirk

    which left a woman and a 5-year-old child wounded.
    Police told the Dallas Morning News they grabbed Canady after a short foot pursuit and booked him on charges of injuring a child and evading arrest.

    So shooting the woman apparently didn’t break any laws?

  65. 65
    michaeld

    On Switzerland …

    While there are lots of automatic weapons ammunition was sealed and inspected regularly until 2007 when 99% was recalled except for some particular units. Ammunition can be bought at gun ranges for the rifles but every bullet must be used at the range before leaving.

    Also worth noting that although there are 6.4 gun deaths /100 000people 5.4 of those are suicides. Despite the prevalence of guns the situations in other respects are very different.

  66. 66
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    So even I know you don’t a) keep a round in the chamber and b) keep the safety off. And I don’t even own a gun. That man shouldn’t have a gun because he’s an idiot. I mean seriously. Misfirings can only happen if you ignore those two rules.

  67. 67
    dianne

    US motor vehicle accidents claim between 30,000 – 40,000 deaths per year. While irresponsible gun owners are dangerous, irresponsible drivers are more dangerous and far more numerous.

    So make your case for stricter enforcement of driving laws. I’m for it! The fewer cars the better, especially in the context of urban areas where cars aren’t actually any faster than public transit. But keep in mind one major difference between cars and guns: cars have a purpose other than killing.

  68. 68
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @dianne:

    No no. Have you heard. Handguns have a purpose other than killing. You can use them to shoot at paper targets that are designed to either entirely or vaguely resemble a human body!

  69. 69
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    Just a quick drop-in because I wince every time I see the “guns have no purpose other than killing” thing. Target shooting, anyone? Perfectly fine as a sport, as is target archery and any other regulated sport using apparatus originally intended as killing tools. Times change, and generalisations are still irritating even when they’re done for good reasons.
    Ok, pedantry mode deactivated. *click*

    I’m hugely in favour of gun control (no, not banning guns, that would be distinctly unhelpful) and we managed to implement it here in Australia without the walls of civilisation crashing down. Licensing, registration and carrying permits aren’t draconian – as someone pointed out earlier the same kinds of regulations apply to driving.

  70. 70
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Fucker shoots himself in the butt, injures two others, and runs away.

    He was fortunate that the bullet missed his brain.

  71. 71
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Sophia:

    Yea. The NRA hates gun registries. It would be a fantastic idea, and it would keep tabs on all the guns that vanish and are used in crimes, but the NRA gets apoplectic about it. It’s why they get all crazed about the Arms Trade Treaty – which would regulate the import/export of guns – because it would create a de facto gun registry to tie people to the foreign guns that kill people.

  72. 72
    Brad

    @70
    Not a very big target

    @64
    the other two caught shrapnel after the bullet hit the floor, they weren’t shot as such.

  73. 73
    dianne

    He was fortunate that the bullet missed his brain.

    Given his behavior and where he shot himself, it was probably a very near thing.

  74. 74
    jimmauch

    Most of us fortunatly will personally never have to deal with the tiny violent subset of society that tabloid media bring to our attention. With that reality in mind I can not understand the logic that rather than relying on a trained police force to uphold the law what we should do instead is for all of us to arm ourselves to the teeth. We then will supposedly have the satisfaction of knowing that we will all have at our fingertips the ability to kill whoever we please. I’m sorry but my family and I do not have a feeling of security with that thought in mind.

  75. 75
    David Marjanović

    Fucker shoots himself in the butt, injures two others, and runs away.
    I’m thinking he should have stood his ground.

    So true, so true!

    Those victims might have been saved if only more customers were carrying guns. One of them could have accidentally shot the guy before his gun went off.

    You’ve shot the nail in the head.

    None of you understand this. This guy was “No True Gun Owner”. This has nothing to do with Real Gun Owners.

    Waiting for someone to mean this seriously in 3… 2… 1…

    @17: Switzerland has what you might call a “well-regulated militia”……….

    Precisely.

    The rules on how soldiers ( = every adult male) have to store their guns are very strict and taken very seriously. It’s not like they can put their guns under their pillows for home defense!

    And even so, the gun death rates of Switzerland are rather high for European standars.

    If his ass had a gun, it could have defended itself before that guy managed to get a shot off.

    “More guns is the solution,” is just victim blaming.

    QFT.

    Best article I read in the last several days on what can be done legally: What I Learned in Law School

    Read the comments. Toward the end I got holy wrath. :-]

    US motor vehicle accidents claim between 30,000 – 40,000 deaths per year. While irresponsible gun owners are dangerous, irresponsible drivers are more dangerous and far more numerous.

    So?

    The U.S. is just a high-crime nation (or rather, a low-crime nation with areas of extremely high crime). Perhaps we would *actually* save some lives if we looked into fixing the causes of that all that crime to begin with.

    That is actually an argument for increasing the controls on gun ownership. If people in the US really are more murderous than the UK cousins, then letting them have access to the means of being even more murderous is not only foolish, it is recklessly irresponsible.

    Bingo.

    @64
    the other two caught shrapnel after the bullet hit the floor, they weren’t shot as such.

    You misunderstand. The issue is that Canady was charged with “injuring a child and evading arrest”, while injuring the woman seems not to count as a crime somehow.

  76. 76
    Matt Penfold

    And even so, the gun death rates of Switzerland are rather high for European standards.

    When I was looking at the data the other day it turned out that shootings outside the home nearly all involved illegally owned guns, whereas domestic violence involving firearms nearly all involve legally owned weapons.

  77. 77
    mjmiller

    On the “if everyone were armed, we would all be safer” argument,
    I’m reminded of that demonstration where they fill a room full of mousetraps loaded with ping pong balls then throw in a ping pong ball to get the reaction started. I can easily see this happening in an enclosed area where everyone is armed and noone can tell who fired the first shot.

  78. 78
    Matt Penfold

    The other two caught shrapnel after the bullet hit the floor, they weren’t shot as such.

    I’m pretty sure that still counts as being shot.

  79. 79
    pipenta

    If you aren’t smart enough to realize that some people aren’t smart enough to be allowed to carry a gun, then you aren’t smart enough to be allowed to carry a gun.

  80. 80
    Matt Penfold

    If you aren’t smart enough to realize that some people aren’t smart enough to be allowed to carry a gun, then you aren’t smart enough to be allowed to carry a gun.

    Anyone who want to be allowed to carry a gun by definition is not the sort of person who should be allowed to carry a gun.

  81. 81
    thisisaturingtest

    #30, adamarmstrong:

    “More guns is the solution,” is just victim blaming.

    Not only is it heartless victim-blaming, it’s really bad as a logical approach to solving a problem- it focuses only on the event as it happens, without proper regard to the cause for it, or how to prevent it. I don’t think anyone would disagree that events such as this one in Aurora are very rare exceptions to the rule of normality, anomalies in fact. But what kind of thinking results in a conclusion that the thing that resulted in it being such an exception should be made the rule?

  82. 82
    thisisaturingtest

    Wow, that last sentence of mine was really muddled, wasn’t it? Let me try again-
    What kind of thinking ends in a conclusion that the cause of the exception should be made the rule? And that the hypothetical-only, and hoped-for, outcome (that armed moviegoers would have necessarily gotten Holmes before he could get them- an even rarer anomaly, I would think) should be the normal expectation on which to base policy regarding public safety?

  83. 83
    Brad

    @75 My bad, that’s fucked up. Surprised they didn’t go with reckless endangerment for everybody within 20 feet.

    @78
    Be more pedantic than that ;)

  84. 84
    ginmar

    #40 Untrained morons with guns like to think they’d be heroes if they were at the scene with their big macho guns. It would take years and SEAL training to do what they claim would happen were some dumb Bubba in that theatre with his favorite backyard target pistol. Even without guns they’re a danger to the health and welfare of other people, but their fantasies dominate the discourse and reality does not.

    #69, wow, yes, you’re right, that’s why guns were invented. Cheezus.

    #51: if you’re using an assault rifle to hunt, you’re the world’s biggest asshole, because that’s like going after a mouse with a shotgun. Why do you want to make hamburger on the spot? I thought the whole point of hunting was the challege. You just destroyed the challenge.

  85. 85
    Sili

    If only that poor 5-year-old had been armed, this never would have happened.

  86. 86
    left0ver1under

    we’d be safer if everyone were carrying a gun

    Claiming that more guns is a solution to gun violence is as ridiculous as claiming more matches and gasoline is a solution to arson.

  87. 87
    jeffreylewis

    I did a gallery on the shooting’s aftermath for work – and the thing that struck me was looking at photos of the local gun-shop, and eish the sheer hate.

    Guns don’t kill people, gun shops do.

    I’ve always been a proponent of gun ownership, but with some level of gun control (like madscientist said, “who needs a 0.50 shoulder arm, a 90mm recoilless rifle, or a high capacity rapid-fire rifle”). But after a trip to a gun show with a friend of mine, it really made me reconsider. Those are some pretty crazy people.

    And as far as accidental gun deaths, from 1999-2007, they averaged 732 per year. In 2000, 567 people drowned in pools. I don’t think we should fill in all the pools. Granted, there’s a much bigger issue with gun related homicides, but if you’re going to argue for gun control, don’t cherry pick isolated incidents.

  88. 88
    Monsanto

    It’s completely understandable. He had a gun-shaped wallet. I’m constantly making that mistake, however I haven’t yet shot myself in the butt.

  89. 89
    madscientist

    @ginmar37: drunk but sensible. People find it hard to believe I used to be a crack shot since I no longer own firearms and I’m in favor of very restrictive ownership rules. Most people I’ve had in my sights were just stupid kids jumping over fences because they were too lazy to walk around the block. There’s another thing about guns – how many innocent folks are there out there who regularly end up in the gunsights of folks like me and never know it?

  90. 90
    timgueguen

    I get the impression Canady dropped his gun while trying to pull out his wallet, which then discharged when it hit the ground. Which explains his wound. I have the suspicion it wasn’t in a proper holster.

    From one of the news reports and the video footage his gun seems to have been a Springfield Armory XD. Like many handguns, such as the Glock that inprired it and pretty much every revolver, it doesn’t have a safety lever. So he couldn’t forget to put it on. Springfield’s own manual warns that droppiung it could cause a discharge, and that you shouldn’t fire it after dropping it if it doesn’t.

    The US experience with privately owned automatic weapons makes a case for gun control. I’ve seen a claim that since the 1934 National Firearms Act came into effect only 3 legally possessed automatic weapons have been used in a crime. That’s under s system where both weapons and owners are registered.

    The comment talking about people wanting gun control being irrational like creationiists is amusing given how calls for even minor tightening of restrictions leads to cries that complete gun confiscation is next.

  91. 91
    Jimmy_Blue

    Why is it that whenever a debate about gun control starts it is only a matter of time before people make the silly comparisons between firearms and cars and/or swimming pools? Is it an unwritten rule strictly adhered to by the anti-gun control lobby?

    First – that there are so many deaths related to cars is simply making the pro-gun control argument for us. Well, maybe cars and drivers also need to be more strictly controlled, regulated and trained then genius. Speaking as someone who moved into this country from one with much stricter rules about driver training and car ownership I can safely say that yes, since drivers are so appalling in the USA cars do need stricter controls on them. Thanks for agreeing with me. But let’s start with guns, for some really obvious reasons.

    Second – in regard to pools let me state the bleeding obvious – this is not just about accidental deaths is it? No-one ever said it was. So the comparison was not even a remotely valid one since the ban on firearms is about gun culture, violence and accidents. How many swimming pools are used in violent crimes? How many swimming pools increase your chance of being murdered by a family member just by being in the home?

    Third – since when does the fact that A or B might involve more deaths than C mean nothing should be done about C, or about A, B or C? More people die from heart disease and cancer than strokes in the USA, so I guess we should do nothing about strokes then since we haven’t stopped cancer or heart attacks. That’s what the car/pool deaths people are really saying, isn’t it?

    Don’t pretend that one side is cherry picking when that is exactly what you are doing when you talk about deaths related to cars or swimming pools. No one here said that gun control was only about one specific thing – it’s about all of it. The only people that ever try to make it about one specific event or statistic are the anti-gun control lobby.

    Think about that.

  92. 92
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Why is it that whenever a debate about gun control starts it is only a matter of time before people make the silly comparisons between firearms and cars and/or swimming pools?

    Well, what about all those carpool deaths, eh?

    If commuting is outlawed, only outlaws will commute.

  93. 93
    ginmar

    #89 Yeah, I wear glasses but you get a lot of training and practice in the service. All that experience means you notice some truly horrifying gun handling, like that dumb shit who shot himself in the ass. Do I want to look at that article? He was carrying that weapon in an unsafe fashion, frankly. Dude’s lucky he’s not a Darwin winner.

  94. 94
    leejohnson

    @55, @56 – Stop impugning bad motives. Do I need to start with the history of the Magna Carta to talk about the UK crime rate? How clear do I have to be: the murder rate in the UK has been unaffected by a whole series of progressively more restrictive gun bans. Yes, the 1997 ban was passed because anti-gun groups leveraged the Dunblane massacre for their political advantage. The fact that the massacre could have been stopped by existing laws didn’t matter.

    If your point is that their murder rate is lower because they have no guns, how does that factoid translate to the US? Shall we make all the guns magically disappear? I see nobody has addressed my point that the last Assault Weapons Ban didn’t reduce crime.

    Also, how do you figure that the UK hasn’t had another mass shooting since the ban. It takes about ten seconds on Google to find news stories about a 2010 shooting in Cumbria which killed 12 people and wounded 11.

    @57 – You can look the UK crime and murder statistics up online. The counting changes in 1998 and 2002 did not change how homicides were counted. They affected other types of crime. Independent reviews have supported the claim that crime rates have been unaffected by the gun ban.

    For that matter, how can you claim that two years of crime stats for the UK can’t be compared, but we should be able to compare two different countries (like the US and UK) and say “see, this is all because of guns.” Different countries count crime in different ways. By some measures, the UK is actually less safe than the US in overall crime. Similarly, Japan has a very low murder rate but it has been shown that their police have a lot of pressure to solve every murder, so most murders they can’t solve are called suspicious deaths.

    @68 – So when people shoot virtual people with virtual guns that’s just harmless video games, but when people shoot paper targets with real guns that’s practicing for murder?

    @84 – You clearly skimmed my comment. “Assault weapons” go bang once per trigger pull, just like every handgun and a large percentage of more typical hunting rifles. They work just fine for hunting.

    @90 – Well, complete gun confiscation is the only thing that could significantly reduce gun related deaths in America. Both sides know it. Do you think the Brady Center wants to only slightly restrict gun ownership? No, they want them eliminated. Smaller gun control changes won’t affect crime rates, but once passed they could then work on larger changes, etc. It’s an obvious strategy. Do you think the state of Mississippi wants to make abortions slightly more safe?

  95. 95
    timgueguen

    What did you do? Exactly proved my comment.

  96. 96
    palefury

    @leejohnson

    OK I’ll admit it – guns do scare me a bit. So yeah maybe I did get a bit emotive about it with the “fully automatic assault rifles”.

    Where I come from (New Zealand) you CANNOT own a gun for reason of ‘self defence’. I think that is where the main difference comes in with the USA (I have lived in the USA for almost 7 years in total, but now live in Australia). In the US some people do buy a gun to shoot PEOPLE with (yes some to hunt, target shoot etc). Admittedly most only plan to do so if they need to to protect themselves but shooting a PERSON is still the purpose of the gun. But there is definitely a different attitude overall to gun ownership in the USA compared to alot of other countries.

    If guns are more readily available, how can this not make gun crime easier?

    Where you can’t get a gun, people resort to knives – cases such as this have definitely occured in New Zealand, Australia, UK etc… – but it is harder to kill large numbers of people with a knife.

  97. 97
    ginmar

    Um, yeah, dude, I’m sure you only use one round at a time. Get a proper hunting rifle and stop cheating.

  98. 98
    dailydouq

    What surprised me about the gun dealers was how friendly they were. A woman friend wanted me to assist her buying a handgun after the Rodney King riots, presumably since I had grown up around hunting guns. We went to several gun shows and I’ve never encountered people so enthusiastic to include us in their cult (even including the door-to-door missionaries). They were particularly solicitous toward women since it was mostly men who buy multiple guns. They all politely explained the lethality of their weapons, which was good for her, how to use it, and the absolute need to have one. Slick smooth sales pitch.

    When I asked the woman what she would do if she ever encountered an intruder she thought she’d stand up to him (a very slight 100lb female) and with the gun prevail. She asked me and I said I’d run out the back door. Who wants the risk of confronting someone, who wants the intimidation of the trial if you somehow manage to hold him. Property can be replaced, lives can’t. Guns are really stupid but I think, from my experience at those gun shows, most of the gun nuts, like Zimmerman, hope they get a chance to shoot someone.

  99. 99
    Jimmy_Blue

    leejohnson

    In post 51 you wrote:

    Okay. Prove it. In the UK, when all guns were finally banned from the public (they had very few to begin with), the crime rate went up for a number of years, and then returned to its previous level.

    [my emphasis]

    To which I pointed out the difficulty in making that claim since the methods of recording crime changed twice in the period you refer to.

    Your response was:

    The counting changes in 1998 and 2002 did not change how homicides were counted. They affected other types of crime. Independent reviews have supported the claim that crime rates have been unaffected by the gun ban.

    We aren’t just talking about homicides – you said ‘crime rate’ not homicides. If that was an attempted distraction you fell flat on your arse.

    Now, you can see from the Home Offices’ own figures that the counting of homicides did not change in 1998 (same figure using the new rules as the old ones). But we were not talking about homicide alone, but the crime rate. You make this quite clear (twice), if it isn’t what you mean then say what you mean.

    Your claim that crime rates went up is wrong, despite the inclusion of more crimes in the figures. Home office figures show from 1995 to 1998 crime was falling. In 1998, under the new rules, it goes up. Crime then goes up again for 1999/2000. Down again the next year, and then up again in 2001/2002.

    Under the new methods introduced in 2002 crime jumps signifcantly again for two years and has then been falling since 2004/2005.

    Crime has not been going up since 1998 in the UK, and please don’t pretend you were only talking about homicides. Under the system where more crime is reported, total recorded crime is actually lower than it was in 1991 – if you want to continue to insist you can compare the figures. So that would mean an overall downward trend since the firearms ban, unless I have hopelessly misread the Home Office figures.

    Oh by the way, homicide rates have been falling since 2002, to a figure that is a lower than the one in 1976.

    Please cite your independent reviews and figures showing otherwise. You can do that, can’t you?

    Then you say:

    For that matter, how can you claim that two years of crime stats for the UK can’t be compared, but we should be able to compare two different countries

    I don’t say the figures aren’t comparable the British Home Office says they are not. I also do not compare countries other than to make the point that this is not all that helpful because other factors are at play. Don’t put words in my mouth and then claim the argument I didn’t make anyway is stupid.

    What comparing countries crime figures can do is put down the claim that private gun ownership makes a country safer or reduces crime.

  100. 100
    leejohnson

    @99 – Alright, I’ll agree that the overall crime rates were probably flat after the gun ban. Perhaps I put too much faith in the BBC:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1440764.stm

    The claim that recent gun control actions in the UK and elsewhere has had little impact on overall crime / deaths is pretty well supported though I think, and that was the point I was really trying to make.

    http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/3/455.abstract

    By the way, the US is at a 20 year low for both murder and crime too. And no, I don’t think this is because of increased gun ownership. Even within the US, you can find extremely low-crime states with varying levels of gun ownership. Crime is a complex problem, and putting it all down to a specific issue (like gun control) is vastly oversimplifying the issues.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    John Morales

    rorschach, from the same site: Florida man kills door-to-door salesman: I’ll kill anybody that steps on my property

    A co-worker who witnessed the shooting said Rainey had knocked on Roop’s door, but received no answer. While Rainey was walking down the drive-way, Roop pulled up in his pickup truck and asked why Rainey was at his house. Rainey explained that he was selling steak and seafood. The witness said Roop then pulled out a black handgun and shot Rainey. As Rainey lay on the ground, Roop fired another bullet into the back of his head.

    Roop later told police that he shot Rainey in the head “for effect” and that he had three no trespassing signs on his property. Roop said he feared for his life.

    [...]

    Roop’s neighbors described him as “the neighborhood crazy.” Roop has a concealed weapons permit and approximately 14 firearms.

  103. 103
    Jimmy_Blue

    @100 leejohnson

    Crime was not flat, don’t be so dishonest, it has fallen to a 20 year low for crime overall and a 35 year low for homicide since the gun ban. Do I believe that the gun ban is the reason for this? No, but stop trying to imply you were still right and just move on.

    You based your argument on an 11 year old report talking about research commissioned by people with a vested interest in relaxing gun laws in the UK? And you criticised people for vague statistics, mixed up facts and wishful thinking? Not to mention, if you follow some of the links to articles from the one you cited you will find one showing firearms offences fell in Scotland after the ban was introduced, and one that reports whilst firearms offences went up (and I can think of at least one obvious reason for that) armed robberies went down.

    And then you cite the abstract of a report written by people affiliated with shooting associations that doesn’t seem to support the broad assertion you are making?

    Crime is a complex problem, and putting it all down to a specific issue (like gun control) is vastly oversimplifying the issues.

    Show me one person that makes that claim in this thread other than you.

    And I would like to add one final thing – upthread you mentioned the Cumbria killings in 2010. That makes three mass shootings since 1987 in the UK. They were all carried out with legally owned weapons.

  104. 104
    Jimmy_Blue

    Some further points occur to me with regard to comments made in #94 by leejohnson – how would Dunblane have been prevented by existing laws?

    I just read the Cullen Inquiry chapter on the matter and whilst Cullen thought there were grounds for revoking Hamilton’s licences, the officers on the ground who re-approved them did not. They followed the law.

    In respect to the question on why the assault weapons ban didn’t reduce crime – because it is handguns, not assault weapons, that are used most often in commission of a crime.

  105. 105
    jeffreylewis

    Second – in regard to pools let me state the bleeding obvious – this is not just about accidental deaths is it?

    Actually, that’s almost exactly what the OP was about – picking an isolated incident as a reason for gun control. Hey, I can cherry pick like that, too:

    One more reason for pool control

    Look, I specifically said I was for some level of gun control, just not a complete ban like some of the more extreme voices call for. I’m open to the idea of requiring special permits for gun ownership or registering guns. But I’d like to see some good data showing that the types of control being implemented would have a significant effect on public safety without unduly affecting our freedom (i.e. no arguments about tiger repelling rocks or pirates being associated with global warming).

    And of course, this is all going to be somewhat subjective. Knives can be used to murder people, but knives are very useful, and the difficulty of killing someone with a knife is much higher, so the tradeoff is such that most people don’t want to get rid of knives (barring that commenter above who said pocket knives were banned in Japan). Guns have fewer practical purposes (hunting and recreation seem to be the main ones to me, with defense being a far distant third), and make it much easier to kill someone. So it’s a subjective question of the value of the practical purposes against the risk.

    And I wasn’t aware I was part of a lobby. I don’t even own any guns myself (though every few years I may go to the range with my friends).

  106. 106
    leejohnson

    #103 – Bravo. So you picked apart half of one of my sentences. Of course, I was making four broad points and the discussion seems to be obsessed with a mistake on a supporting detail. My criticism of gun control advocates’ vague statistics still stands. The typical argument I’ve heard a dozen times is: “The UK has less crime than the US and it doesn’t have any guns … thus gun control in the US will reduce crime.” No, it probably won’t.

    #104 – Way back in #51 I said: “‘Assault weapons’ are rarely used in crimes anyway.” I’m glad we are both on the same page now. Perhaps someone could explain what a ban on scary looking rifle features is supposed to accomplish now, given that they aren’t used in crimes. Reduce mass killings perhaps? Nope. The Virginia Tech shooting shows that handguns (even with small magazines) are just as dangerous in the hands of the deranged.

    Honestly, if you take this whole discussion thread and substitute “guns” for “abortions” and “gun control” for “restricting abortion access” it would fit nicely on a conservative discussion board. There’s a lot of emotional fearful voices wishing that guns would just disappear and slurring everyone who thinks differently as being ‘red neck’, ‘gun nut’, on an ego trip, etc.

    Since I don’t hear any real suggestions as to how gun crime/accidents could be reduced, here’s a couple that I would support: 1.) Ban direct private sales of firearms (with an exception for close family members). All private sales should be mediated by a licensed FFL so background checks can be performed. This would make straw man purchases easier to prosecute. This also closes the “gun show loophole”, where two strangers meet at a gun show and sell a gun in the parking lot. 2.) New gun purchases require a state-issued “gun license” much like a drivers license. To get such a license you would have to take a reasonably priced class that covered safety and legal responsibility. You should also supply a couple references that agreed you are a sane responsible adult.

    Neither of these have a chance of getting through congress. Heck, I would support gun registration (for new guns) if it made people feel safer. I doubt it would reduce crime, but having more data is never a bad thing.

  107. 107
    Jimmy_Blue

    jeffreylewis stated:

    Actually, that’s almost exactly what the OP was about – picking an isolated incident as a reason for gun control.

    Indeed the OP was about one incident, but perhaps you missed the part where the title of the OP is “Another gun control argument”. [my emphasis]

    Meaning this is one of many. No-one is arguing this is the only reason for gun control, except in your imaginary version of this thread.

    leejohnson:

    Bravo. So you picked apart half of one of my sentences. Of course, I was making four broad points and the discussion seems to be obsessed with a mistake on a supporting detail.

    And one of those broad points was calling people out for getting their facts wrong – and you now want to ignore/brush over the fact that you got your facts wrong in your attempt to prove that. More than a little hypocritical isn’t it, especially since you say your criticism of others vague statistics still stands! When it was pointed out, you doubled down on it and still tried to pretend you were right. So yeah, you are damn right I kept on it and picked it apart.

    Way back in #51 I said: “‘Assault weapons’ are rarely used in crimes anyway.”

    So your reason for bringing it up again was, what?

    Honestly, if you take this whole discussion thread and substitute “guns” for “abortions” and “gun control” for “restricting abortion access” it would fit nicely on a conservative discussion board.

    Because a ban on abortion could potentially reduce crime? Because abortion causes accidental injuries in Wal Mart? Because banning abortion reduces the chance of mass killings? Not really following your reasoning here. I guess you’ll have to find some other liberal button to try and push.

  108. 108
    leejohnson

    So your reason for bringing it up again was, what?

    Because the Jimmy_Blue in @104 declares the same thing as if it’s some great discovery.

    You seem to think that finding one mistake in someone’s data means all the other points can be ignored, which is no doubt a convenient strategy for wining arguments. In @61 you declare that 2/3rds of Mexican guns come from the US. Would you care to elaborate which portion came from civilian purchases and which from direct sales to the Mexican military that get lost.

    I guess you’ll have to find some other liberal button to try and push

    Yeah, that’s definitely the agenda here. Everyone who doesn’t agree with you is a conservative and intentionally skewing the facts. Also, the plural of anecdote is not evidence … except when it supports gun control.

    I’m sick of arguing this anyway. Perhaps all the hysterical voices can lobby for another assault weapons ban. It will work next time for sure.

  109. 109
    Jimmy_Blue

    leejohnson:

    Because the Jimmy_Blue in @104 declares the same thing as if it’s some great discovery.

    You asked a question, I gave you an answer with a link to supporting evidence. Did you want the question to be answered or not – because you did keep bringing it up like it was a secret only you knew the answer to? Sorry to disappoint your aura of all consuming knowledge.

  110. 110
    Jimmy_Blue

    Whoops, negligent discharge.

    You seem to think that finding one mistake in someone’s data means all the other points can be ignored, which is no doubt a convenient strategy for wining arguments.

    No – You made two arguments I am tired of seeing from conservative gun nuts (whether you are one or not) and I decided to refute them because of the blatant hypocrisy they demonstrated. You complained that anti-gun people use mixed up facts and vague statistics, whilst doing just that. I pointed it out and didn’t take your bullshit attempts to pretend you were still right. And that got your panties in a bunch.

    Would you care to elaborate which portion came from civilian purchases and which from direct sales to the Mexican military that get lost.

    I really don’t see how you think that article makes your argument for you – it really just makes the case for better control of private gun sales, whether authorised by the State Department or not. Which works to a counter point to my pointing out the number of US guns found in Mexico how? Anyway, the article you link to says of the 1% of sales audited, 29% of the guns sold into the region in 2009 fell into the wrong hands. So at least a third of US guns found in the hands of the cartels in Mexico may come from US government approved sales. Again, not sure what you think this means for what I said.

    I want more control over firearms sale and usage, this article proves that is needed. Thanks for giving me more evidence to quote in future.

    Everyone who doesn’t agree with you is a conservative and intentionally skewing the facts.

    If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s either a great impersonation or the real thing.

    Also, the plural of anecdote is not evidence … except when it supports gun control.

    What are you talking about?

    Perhaps all the hysterical voices can lobby for another assault weapons ban.

    There’s only one person here starting to sound hysterical.

  111. 111
    michaelshaw

    Yep, no other reason than killing. http://www.london2012.com/shooting/

    How about when shit hits the fan?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgCiC6qTtjs

    When I think of everyone being safer with guns I’ll think of this guy:

  112. 112
    ginmar

    Yeah, I especially like how that asshole was firing while there was a woman directly in front of him. Bravo. He fails basic range safety.

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