Guns Save Lives

Why the right to keep and bear arms is essential in a free society

You know what the mainstream media think about guns and our freedom to carry them.

Pierre Thomas of ABC: "When someone gets angry or when they snap, they are going to be able to have access to weapons."

Chris Matthews of MSNBC: "I wonder if in a free society violence is always going to be a part of it if guns are available."

Keith Olbermann, who usually can't be topped for absurdity: "Organizations like the NRA ... are trying to increase deaths by gun in this country."

"Trying to?" Well, I admit that I bought that nonsense for years. Living in Manhattan, working at ABC, everyone agreed that guns are evil. And that the NRA is evil. (Now that the NRA has agreed to a sleazy deal with congressional Democrats on political speech censorship, maybe some of its leaders are evil, but that's for another column.)  

Now I know that I was totally wrong about guns. Now I know that more guns means—hold onto your seat—less crime.

How can that be, when guns kill almost 30,000 Americans a year? Because while we hear about the murders and accidents, we don't often hear about the crimes stopped because would-be victims showed a gun and scared criminals away. Those thwarted crimes and lives saved usually aren't reported to police (sometimes for fear the gun will be confiscated), and when they are reported, the media tend to ignore them. No bang, no news.

This state of affairs produces a distorted public impression of guns. If you only hear about the crimes and accidents, and never about lives saved, you might think gun ownership is folly.

But, hey, if guns save lives, it logically follows that gun laws cost lives.

Suzanna Hupp and her parents were having lunch at Luby's cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, when a man began shooting diners with his handgun, even stopping to reload. Suzanna's parents were two of the 23 people killed. (Twenty more were wounded.)

Suzanna owned a handgun, but because Texas law at the time did not permit her to carry it with her, she left it in her car. She's confident that she could have stopped the shooting spree if she had her gun. (Texas has since changed its law.)

Today, 40 states issue permits to competent, law-abiding adults to carry concealed handguns (Vermont and Alaska have the most libertarian approach: no permit needed. Arizona is about to join that exclusive club.) Every time a carry law was debated, anti-gun activists predicted outbreaks of gun violence after fender-benders, card games, and domestic quarrels.

What happened?

John Lott, in More Guns, Less Crime, explains that crime fell by 10 percent in the year after the laws were passed. A reason for the drop in crime may have been that criminals suddenly worried that their next victim might be armed. Indeed, criminals in states with high civilian gun ownership were the most worried about encountering armed victims.

In Canada and Britain, both with tough gun-control laws, almost half of all burglaries occur when residents are home. But in the United States, where many households contain guns, only 13 percent of burglaries happen when someone is at home.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    ...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Keep = own and store

    Bear = carry on your person

    That was simple.

  • Durr Hurr||

    Well-Regulated Militia

    You ain't in one.

    That was simple.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Reading comprehension is a bitch.

    "the right of the people... shall not be infringed."

    Notice it doesn't say the right of militias to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  • ||

    Um, the Supreme Court has already ruled pretty much against that tortuous reading of the amendment. And it's probably going to incorporate the amendment so that it clearly applies to the states.

  • Tony||

    Maybe, but that would hardly be an "originalist" interpretation. I mean you act like the phrase doesn't even exist, simply because it's inconvenient to your personal-carry agenda.

    The 2nd Amendment does imply an individual right to carry arms, but it was written in the context of citizen militias and muskets. I say just repeal it.

  • ||

    Most constitutional scholars have agreed that it was meant to be and reads as an individual right. Even Larry Tribe, who is pretty liberal, adopted this interpretation. As did the Court.

  • Tony||

    And I agree with them. But it is still in a context unfamiliar to modern Americans. You can't just wish the "well-regulated" bit away.

  • ||

    I think that the founders were saying that, "because a well regulated militia is necessary to protect a free state (they weren't too fond of standing, peace time armies and thought that the citizens should protect the country) a well armed populace is necessary to fill the ranks of such a militia. In other words, the right to keep and bare arms shall not be infringed so that when the time comes, a militia can be formed. I don't think that they mean "well-regulated" in the context that you are thinking, Tony.

    You could argue that we don't really have much need for a "minute man" style militia these days, but I think that the second amendment goes much deeper than that. The founders were suspicious of a standing state army, and they believed that the right of the citizens to resist their government when the time comes. The recognized the right of a citizen militia to stand up to the denizens of the state if and when it becomes necessary.

  • ||

    Sorry for the grammatical errors, it's still early on the west coast.

  • ||

    You could argue that we don't really have much need for a "minute man" style militia these days

    One could certainly argue that, but the point would be moot because 2A does not have an expiration date.

    TK, I am not taking issue with any of your points. I am in total agreement with you. Just refuting, in advance, the "times have changed" argument.

  • self-referential joez law||

    Sorry for the grammatical errors, it's still early on the west coast.

    ;-)

  • ||

    It's the militia that's presumably well-regulated, not the ownership of small arms.

    Of course, our militias have all been nationalized, so they're pretty damned well-regulated.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    I had read somewhere that "well-regulated" can mean "duly constituted", i.e. subject to civilian authority.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You can't just wish the "well-regulated" bit away.


    Do state penal codes count as regulation?

  • Tony||

    Maybe, but "well-regulated," to me, does not conjure in my mind the vigilantism promoted by the NRA interpretation.

  • L.||

    Typical. Read somewhere is B.S. Read where, is fact, maybe.

  • ||

    the 17th and 18th century usage of "regulated" was a galaxy away from today's nanny state one-size-fits-all definitions. an object, a clock say, was "well-regulated" if it was maintained & kept in good working order so it could do its job reliably and dependably. same with militias: a "well-regulated militia" was simply a well-trained & drilled, disciplined unit.

    or do you *really* think the same founding fathers that went into an almost certainly suicidal war against the greatest military power on earth over what we would (now) consider to be laughably small taxes would think, "we really should let an overbearing, way-too-powerful centralized government tell us as free men what firearms they will ALLOW us to carry and use"?

    why is it that statists always squeal "keep your laws off my body" in matters of fetus killings ("if you don't like abortion, just don't have one!"); but that logic never seems to carry over into gun rights? if you don't like guns, don't carry one, but **keep your laws off my firearms**.

  • ||

    Very well put.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Either way, well regulated doesn't mean what most think. According to Heller, and most constitutional scholars as well as numerous instances in contemporary writing, well regulated means well oiled, or well trained, not regulated in the modern sense of oversight.

    In order that those in the militia may be well versed in military weapons and tactics, the right of the people . . .

    And to state that a militia isn't strictly necessary is flawed. I might depend on the military to protect us from some foreign invader, but how about protecting me from the military? Some might argue that we have no chance against the might of the military. I say tell that to the Vietnamese, Taliban and Iraqi insurgents.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    Comparing a fanatical viet cong commando to a beer-swilling putz from a trailer park? It's nice to know that when a squadron of Apache helicopters swoops down on us Larry the Cable Guy is on the defense.

  • yojimbo||

    So you have to be a beer-swilling putz to be a militia member? That is news to me.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You can't just wish the "well-regulated" bit away.


    Well, given all the regulations that currently exist...

  • ||

    You can't just wish the "well-regulated" bit away.

    No you just have understand grammar. Which granted public education has rendered arcane knowledge.

  • ||

    I say just repeal it.

    This is the only thing a gun banner has ever said that I agree with. Those who want to do away with the second amendment need to do so in a lawful way, and the only lawful way is to amend the constitution to repeal 2A. Let's have that fight.

  • ||

    Hey, we have a "living Constitution". No need to bother with Amendments, just redefine the words, or more simply, just ignore the words.

  • ||

    Militia? I swore that's defined somewhere in the United States Code...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_(United_States)

  • Zeb||

    That is very interesting. I did not know that. So under that definition, the second amendment, without question, is an individual right to keep and bear military arms.

  • ||

    The 2nd Amendment does imply an individual right to carry arms, but it was written in the context of citizen militias and muskets. I say just repeal it.

    I agree that when liberals muster the votes to repeal the Second, then governments will be free to take away our freedom.

    And if the Second goes, expect some well regulated militias to spring up and get rid of the governments that repealed it.

  • Tony||

    Another part of the different context is that no insurrection will ever succeed in this country, and even if it could it wouldn't result in a democratically sound situation.

    So it really looks like we better get on with good pragmatic governance, because rightwing insurrection fantasies aren't gonna work.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Another part of the different context is that no insurrection will ever succeed in this country, and even if it could it wouldn't result in a democratically sound situation.


    So we are destined to win in Afghanistan, since there is no way insurgents there can beat us?

  • ||

    So we are destined to win in Afghanistan, since there is no way insurgents there can beat us?

    Oh yes. Because it would sell really well in a world media environment for the US to invade, say, Arizona to enforce it's will.

    I'm not only not convinced the people are now powerless to resist a government gone rogue, I think it may be even more viable.

    Unlike in previous cases the government doesn't, right now, have almost total control of the media. A new federal invasion would come with worldwide media coverage of burnt babies and blasted limbs.

  • Tony||

    Pretty sure you and your teabagging army would have to be the ones to "initiate force."

  • T||

    Vicki Weaver would like to differ, as would David Koresh.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Yeah! Our government would NEVER initiate force against the populace! Tony is right! We're just not trusting enough!

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Yeah! Our government would NEVER initiate force against the populace! Tony is right! We're just not trusting enough!


    Just ask Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, and Sean Bell.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Another part of the different context is that no insurrection will ever succeed in this country, and even if it could it wouldn't result in a democratically sound situation.

    Says you.

  • ||

    you beleve in good pragmatic goverance... dude it dosn't exist. It was a lie your parents told you before they put you to bed.

  • SammyA||

    Awesome. I trust the police and criminals to be the only ones who carry weapons.

  • Byron||

    ...but you repeat yourself.

  • cynical||

    Better yet, mostly disband the army and adopt the approach where most of the people have military training and own firearms.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony, you make no rational basis for repealing the 2nd, which you want to get rid of because it's inconvenient to your liberal agenda.

  • ||

    http://www.constitution.org/cons/wellregu.htm

    Irrelevant.

  • Winded||

    I got tired of the gun-grabbers using that irrelevant qualifier as an attempt to say the 2nd amendment doesn't apply to, well, just about anyone. So when I was within 90 days of my 18th birthday, I went down to my local post office and registered to become part of a well-regulated* militia. "Selective Service" or something, I think they called it. Anybody else here a member? Can we invite women to join?

    *Hmm, since the government's running it maybe it doesn't fit the well-regulated language in the constitution? That might become the grabbers' new parsing of the clause.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    So, what does a given clause mean? Exactly what it says.

    And what does the Second Amendment say? Verbatim, this:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Why is there such controversy over so brief a passage? It's really no mystery. Liberals look at the amendment and read nothing but:

    A well regulated Militia [is] necessary to the security of a free State[.]

    Their conservative counterparts, in contrast, see only:

    [T]he right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Now the question is, why is there such dissonance over the amendment? Again, a simple answer: Both camps cannot see the two clauses because both are unable to meaningfully connect them. Which of course leads to the next question: Can it be done?

    Indeed, yes. Here's one way:

    The rest ...

    (Sorry for the length.)

  • ||

    You should apologize for the offensive color scheme, not the length.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    I am justly wet-noodled!

  • ||

    Dear god, my eyes just melted at that Ronald McDonald color scheme...

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    I can't do anything about your eyes now — sorry. HTML folks, please feel free to recommend better code choices for text and background.

  • CraigT||

    ummm, black and white?

  • Tomcat1066||

    +1

  • ||

    To claim, as some have, that the Second Amendment was meant to protect a body like the National Guard, is to severely misread the historical record in ways so fundamental as to warrant almost instant dismissal.

    Exactly. How would the 2A written in 1789 only protect the National Guard variety of a militia when that form of such didn't exist when 2A was written? I hate people.

  • ||

    Apologize for not knowing the difference between a participial phrase and an independent clause. clause. Words mean something, particlarly within something as inportant as the Bill of Rights. Don't people learn basic grammar in school anymore?

    If not, just refer to Scalia's opinion in Heller, which lays it all out. Really, just diagram the sentence, look at the subject, verb and modifiers. It is the right of the people which shall not be infringed, not the militia. The language concerning the militia is merely prefatory.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Hmm, I can't really accept your wet noodle, since a "clause" can be a provision.

    As for what we still learn in school:

    Apologize for not knowing the difference between a participial phrase and an independent clause. clause. [sic] Words mean something, particlarly [sic] within something as inportant [sic] as the Bill of Rights. Don't people learn basic grammar in school anymore?
    If not, just refer to Scalia's opinion in Heller, which lays it all out. Really, just diagram the sentence, [and] look at the subject, verb and modifiers. It is the right of the people [that] shall not be infringed, not the militia. The language concerning the militia is merely prefatory.
  • Barry Loberfeld||

    And if we really want to be sticklers:

    "It is the right of the people[, not the militia, that] shall not be infringed."

  • ||

    I would love to have a time machine so I could trot out James Madison any time someone argued about the intent of the Framers. Nothing the Founders ever said that has been recorded suggests that individuals should only be allowed to bare arms if they are members of a militia. If they had, you know damn well the Brady Campaign would have used such statements by now.

  • Hooha||

    There aren't enough +1's in the world... so beautiful... should have sent a poet...

  • ||

    Militia=Able bodied person so i'm a Militia of one.

  • Liberal Genius ||

    Hmm. These gun laws don't seem to be working very well. Let's keep adding more and see if things get better.

    I say ban gun sales. It's impossible buy something when it's illegal.

  • Drug Warrior||

    Hear here!

  • Not Far Enough||

    I say let's declare a War on Guns, and increase police budget and powers to prosecute anyone who might have a gun.

  • Michael Bloomberg||

    You unoriginal bastard.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I say let's declare a War on Guns, and increase police budget and powers to prosecute anyone who might have a gun.


    And arm the police with crossbows, unless we want them breaking the laws that they are enforcing.

  • ||

    Yeah wouldn't want the cops to break the laws they are enforcing.

  • -||

    Here we go.

  • Mary Rosh||

    John Lott has the statistical data to prove it.

  • F U Dont||

    ... like guns, don't own one.

  • Durr Hurr||

    ... like tactical thermonuclear weapons and uncaged ravenous Bengal tigers, don't own them.

  • F U Dont||

    Exactly.

  • ▲ ▲||

    AH CHRIST. I seemed to have wandered into the middle of a circle jerk.

  • ||

    Hopefully they are all wearing condoms as you mustn't get unknown bodily fluids on yourself.

  • Tony||

    Stossel is the insane clown posse of libertarians.

  • ||

    Tony is the turd stain of trolls.

  • Tony's Porn||

    Hey! That's my job!

  • shrike||

    He has won this one hands down.

    Obama (through Rahm) has said there will be no national gun legislation of any type (one reason I support him).

    The Dems are making inroads with pro-gun Senators like Tester, Gillibrand, and Webb.

    The issue is dead at the federal level.

  • shrike||

    correction - carry laws were EXPANDED into National Parks.

    I should have said "anti-gun" legislation.

  • ||

    If you can read this, thank a teacher; if you can read it with a gun in your hand, thank the NRA. Effendi Obama is not keeping a wide berth around gun-grabbing out of the goodness of his heart. No, he is on his knees before the power of NRA, as is the Congress, as we have recently seen in their capitulation over the DISCLOSE bill, granting the NRA a tailor-made exemption in exchange for withholding our opposition.

  • shrike||

    I am pro-gun and pro-choice. We'll be a much better electorate when the fanatics on both sides of both issues get out of the way and realize these are settled issues.

    That would mean the NRA has won, of course.

    Which you have.

  • fanatic||

    Only if the baby can carry a gun!

  • ||

    You've already been born, haven't you?

  • phryxian houndmaster||

    Most likely. More importantly shrike appears to have achieved sentience or a reasonable facsimile.

    I'm assuming you were implying shrike is only pro-choice because he is in no personal danger of being aborted? Forgive me if I'm in error.

    So I ask, why do the wishes of those in such danger matter? Why should that which has not achieved sentience be given the same rights as that which has? Do you dismiss my hypothetical support of logging by pointing out that I'm not a tree?

  • ||

    "Why should that which has not achieved sentience be given the same rights as that which has?"

    The sentient individual had a choose of condoms and birth control and now dosn't want the un-sentient individual. Dosen't that mean she gave up her responsibility for her actions?

  • ||

    The Dems are making inroads with pro-gun Senators like Tester, Gillibrand, and Webb.

    The issue is dead at the federal level.

    Ummm, when all the unconstitutional infringements on the right to bear arms are repealed, then the issue is dead.

  • yojimbo||

    +1

  • ▲ ▲||

    Fucking trolls, how do they work?

  • ||

    They don't. You work for them.

  • ||

    This state of affairs produces a distorted public impression of guns. If you only hear about the crimes and accidents, and never about lives saved, you might think gun ownership is folly.

    Consider automobiles; common use has demythologized them. Everybody has one, and the usefulness, and *gasp* enjoyment they provide far outweighs the significant danger they present. Everybody should have at least one gun.

  • Chuck Schumer||

    Everybody should have at least one Congressionally-mandated gun.

    Just funnin' with y'all!

  • ||

    Have you ever heard of the C.M.P., the Civilian Marksmanship Program, by which we purchase military surplus guns ammunition and accessories at favorable prices? I didn't think so.

  • Chuck Schumer||

    Thanks for bringing this outrage to my attention, Mr. Gots.

  • Cyto||

    Everybody should have at least one gun.

    Kennesaw GA tried that experiment. Seems it went OK.

  • robc||

    Of course, Kennesaw doesnt enforce the law. There are plenty of scofflaws in Kennesaw blatantly walking around their house without a gun.

  • ||

    *gasp*

  • ||

    Where I live in Arizona I'm considered pathetically under armed because I only have 3 guns.

  • Byron||

    When having no gun is outlawed, only outlaws will have no gun.

  • ||

    I advise all my friends that if you own one gun you should own two. Don't want to be unarmed if you need to send your gun in for modification, repair, etc.

  • Brett L||

    Seems to work for the Swiss.

  • never||

    what about rocket launchers?

  • ||

    We've had this discussion before (including the absurd scenario that crayon posted above). I don't think many libertarians are against any laws whatsoever regarding firearms. Someone who is law abiding should have the right to keep and bear arms. But rocket launchers, nukes, grenades, and other lethal "area effect" weapons deserve tighter consideration, IMO.

  • Tony||

    I think libertarians who are capable of recognizing such gray areas should stop telling other people they're fascist totalitarians for not agreeing with everything they say about everything.

  • ||

    If the shoes fits, then STFU.

  • ||

    Also:

    If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck...shoot it.

  • ▲ ▲||

    The fact that you made that statement with no hint of irony really speaks to your ability to respond to anything with a strawman.

  • Tony||

    What straw man? I am regularly accused of being an anti-freedom totalitarian because I differ with libertarians on mere matters of scope. They pretend everything is black & white, but no sane person believes anyone should be able to buy a nuke, so just maybe there are shades of gray in the world and the law, and just maybe recognizing this won't cause the whole world to crumble into fascism forever.

  • Mike M.||

    You're an anti-freedom totalitarian because you want to take away our freedoms.

    You stated right at the very beginning of the thread that you believe the 2nd amendment should be repealed. Clearly you believe that civilians shouldn't have the right to own any firearm at any time.

    This is an extremist position that even a majority of your fellow democrats wouldn't support and wouldn't have the remotest prayer of coming to pass.

  • Tony||

    You're right that the political atmosphere is poisonous for gun-control advocates now, but it wasn't too long ago that "getting all the guns" was a viable opinion and gun control was high on the Democratic party's agenda. I don't know what happened exactly, but at some point we all stopped caring about how many people die senselessly in this country. More guns and war, less healthcare, for freedom, and such.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Strict gun control has no effect on senseless deaths, unless you're referencing the victims of criminals carrying illegally in prohibitionist jurisdictions.

  • zoltan||

    at some point we all stopped caring about how many people die senselessly

    Ah yes, all those potential burglars, rapists, and murderers dying senselessly at the hands of someone who fortunately had a weapon to defend themselves. I hang my head and weep.

  • yojimbo||

    It is because they came to the realization that they could start banning guns but they were just kicking a hornets nest. The militia movement grew more than it ever had before during the Clinton administration and his "assault weapon" ban.

  • b||

    False. That's simply what the leadership wants the true believers to accept as platform. Just as abortion stands no chance of being made illegal in the US, yet is constantly talked up by the GOP. If the GOP really wanted to kill abortion, it would have done so under a born again president who viewed executive power as a god given right and controlled the house. Party leadership, on both sides, knows that wedge issues remain the only way to keep a marginal voting base engaged. Gun control (and abortion) are simple ideas, that simple people can wrap their heads around without having to actually learn anything about how our government functions.

    Your Nukes argument is similar, private monies being what they are in conjunction with black markets being what they are, should be proof enough that laws are not what keep weapons of mass destruction out of private hands. Common sense is.

    I say this as a relatively progressive dude who's a member of a gun club and own's multiple firearms. (not a fudd)

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Tony, you're the one who equates libertarianism with fascism, and you have the fucking gall to... oh, screw it. You know you're in the wrong. Man up and admit as such.

  • #||

    think there could be some logic to that... personal ownership of cannon was included in the language. And in application artillery that did exists was manged by the states' armories while the individual firearms were often owned by people themselves.

  • #||

    *was not

  • ||

    Write an amendment to restrict the type of weaponry since everything is permitted by 2A.

  • #||

    ideally that would have been the way we dealt with it over years.

  • Jordan||

    Any weapon that is too dangerous for citizens to own is too dangerous for governments to own.

  • ||

    How else are they supposed to crush any resistance from those damn uppity brown people?

  • ||

    And you accuse me of saying some dumb things!

  • ||

    Any weapon that is too dangerous for citizens to own is too dangerous for police departments to own.

  • TANSTAAFL||

    "Jordan|6.24.10 @ 12:28PM|#
    Any weapon that is too dangerous for citizens to own is too dangerous for governments to own."

    Bullseye!

  • robc||

    Bubble theory of rights handles this...you can have any firearm up to the point where you start infringing upon the rights of others via your mere ownership. Anything short of chemical and nuclear weapons would thus be okay - those fail because a reasonable person cant be expected to handle them properly without causing danger to others. Some other explosive type weaponry probably falls into the same category.

  • ||

    So do I get a waiver from your general rule. As a chemistry and microbiology buff (degreed in those fields) I can certainly handle Chemical and Biological Weapons without endangering my neighbors.

  • ||

    I should have a waiver also, as a trained NBC NCO, from when I was in the Army.

  • Bill||

    I'd put it this way:
    Guns can be used to defend yourself or to hunt. Or to make cool patterns in the side of your shed. They're OK.

    There's practically no way to use a tactical nuke, however small, without harming somebody else. Unless you own so much vacant desert in Nevada that you can contain its effects solely on your property. Which is probably impossible due to atmospheric dispersal. Therefore they do not pass muster.

    Other "area effect" weapons would have to be evaluated on that criterion. If it is not physically possible to use said weapon without harming somebody else, then I consider it non-hypoctitical to legislate against owning it.

  • James C Bennett||

    My opinion, for what little it's worth, is that the Supreme Court got this right in Miller--the 2nd Amendment protekst the right to keep and bear the kind of weapons a militia would use. Judging by the militias that have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan recently, that would include automatic rifles, hand grenades, improvised explosive devices, and, yes, rocket launchers (RPGs, most commonly).

  • Michael Ejercito||

    My opinion, for what little it's worth, is that the Supreme Court got this right in Miller--the 2nd Amendment protekst the right to keep and bear the kind of weapons a militia would use. Judging by the militias that have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan recently, that would include automatic rifles, hand grenades, improvised explosive devices, and, yes, rocket launchers (RPGs, most commonly).


    Very good point.

    Even if this were to mean that weapons not used by the armed forces are beyond the scope of the Second Amendment, at least the government will not imprison people for using the kind of weapons it uses.

  • Brett L||

    After reading V. Vinge's "Peace Wars" (or was it the other one?) collection, I'm totally in favor of privately held tactical nukes.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    I am comfortable with the idea of people owning pretty much anything, and be permitted to use them as long as they aren't harming others or private property.

  • Jordan||

    If I remember correctly, that 30,000 includes a shitload of suicides, as well.

  • Joe||

    60% of US suicides are by firearm, accounting for about half (~15,000) of the annual deaths by firearm. Yet the US suicide rate is comparable to most other industrialized nations.

    It is futile to try to decrease the suicide rate by banning guns. Look no further than Japan, with virtually no private gun ownership and a suicide rate double that of the US.

  • Jordan||

    Agreed.

  • ||

    Pfft. Just Ban Seppuku in the same bill. Problem Solved.

  • ||

    To those who trot out suicide as a reason to ban guns, I like to point out that some people commit suicide by jumping off of bridges. How will they stop that? Ban gravity?

  • ||

    Gravity is responsible for kids falling down and scraping their knees.

    So yes, we need to ban gravity.

  • Barack Obama||

    I hereby declare a six-month moratorium on the laws of physics.

    Thank me very much.

  • Zeb||

    I've never really been convinced that there is any legitimate government or public interest in preventing suicide. If you want to kill yourself just try not to make too much of a mess.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Suicide is against the law in some areas, no? Which means that the perp can't be prosecuted if he/she completes the deed. What a loophole!

  • ||

    Bazooka: I'd rather have one and not need it than need one and not have it.

    Happy?

  • Progressive||

    The Chicago PD and Prince Georges County Sheriffs are much more trustworthy than you stupid rednecks. I don't mind being slavishly dependent on Sheriff Joe Arpaio for my safety. Oh, and politicians should be allowed exemptions to strict gun laws, too. They're our betters, you know.

  • Conservative||

    Sheriff Joe for President!

  • ||

    My Sarc. meter seems to be off kilter today. But you really should know that SCOTUS ruled in 1963 and again in 1992 that the police have no obligation to protect you. They exist to solve crime after the fact. So no matter how good they are are they will still be two minutes away when you need them now.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I wonder what the MSM would say if thise sort of thing were applied to bans on same-sex "marriage".

    "Oh, and politicians should be allowed exemptions to same-sex "marriage" bans, too. They're our betters, you know."

  • Tom Mullen||

    Yes, and of the 30,000, how many of those would have been prevented if the victim was armed? Shooting an attacker in self-defense is not a crime. Some may have brandished the weapon and avoided killing the attacker as well.

  • ||

    At the same time, there might have been more than 30,000 if everybody was walking around armed.

    Not every murder is premeditated. Often they are the result of arguments that got overheated, etc.

  • ||

    Yes there are people around who would kill over a parking space, a poker game, etc. But I imagine people like that are going to accumulate a criminal record very quickly and thus would be ineligible to legally own a gun or carry one. But who said such people care about laws anyway?

  • ||

    Really? So by banning guns, they would just use something else like a baseball bat, tire iron, or their bare hands?

  • ||

    OK, that shouldn't have a question mark at the end. Puncutation fail.

  • Brian Trust||

    A ban on opposable thumbs would do wonders for implement-related deaths.

  • yojimbo||

    +1

  • Brett L||

    Data from states with liberal carry laws don't bear this out. The anti-carry cry in 1986 in FL was "there'll be shootings over every fender-bender!" Turned out not to be the case. No independent statistical effect on the rate of crime, violent or otherwise.

  • ||

    Data should exist in those states that have open carry and unregulated concealed carry to back of that supposition of yours. Links please.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "Not every murder is premeditated. Often they are the result of arguments that got overheated, etc."

    Or sometimes they are the result of insultin' a man's horse or when someone touches a man's cowboy hat(you never touch a man's cowboy hat) or sometimes it's just to find out if someone really is the fastest draw in the west. Or sometimes when you get caught sleevin' aces so you gotta shoot yer way outta that saloon guns a blazin...

  • ||

    The 2nd Amendment does imply an individual right to carry arms, but it was written in the context of citizen militias and muskets. I say just repeal it.

    Good for you, you pathetic little pants-wetter.

  • ||

    Suzanna Hupp and her parents were having lunch at Luby's cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, when a man began shooting diners with his handgun, even stopping to reload. Suzanna's parents were two of the 23 people killed. (Twenty more were wounded.)

    Suzanna owned a handgun, but because Texas law at the time did not permit her to carry it with her, she left it in her car. She's confident that she could have stopped the shooting spree if she had her gun. (Texas has since changed its law.)

    Don't most private businesses bad handguns on their property? Wouldn't that supercede the individual's right to carry one?

  • So?||

    And?

  • ||

    Some private business do ban carry on their premises as is their right. Law abiding carriers don't frequent such places and take our business elsewhere. The bad guys love a "No Guns" sign. It says "helpless victims".

  • Joe||

    In Texas private businesses can ban legal carry of handguns but very few opt to do so.

  • Old Man with Candy||

    Unfortunately, Chuy's is one of them. After four or five of their margaritas, I'm ready to do some shootin', but the stupid cunts won't allow me the means. So I end up trying to stab the waiters with a butterknife, and lemmee tell ya, that's neither pretty nor particularly effective.

  • Coeus||

    If you really want to hurt them, hit 'em with one of those big ass burritos they sell.

  • Hooha||

    good gravy, those two posts have me tearing up... darn near woke up the whole neighborhood busting a gut!

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Not in Pennsylvania, where I legally carry into bars.

    *gasp*

  • ▲ ▲||

    OH MY GOD, IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL YOU MURDER SOMEONE.

  • ||

    But can you drink while carrying. Arizona just changed their law so I can carry into Bars and Restaurants that serve alcohol. I just can drink alcohol.

  • missed 1 step?||

    In order to enforce such a ban, they would have to check you for guns upon entrance. Either they do, and neither gun enters, or they don't (making the policy toothless) and both guns enter.

  • ||

    Well-Regulated Militia

    You ain't in one.

    Au contraire. Under the Militia Act of 1903, every able-bodied man between the ages of 17 and 45 is, by law, a member of either the "organized" (National Guard) or the "unorganized" militia.

    So, by government fiat, all such men are members of the militia. I invite you to try to defend a reading the 2A which guarantees the RKBA to men, but not women, and to young men, but not older men.

  • ||

    Not every able-bodied man. Those on active duty in the armed forces are not in the militia. We should alse note that the states have their own militia laws which say more or less the same thing.

  • ||

    Don't most private businesses bad handguns on their property? Wouldn't that supercede the individual's right to carry one?

    Under Texas law, "No Handguns" signs do not apply to CCW permit holders, outside of a specified list (government buildings, bars, hospitals, that sort of thing).

  • ||

    In PA the property owner has to ask you to leave. Any signs mean squat. However, if you don't leave you are guilty of criminal trespass.

  • robc||

    Ditto for KY.

  • robc||

    The funny thing is, the "liberal" view on public accommodation would suggest that carry laws would apply to those places and owners couldnt prevent it any more than the state can prevent you carrying on the sidewalk.

    Im consistent in my view, I think "public accommodation" is bullshit both for guns and the CRA.

  • ||

    "Gun owners have a right to patronize any restaurant they want without their meal being ruined by non-carriers."

  • T||

    Not true. If the property owner has posted a valid notification that meets the statutory requirements, you are not permitted to carry on the premises. If you do so, you can be convicted of some bizarre offense which only applies to CHL holders.

    However, the valid sign is a bit daunting and most places don't bother. Of the establishments that do, a lot of the RKBA crowd will boycott and tell them why. Many places take them down after that. The BS sign with a Circle slash through a silhouette has no legal validity.

  • TX CHL||

    Yes, in TX the sign must comply with penal code section 30.06, which says exactly what the sign must say, in what color, in what size text, etc. I cannot think of a single such sign in my area of the DFW metroplex. "No guns" signs that don't meet 30.06 are thus not binding, although you have to decide whether you want to fight that out in court. Some private businesses (e.g. Hooter's) officially have a no gun policy but do not post this. There are plenty of signs that say UNLICENSED possession is illegal.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    ::snicker::

    I am so thrilled to see that the 30.06 bit is an honest to Jebus citation from the code that I can't stop grinning.

  • Brett L||

    +1. Only in Texas.

  • T||

    Any mall in Texas owned or operated by Simon posts the signs.

    The unlicensed signs are the ones every place that sells booze displays because TABC requires it.

  • R Hernandez||

    I believe that the Grapevine Mills mall has the 30.06 signs. When I lived in Tx, I simply did not buy anything from them. There were plenty of other stores in Texas that welcomed my money and didn't try to make me a future victim.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    This sign business is bullshit. A private property owner ought to be able to prohibit firearm possession regardless of what their sign looks like. I thought the property owner has to specifically ask someone to leave anyway, before that person can be legally charged with tresspassing, whether there is a no tresspassing sign or not.

  • ||

    Every time that a gun restriction is lifted, the anti-gunners shriek hysterically about all of the bloodshed that will ensue as a result. They've never been right. A rational person would begin to see a trend.

  • Alice Bowie||

    If it is so true that Guns prevent crimes then why does TEXAS have a higher murder rate and a property crime rate of New York and New Jersey COMBINED ???

  • Alice Bowie||

    I prefer states rights. And, I'd rather live in a state that bans weapons.

  • ||

    I prefer adherence to the US constitution, but, like you, I don't get to live in a place that does.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    So which are you: a police officer, rapist, murderer or burglar?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Fuck states rights. I prefer individual rights.

  • ||

    Citation, please.

  • ||

    Alic, took me 5 goddamn minutes to dispute your dubious claim, using the census bureau's own numbers.

    Here are the fbi's numbers for 2006 (the same year as the sited census numbers).

    Sometimes I feel bad for you, Alice, as you seem to always be out of your depth, but when you make stats up with no citation, I lose all empathy for you.

    If you can find some numbers that disagree with mine, then we can debate that. I will not take your word for it though.

  • Brady Campaign||

    HURRRRR DURRRRRR

  • ||

    You could of pointed out that I confused the homonyms; site, and cite. Thereby invalidating anything that I have to say.

  • Steve Nash Equilibrium||

    First, you're lying. Texas does not have a higher murder rate, than NY and NJ combined. It's not even close. The property crime rate of NJ & NY is pretty close to that of Texas, though.

    http://www.census.gov/compendi.....0s0297.pdf

    Second, you'll notice that D.C. with its strict gun laws is much higher than Texas in both categories. If strict gun laws lead to less crime, why is that? Maybe there is not much correlation between gun laws and murder or property crime rates? Maybe culture has more do with why some places are more crime-ridden than others? In any event, the purpose of the 2nd amendment is to give the people the ability to defend themselves from government both foreign and domestic, not merely a petty criminal. That is a nice side effect of the law, though.

  • ||

    Har har har...I win Mr. Equilibrium!

  • Subsidize Me!||

    While walking home from the Metro station 2 weeks ago, I watched 3 high-school aged kids smash-and-grab a backpack out of a car in broad daylight. This happened 10 feet in front of me.

    I called the cops, waited an hour and a half, and nobody showed up.

    Had I been carrying, I would not have even considered drawing my pistol to protect a backpack. But, I wouldn't have walked past like nothing was happening for fear of getting shanked (which is what I did) either.

  • ||

    Aww man, they probably locked the keys in the car, and needed to get their books out to study for a test.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Based on the crime rate, I assume robbery is part of the public school curriculum in DC.

    Which explains the aversion teachers have for charter schools and vouchers.

  • ||

    It is all going according to plan for the teacher's, police, and correctional officer's union triumvirate.

  • ||

    Link please. It is far too easy to throw out a comment w/o the facts to back it up.

  • ||

    Because New York underreports their violent crime rate?

    Also, what does property crime have to do with gun laws? You can't lawfully shoot someone for stealing.

  • ||

    It's funny how the proponents of a living Constitution fixate on the literal interpretation of a phrase like "A well regulated Militia" when it suits their purposes.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Yeah.

    They claim all sorts of things are "rights" (such as healthcare) by just pulling it out of their ass with no Constitutional text at all to back it up.

    But when it comes to guns, they want to interpret in the most restrictive way possible.

  • Tony||

    Healthcare saves lives, guns are instruments of death. That's not inconsistent. I care more about a right to healthcare than a right to guns, and I don't care what the constitution says. If it needs to be changed, then I say change it. Luckily it doesn't, at least as regards healthcare.

  • ||

    Really? The last set of data I saw indicated mistakes in health care kill far more than 30,000 people per year. So under your metric we should pass an amendment to ban health care because it is an instrument of death.

  • Tripanosoma||

    Healthcare is an instrument of death to the whole of my friends and family.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Healthcare saves lives, guns are instruments of death. That's not inconsistent. I care more about a right to healthcare than a right to guns, and I don't care what the constitution says. If it needs to be changed, then I say change it. Luckily it doesn't, at least as regards healthcare.


    So since guns are instruments of death, and governments have guns...

    If it needs to be changed, then I say change it. Luckily it doesn't, at least as regards healthcare.


    There is no health care entitlement amendment in the Constitution.

  • Tony||

    There is no health care entitlement amendment in the Constitution.

    I thought the constitution didn't limit rights?

  • Zeb||

    You can't have a right to make someone else do something for you. That is not how rights work. You have the right to do things, not to have things given to you. The latter idea is just absurd. Just admit that you don't believe that there are any such things as rights.

  • Tony||

    Of course I believe in rights, I just think there should be more of them than you do.

    Doesn't your right to private property require other people to do things? Namely, not trespass, and have police come out if someone does?

  • Hooha||

    Your twisted language is no good here, creep.

    Let us attempt to boil the BS out of what you said, so perhaps you can wrap your small intellect around your own cryptic statements.

    You contend that you can require people to 'do things' like 'not trespass'. Trespassing is, by its nature, doing a thing. Therefore, 'not trespessing' is to NOT do a thing. So, after removing the doublespeak from your worthless post, we can deduce that you said "Doesn't your right to private property require other people to do things? Namely, not doing things...". We can shorten that to "Doesn't your right to private property require other people to not do things?", to which the answer is a resounding 'yes'. It is reasonable to require people to NOT do something that affects you, like trespass or kill you.

    It is NOT reasonable, however, to require people to do things (like provide you with free medical care).

    "But Hooha!", I can almost hear you squeak through your sphincter, "What about the police? You're requiring them to come to your house when a trespasser shows up!"

    No, I'm not. Stop putting your ideals in my ballot box. First off, nobody MADE those individuals become police officers. Secondly, they're all free to quit then and there and not come to my place because, brace yourself, I can't require them do anything they don't choose.

    Your post makes me wonder how long you crafted it to specifically skirt as many aspects of logic, reality, and social justice as possible, all while making it look like the polished turd it is. Does it come naturally to you, or do you have to work at it?

    As for the first half of your textual diharreah - 'Rights' are not baseball cards, something you can just print more of and add to the collection.

  • ||

    you want to add and amendment sure go for it but we shouldn't be able to take away from it either. For example : In the military in a combat zone, a General puts out that everyone will carry at least one weapon at all times on the FOB (this is the Amendments to the Constitution). Your chain of command puts out that on top of that order you will carry ALL your personal assigned weapons and ammunition for both (This is your adding to but not taking away from). "This is how the 2nd Amendment needs to be treated. It was created for a reason! Add to it all you want but you can't take away from what it states. Without it we have no foundation from which to work with!! The "RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS" is part of the bill of rights from which ALL other laws are created. If this very basis is simply deleted from our memory the entire structure will fall as well. The very essence of a police force is a militia against the criminals. Without the 2nd Amendment all Police Forces in theory are now illegal and will need to be disbanded. Are the Police Forces not made up of individuals armed and well regulated designed to aid and protect the general population?

  • ||

    Just admit that you don't believe that there are any such things as rights.

    He's already admitted he doesn't care what the Constitution says. You want more?

  • Tony||

    He's already admitted he doesn't care what the Constitution says. You want more?

    Spare me. You would need more changes to the constitution than I would. Either we've been living extraconstitutionally for pretty much the whole time this country has existed, or we've been at least under the presumption of constitutionality (very useful for a non-failed state). Not only do you have piety for the constitution you have fake piety for it.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Yeah! Fuck the First Amendment!

  • chaka||

    hey, i saw that episode of Care Bears too! also, sharing is swell.

  • Liberal Genius ||

    "...I don't care what the constitution says."

    Hey, leave the radical disregard for history to me.

  • zoltan||

    What is life when it is a tortured, drawn-out existence filled with pain and suffering due to terminal illness, all made possible by advanced health care? What is death when it is visited upon the person attempting to kill your or another innocent person?

  • robc||

    Except the dont go literal on "well regulated militia".

  • Mainer||

    Well, I admit that I bought that nonsense for years. Living in Manhattan, working at ABC, everyone agreed that guns are evil. And that the NRA is evil.

  • ||

    I meant to say, is it possible to read the above and NOT hear it in Stossel's voice in your head

  • Lint||

    Here's hoping the Supreme Court does its Constitutional duty and defends our Second Amendment rights.

  • ||

    Instead of getting wrapped up in all of the semantics and sentence dissections, I would point out that the Second Amendment is the #2 item in the Bill of Rights. If the SA doesn't apply to individuals, why on earth would it be nestled prominently among nine other rights of individual citizens?

  • ||

    One aspect of the gun argument that is often missed is the rural vs. urban element.

    If you live in a rural area, you'd be kind of stupid not to have a gun on your property because you'd be totally helpless against an agressor.

    On the other hand, in an urban environment where large numbers of people are coming in close contact with each other all the time it seems reasonable that you'd not want everybody to be seconds away from being able to kill someone.

  • James C Bennett||

    Interesting theory. How about this:

    Human beings are dangerous. They are the top predator on a planet where the competition includes Kodiak bears and great white sharks, and they earned this title before they ever got around to inventing guns. In an urban environment, where one cannot avoid coming into colse contact with large numbers of human beings all the time, it seems unreasonable to deny people firearms with which to protect themselves from dangerous predators.

  • ||

    Your newsletter, pls. Ty.

  • James C Bennett||

    Really? Suppose I rephrase:

    As the concentration of possible assailents increases, the resaonableness of prohibiting access to articles of self defense decreases. Dan T's argument that this reasonableness increases along with the concentration of possible assailents is incorrect.

    Is that still crazy?

  • zoltan||

    Sometimes the newsletter thing is not meant as an insult but as a compliment.

  • ||

    you mean "other dangerous predators"

  • James C Bennett||

    Yes. I also meant "close" as opposed to "colse." Damn my sloppy typing!

  • SIV||

    Saltwater crocodiles.
    I'd prefer to face a platoon of Kodiak bears riding great white sharks than a saltie.

  • Tony||

    I think many differences on the conservative/liberal spectrum can be explained as rural vs. urban. Not only do voting patterns reflect this, but some policies just make more sense in one place than the other.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    One of the shittiest justifications for urban gun control based upon this line of thinking goes something like "police response times are longer in rural areas, therefore the need for armed self-protection is greater."

    Not implying this is your position, but I hear it a lot in DC (from people who have yet to be mugged).

  • Joe||

    The average time for a police response to top priority calls (assault in progress, armed home invasion type of stuff) is remarkably consistent across the major cities--about 8 minutes until they arrive on scene.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Which sucks - and it's not the cops' fault - because the criminal will always have the initiative. Hopefully they're able to catch the perp fleeing the scene, but it won't help the victim get unraped.

    OTOH, my shotgun's response time averages about 15 seconds.

  • Wesley||

    When seconds count, the police are minutes away.
    Also, I don't think the difference between urban and rural response times are as dramatic as people expect. Rural sheriffs may be further away, but they're also less distracted.

  • ||

    Police can respond in 8 minutes.....you can be shot and killed in a fraction of a second.... if you had had a gun and the chance of seeing it coming than it might just have been the criminal's brain the police are scooping off the floor instead of yours.... Argue that!

  • ||

    Police can respond in 8 minutes.....you can be shot and killed in a fraction of a second.... if you had had a gun and the chance of seeing it coming than it might just have been the criminal's brain the police are scooping off the floor instead of yours.... Argue that!

  • ||

    Apparently "Joe" hasn't been in a gunfight or combat to really know what can happen in the 8 minutes while he waits for the police to "save him".

  • ||

    Dan T, except, except... 2A has no urban exclusion. I realize that progressives have no respect for the bill of rights and its annoying personal liberties garantees, but some of us do.

    If you don't like the constitution, then change it. I dare you.

  • ||

    On the other hand, in an urban environment where large numbers of people are coming in close contact with each other all the time it seems reasonable that you'd not want everybody to be seconds away from being able to kill someone.

    Definitely. Switchblades are much more practical.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Dan T. translation:

    Sophisticated city people are better than dirty, inbred, racist hillfolk.

    But he's not an elitist.

  • ||

    Interesting commentary.

    I'll say this much. When I lived in Tucson,AZ I lived in one of the worst neighborhoods in the area, because it was cheap (about $800/month for a two bedroom with back yard).

    While break-ins were common in the area it never happpened to me in almost 4 years of living there.

    Why? Whenever I came back from the range after practicing my tactical firearms work, I would wear my gear out of the car and into the house. Also I would make sure my neighbors saw me loading weapon after weapon back into my house out of my truck.

    My non-English speaking neighbors on the other side of the duplex not only thanked me for this, but mentioned that the local gangbangers were afraid to come near my place.

    Having weapons, knowing how to use them, and the bad guys being aware of this is both an effective and time honored deterant.

  • ||

    :-)

  • ||

    One other thing I should have said. I live in rural Arizona (Apache County) the number of Backhoes per capita is as high as the TV's. Bad guys get shot and then disappear to become fertizer.

  • Brett L||

    I have a friend in N. Florida who practices at random times on his property. His theory is that if you get a reputation in town as the crazy guy who's always shooting off guns, troublemakes will go elsewhere.

  • Brett L||

    I have a friend in N. Florida who practices at random times on his property. His theory is that if you get a reputation in town as the crazy guy who's always shooting off guns, troublemakes will go elsewhere.

  • Brett L||

    Damn you, server squirrel, it wasn't that important. Why can't you ever double up my good comments?

  • ||

    HOOAH!!!!

  • ||

    I don't care what the constitution says.

    We knew that, but it's good to see you state it openly.

  • Tony||

    I don't worship it as a sacred text, and I don't think the founders would want us to.

  • Bill||

    Worship it as sacred? No the founders wouldn't have wanted that.

    What they wanted was, if we're going to change the rules, to change them EXPLICITLY, in the DOCUMENT, with the informed consent of the People. Not the chickenshit way - redefining the words to suit the whims of political opportunists.

  • Tony||

    Well everyone does that, left and right. Maybe they shouldn't have written it so vaguely.

    This country would not have been able to function without broad interpretations of things like the commerce and general welfare clauses. As long as the system doesn't suddenly radically redefine these things, then we're not really doing unconstitutional things, certainly not just because you say so.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "This country would not have been able to function without broad interpretations of things like the commerce and general welfare clauses"

    On the contrary, the country functioned just fine wihout broad interpretations of either of them until FDR came along with his "New Deal".

    And there isn't the slightest shred of evidence that any of the government activites that flowed from that subsequent broader interpretation have ever had anything whatsoever to do with any increase in prosperity or wellbeing of the nation.

  • Tony||

    You're nuts. Social security didn't increase anyone's wellbeing?

  • Zeb||

    Learn to distinguish "general welfare" from "individual welfare".

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Fuck social security, that's pretty much the number one thing I consider to be decreasing my wellbeing.

  • zoltan||

    Money taken out of my paycheck each month against my will does not increase my well-being.

  • ||

    This country would not have been able to function without broad interpretations of things like the commerce and general welfare clauses.

    Proof, please.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    *ahem* DISCLOSE Act *cough*

    You make it too easy, Tony.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    In that case declarations like "...shall not be infringed..." and "Congress shall pass no law abridging..." should have been followed by qualifiers like "...unless stuff gets all super futuristic and stuff"

  • Hooha||

    Got me ROLLIN! XD Can't you just see the framers pitching that?

    +10

  • Van||

    If U.S. citizens do not possess any guns and have not been trained in their use and handling, how can the States, or the Fed, or a local Sheriff, form a militia or posse in a time of National or local emergency?

    The police and the National Guard are stretched pretty thin right now. Police response times are not adequate to save lives on a normal day. Place a riot, natural disaster, or terrorist incident on top of that and we've got a real problem.

  • Wayne H||

    Canada has a fraction of the guns that America has, and the number of deaths due to guns in America vs. Canada per capita is outrageously out of proportion. No doubt many factors contribute to this, but it's difficult to deny that gun control has something to do with it.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Yeah but they're Canadians. It's rude to shoot people eh.

  • zoltan||

    What is your minority population like, Canada?

  • Hooha||

    zing!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    How come Vermont is cool in that one way but statist pricks in every other way?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    The militia statement introduces the reason for the individual right. It also grants individuals the right to associate with each other and form militias.

  • ||

    Acutally, the prefatory statement about the militia is there to explicitly recongnize the right of a militia to exist. IIRC, the was considerable concerna about militias and their place, and the 2A was the best place to put it.

  • ||

    Stossel on in one minute.

    Anyone around?

  • ||

    61 minutes, what the fuck is "Money Rocks"? Isn't Stossel supposed to be on at eight o'clock?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Money Rocks? What's this shit?

  • ||

    If I would of refreshed I would have seen your comment...saving me the trouble

    Oh well, be back in an hour...drunker

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Cavuto in an hour. Stossel is on at midnight. Fuck that shit.

  • ||

    I have comcast, here in p-burgh, and it says that Stossel is on a 9pm. The guide is wrong a lot of the time so we shall see.

  • ||

    Yo! Fist, it is on like Donkey Kong...tune in.

  • ||

    Reagan: "I support the Brady Bill, and urge its passage"

    Eat it Reagan fellators.

  • ||

    Brady guy likes to burn strawmen with his own circular logic...

  • ||

    John Lott wooo!

  • ||

    Lott: An armed society is a polite society, basically.

    Brady guy: I pick and choose when "correlation doesn't equal causation", as it does not apply to my own opinions.

  • ||

    It is for your own good that we disarm you. You will be much safer from maniacs without a gun, because maniacs follow gun rules.

  • ||

    They use the Virginia Tech shooting to justify university gun bans...VA Tech had a gun ban...worked out real well for them.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    What the fuck was he trying to say about the girl in the chair and if she had a gun she would be dead or some nonsense? Did this guy take one in the head too?

  • ||

    DO GUN CONTROL LAWS KILL?

    Sure, sounds good, let's go with that. Flip it around on them, Jedi style.

  • ||

    That gunman at the diner would have been full o' holes had the customers been allowed to bring their firearms into the business.

    Sounds like everyone was packing.

  • ||

    A fighting chance as opposed to just being a victim

    Just about sums it up, nice.

  • ||

    It is not counterintuitive that more guns equal less crime...who wants to mug a guy, or lady, that may be armed.

  • ||

    Otis McDonald, this guy is awesome. Dude just has a way about him, I like the cut of his jib.

  • ||

    We don't get to experiment with people's basic constitutional rights

    Right on.

  • ||

    From the audience,
    I have a question for Otis McDonald:

    Did you learn to be a badass, or is it something you learned somewhere?

  • ||

    Where you born Did you learn to be a badass, or is it something you learned somewhere?

    Typing is hard!

  • ||

    I want a bazooka, pal. So step off.

  • ||

    Brady guy(again): correlation is not causation...when it suits my purposes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What the crap? It's on? Stupid CNBC FoxBiz.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    College kid just got pwned by the steak knife reference.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Guns don't kill people, SUVs kill people.

  • ||

    McDonald's attorney, Alan Gura, is pretty good at the freedom rhetoric.

    Oh god...teh children Fuck!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If you had a gun he wouldn't be able to interrupt you.

  • ||

    We need strong gun laws so that people who would break the law with a firearm won't be able to get gun because of the law.

    Damn we should ban narcotics, because according to the prevailing logic, no one will be able to obtain drugs if they are illegal.

    OMG, teh pot, teh guns, the children!!

    oh my.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    On the plus side, British incinerator workers enjoyed a brief surge in business.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "I'm not saying we should take up arms against our government." ...yet.

  • ||

    Just what I thought. Stossel seemed to be a bit subversive there at the end.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    It doesn't matter that crime rates go up after a gun-control law passes, you have to look at it and ask would it have gone up even more without the law...

    WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT HENIGAN YOU INTENTIONALLY CONFUSING SONOFABITCH?!?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, cap, I missed the fun. I'm glad you handled the live blogging duties, though.

  • ||

    It's easy if yer half-drunk.

  • ||

    Nice show, Mr. 'Stache.

    Your regular Stosselblogger, Fist of Etiquette, will be back next week...if he learns how to use his channel guide.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hey! My Dish Network guide said nothing about this. NOTHING!

    Now, for new Futurama episodes on Comedy Central.

  • ||

    Dude, I thought you were fucking around here.

    Just checked my guide, and indeed, new Futurama is on. I missed it, so as much as it pains me to say it, we are even.

    DAMN YOU!!

  • gmatts||

    "Now I know that more guns means—hold onto your seat—less crime."
    Now if Stossel is gonna write something like this, I'd kinda expect him to show some numbers in terms of number of guns sold,registered, carried, etc. and how they affect the criem rate. Cause just saying that 40 states passed laws easing gun restrictions and within 10 years crime dropped doesn't seem like a such a strong case.

  • Chad||

    Plenty of societies are perfectly free and have very restrictive gun laws.

    Thesis refuted, John.

    God, why do libertarians make it so easy?

  • ||

    Chad, considering that your definition of freedom is any government power shy of North Korea, it is not surprising that you wouldn't consider firearm rights to be a part of freedom.

    So, technically if one believes that a right to keep and bear arms is an essential feature of a free society, then a country with very restrictive gun laws would not be free.

    Sometimes I doubt your bona fides, Chad. If my p-chem professor was so snooty, and arrogant about being wrong, then I would seriously consider dropping his class in favor of another prof.

  • Soonerliberty||

    What about the terrible gun shootings in Germany and other Western Euro countries? How are those even possible?

  • Tony||

    Clearly there weren't enough guns.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    By your fucked up logic:

    Plenty of societies are perfectly free and have very restrictive porn laws.

    Plenty of societies are perfectly free and have very restrictive sodomy laws.

    Plenty of societies are perfectly free and have very restrictive marriage laws.

    Plenty of societies are perfectly free and have very restrictive speech and expression laws.

    Admit it Chad, you're Stalin in drag.

  • Chad, simplified||

    Therefore, Americans are TOO free, and need to have the boot of government on their necks more often.

  • ||

    Even when I agree with John Stossel, I still hate him. He is the Andy Rooney/Jerry Seinfeld of libertarian commentary:
    "Did you ever notice X? I did, and I hate it. Here's some anecdotal evidence about it."

    "Oh, is it Thursday already? I guess it's time to bang out another shallow, bland libertarian piece. What's something really obvious that I can cover by doing 15 minutes of internet research? Oops, better make it five, it's almost time for lunch."

  • ||

    Mr. Stossel, I agree with your premise, but you make a remarkably weak argument. Is the best example of gun ownership preventing crime a story in which a woman *thinks* she would have been able to prevent a crime (if she were armed) but does not, in fact, do so?

    Because of restrictive gun laws, I understand, but if that's the single - and presumably best - example on offer then I may be wrong about the whole thing.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "it really looks like we better get on with good pragmatic governance"

    That would be refreshing. Too bad we won't get it from Republicans or Democrats.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Here's another knee-slapper:

    vigilantism promoted by the NRA

  • Mary Abbott||

    The reluctance to do anything effective to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally deranged, possible terrorists, and felons in this country troubles me. A mentally deranged man whose family had unsuccessfully tried to have him disarmed entered a church near my home and killed 8 people. Is this kind of lax oversight necessary to protect all the so-called law abiding gun enthusiasts?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    The only way to ensure that would be to have government-administered psych evaluations for anyone who even thinks about picking up a gun. And I don't know about you, but trusting that level of snoopage just doesn't sound advisable.

  • ||

    Or arm the church, then there would only be one death!

  • ||

    Somehow John Stoddels argument does not ring pure.
    Show us the proof

  • rthomas||

    "Why the right to keep and bear arms is essential in a free society"

    Umm... so democracies which restrict gun ownership are not "free"? Funny, I can travel to Cuba with no hassle from my government. Complete freedom to travel is up there on my list.

  • zhaowei||

    Sunflowers are always happy to looking at the sun, but who can see it behind the vicissitudes of life, pandora bracelets show in front of people is bright, shiny jewelry, it wrinkled the blue veins that is that itpandoracarries the despair, but It will not give up the bright sadness! Now you may have been very satisfied with the work and life, but you is not even on a level like it?

  • links of london||

    thanks

  • mtb shoes||

    thanks

  • ||

    As a member of the armed services Im appauled by people wanting to get rid of the very roots of what has made us the greatest country in the world that it is. If it wasn't for our for fathers very own blood sweat and tears none of us would be here today to have this arguement. If the 2nd Amendment is repealed as a whole or even some part, whats next? Freedom of speech? Bringing back slavery? Getting rid of the need for search warrants? The possibilities are endless!!! If these liberals dont like the laws that make us who we are than they need to try their luck in another country. When someone says..."Well in China they do it this way..." if you like how china does it better move there...No one is stopping you. People this is just the fuse on the firecrackers they are trying to light. If the very basis for our country is repealed there is no telling what is going to happen next. Think about it!

  • ||

    Side note... I follow with the frame of mind that if you can take prevent guns from falling into the hands of a or would be criminal I will gladly give up mine. Until then Im keeping mine!

  • surpa shoes||

    Came across your blog when I was searching bing I have found the bit of info that
    I found to be quite useful. You can visit my site about

  • Anonymous||

    My mother's co-worker was almost raped. The only reason she wasn't was because she shot at the man, and he fleed.

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement