Guns

'More Guns Mean Only More Violence'

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I didn't have space in my column to discuss The Washington Post's predictions about the practical consequences of last week's federal appeals court decision overturning major provisions of the D.C. gun ban:

If allowed to stand, this radical ruling will inevitably mean more people killed and wounded as keeping guns out of the city becomes harder….The NRA predictably welcomed yesterday's ruling. [As Radley noted the other day, the Post predictably fails to mention that the demonic NRA opposed the lawsuit on tactical grounds and tried to derail it.] According to its myth, only criminals have had guns in the city and now law-abiding citizens will be able to arm themselves for protection. [Far from a myth, this seems almost like a tautology to me, given how strict D.C.'s gun law is.] Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) counters that argument with the sad record of what results from a proliferation of guns. [In other words, he counters the argument that gun control is counterproductive by emphasizing how ineffective it is.] As he points out, more guns mean only more violence, and the city already has too much of both.

Even if John Lott is wrong that more guns mean less crime, one thing seems clear: In the states that have decided to let people carry handguns for self-protection, that policy has not been associated with increases in violence, contrary to the predictions of anti-gun activists. Is there reason to believe that letting D.C. residents keep guns in their homes for self-protection will, by contrast, "inevitably mean more people killed and wounded"? Ordinarily law-abiding people would be more likely to have guns handy in moments of anger, I suppose, and there would be more guns to be stolen. Criminals could more easily buy guns from legitimate dealers—or, more likely, get people with clean records to buy guns on their behalf.

But as criminologists such as Don Kates have pointed out, gun homicides are overwhelmingly committed by people with long records of anti-social behavior, not by Walter Mittys who have spats with their wives and end up killing them only because there's a gun in the house. That scenario is not impossible, of course, but it is not likely to have a noticeable effect on the homicide rate. As for criminals, they generally obtain their guns in the black or gray market, and they seem to have little trouble in doing so. As the D.C. Circuit noted in a footnote to its decision, "the black market for handguns in the District is so strong that handguns are readily available (probably at little premium) to criminals. It is asserted, therefore, that the D.C. gun control laws irrationally prevent only law abiding citizens from owning handguns." Not only are criminals, by definition, less punctilious about obeying the law; they are more strongly motivated than the average citizen to obtain guns, the tools of their trade.

Adding to the stock of legally owned guns might have an indirect, marginal effect on the supply available to criminals. But it seems unlikely to noticeably increase gun violence in a city that already has one of the highest homicide rates in the country, with the vast majority of those murders committed using firearms that Washington's gun controls have conspicuously failed to keep out of criminals' hands. It seems even less likely that such an effect would outweigh the positive impact of permitting armed self-defense. If nothing else, the knowledge that some potential victims are legally armed would discourage criminals from breaking into homes that might be occupied, thereby avoiding violent confrontations. 

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  1. Jacob,

    Reason (not the magazine) has little to with gun-o-phobia. So while your points are obvious to anyone who bothers to think for at least 5 seconds, they are going to roll off the Brady Bunch and their adherents.

  2. If nothing else, the knowledge that some potential victims are legally armed would discourage criminals from breaking into homes that might be occupied, thereby avoiding violent confrontations.

    Quite possible. But be careful, because as you noted earlier, it’s also possible that the effect could be small.

    I’ve heard it both ways on whether John Lott was right, but the one thing that the more careful people all seem to agree on is that any effect will be small, no matter which direction it goes.

  3. I’ve heard it both ways on whether John Lott was right, but the one thing that the more careful people all seem to agree on is that any effect will be small, no matter which direction it goes.

    In other words, gun control laws are ineffective and largely symbolic.

  4. “inevitably mean more people killed and wounded”?

    As long as it is mostly mean people what is the problem? 😉

    It seems that a loud keyboarded ‘reporter’ in Roanoak decided to celebrate this court victory by publishing a list, with addresses, of concealed carry holders in his town.

    When his partial address appeared on the web he asked for and got taxpayer funded armed guards around his home.

    Jacob, as a reporter, is this a special perk you guys get or do we all get it?

  5. But as criminologists such as Don Kates have pointed out, gun homicides are overwhelmingly committed by people with long records of anti-social behavior, not by Walter Mittys who have spats with their wives and end up killing them only because there’s a gun in the house.

    I have only had two close encounters with gun violence.

    When my next door neighbor shot his mother to death, and a policeman in the shoulder, he did it by breaking into his father’s locked hunting gun cabinet. I walked right by his house after he had barricaded himself in, but before it was discovered that he had shot his mother. I very well could have been killed.

    In the other incident, a drunk man on probation was fooling around with his brother’s legal handgun and accidentally shot his brother. When the man’s girlfriend wanted to insist that the brother go to the hospital to have the gunshot wound treated, he chased her around the neighborhood, at one point backing her up at her against a fence just outside my picture window. His gun was drawn and pointed at her. Fortunately he did not notice me in the window before I had a chance to scramble for cover. If he had noticed me before I noticed him, he might very well have shot me and even killed me.

    I am for people’s right to bear arms. However, I don’t like it all all when people are cavalier about gun violence, as I think Sullum is doing here. Anybody who has had experiences like mine is going to read that part of Sullum’s post and just think he is full of it. Or to put it nicer, I think some of this rhetoric may have the opposite of the intended affect on people who are not gunnuts.

  6. What’s the Washington Post doing about the proliferation of the Millwall Brick?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millwall_brick

    Nothing, that’s what! Another example of the greed of the Big Paper industry and their callous indifference to human life. Washington Post, won’t you please think of the children?

  7. Dave W.,

    I was mugged at gunpoint and I didn’t think Sullum was being cavalier at all.

  8. I accidentally bumped a mugger once, ended up covered in corn syrup. Gave me diabetes, the bastard.

  9. Dave W.:

    I disagree. Large majority of people interested in gun issues are gun owners, and most of us have never had a problem. Further, there are numerous crime victims who harbor the belief (probably erroneously) that they could have avoided being a victim if they had a gun. I’m not going to take sides on this issue because I think the debate should take place at the local level. Maybe gun control works better in NYC than in Miami. Maybe not. But I’m pretty damn sure that having the same gun laws in Jefferson City, Missouri and New York City wouldn’t work. Hey, maybe Rudy is “anti-gun” because gun control works in NYC, whereas I personally grew up in FL and don’t have much faith in gun control. I know nothing about DC.

  10. it’s naive to think the issue of gun violence will be divorced from the issue of gun ownership. At the same time, I hate the idea of tying gun ownership with lowering (or rising) gun violence rates. If one is going to hang one’s hat on the conclusion that more guns = less crime, one also has to accept the consequences if trends change such that more guns = more crime.

  11. Couldn’t find recent statistics, but in 93, DC led the country in weapons related arrests, more than twice the next highest locality.

    If we’re talking practical effects, gun laws in cities make it easier for cops to get gang members off the street– most of whom are criminals who haven’t been caught for more serious charges. If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns, as the saying goes. To complete the reasoning, if only outlaws have guns, then we can throw people in jail for gun possession and in most cases take a probably dangerous person off the streets.

    Looking at things from a civil liberties perspective, I’m still in favor of getting rid of some of the stricter gun control laws. But the appeal to practicality, “more guns means less crime” type arguments don’t strike me as convincing– besides the fact that if it’s a liberty issue, then the effect on crime is irrelevant.

  12. I was mugged at gunpoint and I didn’t think Sullum was being cavalier at all.

    I was robbed at gunpoint, on my birthday in my late teens, taking the cash from my employer to the night dropoff at the bank.

    I do not think he was being cavalier either.

    Dave W., if the silly judges had any sense you could have shot that guy on the fence and he would not be able to pull stupid crap like that any more. If I have heard of anybody who deserves shootin’ he would be one of them.

  13. In response to Dave W’s comments. I’ve only been subject to guns twice in my life as well.

    Once, age 17, when a police officer pulled me over thinking that I was somebody that I wasn’t, in this case a wanted criminal. Back up was called in, guns pointed as they told me to get out of my car…all I needed was some dumb trigger happy fuck and I’d have been full of lead. After what seemed a lifetime, I was let go on my way to school, without even a note to give to my teachers as to why I was late :/

    2nd time: While going to collect the rent at my mom’s rental property – the tenant decided to call the cops. Cops saw my cousin, my brother, and I, figured we were menacing or something, and un-holstered his weapon. He didn’t point it at us, but did make a point to let us know he had it and told us to leave.

    I think I fear cops with guns more than I do criminals with guns. A criminal might think twice about the consequences. Cops usually find a way to justify their shootings.

  14. shecky,

    Gun “control” = more crime. There, happy now?

    Other comment:
    If we’re talking practical effects, gun laws in cities make it easier for cops to get gang members off the street– most of whom are criminals who haven’t been caught for more serious charges. If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns, as the saying goes. To complete the reasoning, if only outlaws have guns, then we can throw people in jail for gun possession and in most cases take a probably dangerous person off the streets.

    If they are criminals why aren’t they already off the street? You need even more laws for them to break before you are going to do anything about them? How about the ones they broke before the gun was found?

    Oh, I get it, you will just arrest the “bad people” for having guns, but the rest of us are not going to be bothered? Sure did not work in this case in question.

    Yes, I was exaggerating. I did not read your tone as being all that hostile 🙂

  15. Oh yeah, criminals are well known for their rational, consequence-oriented behavior. If they think somebody has a gun, they’re not going to take the risk of going after him. Robbers and muggers are notoriously risk-averse.

  16. Oh yeah, criminals are well known for their rational, consequence-oriented behavior. If they think somebody has a gun, they’re not going to take the risk of going after him. Robbers and muggers are notoriously risk-averse.

    Take a look at prisoner surveys; then, you’ll know you’re wrong about the deterrent effect of owning a gun.

  17. I disagree. Large majority of people interested in gun issues are gun owners, and most of us have never had a problem. Further, there are numerous crime victims who harbor the belief (probably erroneously) that they could have avoided being a victim if they had a gun. I’m not going to take sides on this issue because I think the debate should take place at the local level. Maybe gun control works better in NYC than in Miami. Maybe not. But I’m pretty damn sure that having the same gun laws in Jefferson City, Missouri and New York City wouldn’t work. Hey, maybe Rudy is “anti-gun” because gun control works in NYC, whereas I personally grew up in FL and don’t have much faith in gun control. I know nothing about DC.

    I agree with all this. Like I said, I think people should be allowed to own guns. And I think most people agree that there needs to be some level of regulation on the sale of guns.

    However, speaking as someone who has been put in danger by guns, I think it needs to be candidly and openly acknowledged and admitted that guns do increase danger. I want guns to be legal despite the fact that they increase my net danger level, and not because I have some misconception that they have no, or only small, impact on my net danger level.

    Let me add one more story to this mix:

    A bit over a year ago, I came to have a serious dispute with the drug dealer living in the basement apartment in my building. It got to the point where he was making cryptic verbal threats. I got him in trouble with both the police and the landlord before basically moving out of the building over the situation.

    Fortunately, all this happened in Toronto and not Philadelphia. I still prefer US gun laws, on balance, to those of Canada, but you better believe that that whole experience narrowed the gap. Gun violence is a price we pay for an important freedom, and I do not think it is good rhetoric to try and make that price out to be smaller than it really is. It is an argument that tends to play bad with people who want gun rights but do not personally own guns (if you can believe such an animal exists).

  18. But if having guns around keeps down violent crime, then shouldn’t Washington DC have very little violent crime since there are so many guns?

  19. Legal guns, Dan T. Guns among law-abiding citizens.

  20. I think I fear cops with guns more than I do criminals with guns. A criminal might think twice about the consequences. Cops usually find a way to justify their shootings.

    Oh, believe me, I know. Here is me trying to explain that to some real life police persons:

    http://tinyurl.com/2w73zq

    You can get a more detailed account of the neighbor who killed his mom there. My post is the second from the top.

  21. But if having guns around keeps down violent crime, then shouldn’t Washington DC have very little violent crime since there are so many guns?

    Having legal guns.

  22. errrr, third from the top, sorry.

  23. edward,

    With the amount of crimes committed daily and the availability of guns to criminals, if there was absolutely no rational, no consequence-oriented behavior, as you so claim, then more criminals would actually use their weapons. Most times they just brandish them for the sake of scaring people, which works just fine. But when confronted by police or by other gun wielding citizens, run like the little cowards that they are. Not all the time, but more often than not. Otherwise, the local news would be inundated by stories of shootings – as opposed to just robberies or beatings.

  24. I still prefer US gun laws, on balance, to those of Canada

    You mean Michael Moore lied about something else in his documentry?

    Next thing you will be telling me is that Elton John divorced a woman and married a man!

  25. jimmydageek,

    In VA “brandishing” has quite a broad definition. You don’t even have to have a gun to be “brandishing”.

    However, it is pretty effective with the bums that venture into Crystal City (Arlington, VA), especially since most remember a carjacker being shot and killed and some other guy too.

    Caution: don’t act like you are reaching for a gun that is not there unless you are positive it is going to disuade the irritant and it ain’t a cop!

  26. Dave W.

    I get an error from that link – Glock Talk: “No specified Thread…”.

  27. Jimmy, Dave must have accidentally bumped his web browser causing the link to go off unintentionally.

  28. shecky,

    Gun “control” = more crime. There, happy now?

    I’m always happy when you avoid the point.

  29. Can someone explain to me what this continual commentary about “bumping” guns is about?

  30. Grotius, awhile back in one of the gun related threads, Dave W. went off on some sort of tirade about how guns can go off accidentally when bumped.

    To anyone with the first clue about modern firearms, this is such patently obvious bullshit that it’s become something of an in-joke similar to the whole corn syrup thing.

  31. seems to work here, although maybe the thread is in the “cache” at this machine or something. here is the actual direct URL, broken into pieces:

    http://www.glocktalk.com/

    showthread.php?s=ed4018b8d946624462457b31903a159f&

    threadid=623166&perpage=25&highlight=&pagenumber=2

    My first post at that page tells the story of some of my neighbors. Later posts are where I explain to police that it is important that they also use their guns safely. man did they hate it when I would link news stories like Peyton Strickland or Kathryn Johnston there. Sometimes it felt like they were in denial.

  32. Dave W once suggested in a product liability context that guns could be caused to accidentally discharge when “bumped”. There was a pile on.

  33. Ah, now I get it, mediageek. I was wondering wtf you were talking about..heh.

  34. mediageek,

    Alright. That sounds about as likely as a car careening off a cliff face and catching on fire in mid-air before it even hits the ground.

  35. mediageek & JasonL,

    Thanks for the explanation. 🙂

  36. Hi Guy,

    “If they are criminals why aren’t they already off the street? You need even more laws for them to break before you are going to do anything about them? How about the ones they broke before the gun was found?”

    Well, I don’t know what the arrest rate is in DC when it comes to gang related murders, but I imagine it’s well below 100%. I didn’t think I needed to explain that any police force’s arrest and conviction rate is less than perfect, and that indeed, wherever you live, criminals are walking around free at this very instant. In a place like DC, if they are carrying a gun in violation of the current ban, then they are one of these people more likely than not.

    “Oh, I get it, you will just arrest the “bad people” for having guns, but the rest of us are not going to be bothered? Sure did not work in this case in question.”

    Which case? I am not making an argument from principle, I am saying that the practical effect of putting people with guns in jail, in a place where guns have been banned, is a decrease in other violent crime. For every one hardcore libertarian who breaks the gun laws to conceal carry, I imagine there are dozens of criminals or would be criminals who carry them for less noble purposes.

    If you could magically take everyone who owned a gun in DC illegally, and put them all in jail, the net effect would be a decrease in crime. That doesn’t mean it’s right–I think that with certain restrictions, people have a civil right to own a weapon. But that is an argument about civil liberties. If you want to make a practical argument that making guns legal would reduce crime, then you’ve got to deal with the fact that gun arrests are currently a way to take otherwise dangerous people off the streets.

  37. I don’t see how any amount of stats on violence has anything to do with my right to own a gun. There could be a killing a day in the street in front of my home and it doesn’t change the fact that I have the right to arm myself. Other peoples actions have no bearing on my rights. How is it that this point is always forgotten?

  38. shecky,

    That was not avoiding the point in the slightest and there are plenty of other people here for you to argue with.

    Maybe you would like to discuss things with someone more like minded, like Christian Trejbal in Roanoak? Don’t make me no never mind.

  39. It is pretty common in contract theory to claim that the reason we enter into compacts is as a means of protection. Hobbes argued that this was the only means by which to secure oneself from the vagaries of living in a stateless society (that doesn’t mean that he believed that all people would live unharmoniously, just that enough people would try to tyrannize their neighbors that such a society would be undesirable). Still, even upon entering that compact one does not necessarily defend the “right” of self-defense. Indeed if the compact cannot secure your safety one could argue (more radically) that it’s failure robs the compact of its authority.

  40. “Other peoples actions have no bearing on my rights. How is it that this point is always forgotten?”

    “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.”

    -William S. Burroughs

  41. …one does not necessarily lose the “right”…

  42. Grotius, awhile back in one of the gun related threads, Dave W. went off on some sort of tirade about how guns can go off accidentally when bumped.

    IIRC, I used that as hypothetical example of a gun design that might be argued as tortiously dangerous if produced. I was trying to discuss tort law (something I know about, rather than gun design (which I don’t). However, this gun stuff excites such passion that my hypothetical facts were decided to be so stupid that they could not even serve as a useful vehicle for discussing tort law.

    I find that sort of funny for a couple of reasons.

    One is that the fact that guns don’t normally go off when bumped was a fact was quite consonant with the hypothetical tort case I was discussing / explaining.

    here is another reason:

    http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/forums/fishing/viewtopic.php?p=13993&highlight=#13993

  43. Guy, I think that Shecky does have a point. If, in one situation, it can be demonstrated that crime rates go down with increased legal gun ownership, what is a gun-rights supporter to do if, in a hypothetical situation, the opposite proved true?

    This hasn’t happened anywhere that I’m aware of, but what would the pro-gun response be in such a situation?

  44. Maybe you would like to discuss things with someone more like minded, like Christian Trejbal

    OK, now I know you’re completely avoiding the point.

  45. Dave, how can a fact possibly be hypothetical?

    Being hypothetical seems to be the antithesis of a fact, which is most certainly NOT.

    “here is another reason:

    http://www.nodakoutdoors.com/forums/fishing/viewtopic.php?p=13993&highlight=#13993

    Bubba thought he could save hisself a few bucks by doing the trigger job on his deer rifle, and got a little overzealous with a Dremel.

  46. mediageek,

    If less guns (meaning handguns basically) equalled less crime (e.g., homocide, B&E, etc.), and the reduction was significant enough as to demonstrate that the finding wasn’t the result of “noise” then I’d be alright with gun control (of a variety which actually led to the attainability of fewer handguns). Or at the very least I’d have to be open to such a possibility.

  47. Thank you, Mediageek. To me, advocating the 2nd Amendment of the results of crime statistics seems a weak endorsement of the 2nd amendment, and an even weaker position if crime trends conclusively skew in favor of gun control. The analogy would be advocating Prohibition on the grounds that intoxication rates go down.

  48. “Oh yeah, criminals are well known for their rational, consequence-oriented behavior.”

    alternately, they’re also not notoriously suicidal. otherwise the cops – and the rest of us – would have a hell of a lot more problems.

  49. Dave, how can a fact possibly be hypothetical?

    Dave, how can a fact possibly be hypothetical?

    Now I want to eat spare ribs.

  50. Civil rights aside, you gotta love the gun industry racket at work here. Guns create their own demand, it seems – once you sell one, it creates a need for others to buy one to protect themselves from the first guy you sold to. And then more people have to buy guns to protect themselves from those guys, and so forth.

    Then when gun violence happens, the industry throws up its hands and blames the lack of guns in society for it!

  51. This hasn’t happened anywhere that I’m aware of, but what would the pro-gun response be in such a situation?

    It would be a pro-human rights response, actually. Arguing this topic from the “it is an object I like/hate” is really meaningless. It is a right that we have and it does not matter if you or I wish to exercise it or not.

  52. mediageek,

    Then again, your question involves us in issues of whether we have a “right” to guns and like thorny ground. I have to admit that these days I am inclined to be skeptical of natural rights, and well man-made rights can change over time.

  53. Now, if DC were serious about protecting their citizens they would be worrying about the looming dihydrogenmonoxide threat and stop trying to steal the rights of the people.

  54. Dan T.,

    If guns were eradicated from this planet in five minutes, we’d be killing each other with something else (as we already do).

  55. My support of a person’s right to keep a gun has nothing to do with crime rates or the 2nd. I support gun rights because I support the right to self-defense. I believe it to be a natural and absolute right, regardless of the laws created by humans.

  56. Grotius, from that point of view I can see why you would be open to the possibility.

    However, I adhere pretty closely to the concept of natural rights, so I cannot advocate restricting the civil right of a citizen based on utilitarian motives.

  57. I hope that everyone notices how Florida has become a hotbed of gun crimes and violence since they passed a law allowing the citizens to shoot “threatning ” people.

  58. As long as they deserved shooting that is fine with me. Threatening people *should* carry a severe penalty!

  59. Dave W once suggested in a product liability context that guns could be caused to accidentally discharge when “bumped”. There was a pile on.

    Wasnt’ there some kind of case with a LEO who said that “Glocks were known for this” or some similar BS? I vaguely remember someone telling me this, but could be urban legend. Should be.

  60. Matt, last year there was a case of an “undercover” DEA agent who quite publicly kicked himself in the tonsils when he negligently fired his pistol into his thigh after proclaiming that he was the only one in the room with the qualifications to handle such a weapon.

    Video Here.

  61. Matt,

    There was a case that sounds sort of like that in Knoxville, TN. The president of Glock testified too, IIRC. Forgot the details, but, as usual, it was not a casual “bump” it was a finger that “bumped” the trigger, or some such.

  62. Is China making guns yet? That could really bring the price down. If more poor people owned guns, they could police their own neighborhoods. Drug dealers would be prime targets. Oh, wait…we’re pro-drugs, aren’t we? But drug dealers have guns already and could protect themselves. In fact, the poor could protect the drug dealers (and themselves) from SWAT teams. But SWAT teams have bigger, better guns. I guess that’s where China comes in. When a poor person can walk into Wal-Mart and buy a reasonably priced bazooka, we’ll be on our way to having a market-driven free society in which no one will have to fear being shot at and not being able to shoot back. We’ll be the envy of the world. Move over, Somalia!

  63. mediageek,

    Well, I try to be as provisional as possible in my assessments. So maybe natural rights do exist.

    Anyway, I doubt that studies would ever show a general decrease in crime as a result of gun control.

  64. Making allusions to area of effect weapons such as bazookas or rocket launchers, or WMD’s in the context of a debate about whether someone should be allowed to possess a basic firearm for self defense should be akin to Godwinning out.

  65. I dunno, maybe if you took a hammer to a gun and in that process one “bumped” the trigger that might cause a gun to fire. 🙂

  66. Why shouldn’t I have the right to own a bazooka? Nobody’s going to mess with somebody who has a bazooka.

  67. From a Second Amendment perspective a bazooka is more a kin to atrillery and like weaponry found in the 1780s, and that was generally not considered to be part of the notion of the gun right at the time.

  68. “There was a case that sounds sort of like that in Knoxville, TN. The president of Glock testified too, IIRC. Forgot the details, but, as usual, it was not a casual “bump” it was a finger that “bumped” the trigger, or some such.”

    There have been a number of cases of cops who seem to be unable to master the basic concept of keeping one’s finger off of the trigger, and then going on to blame the gun maker when they pull the trigger and negligently fire their weapon. It’s a training and familiarization issue.

  69. “Why shouldn’t I have the right to own a bazooka? Nobody’s going to mess with somebody who has a bazooka.”

    Edward, I’ll get back to you on that as soon as it becomes legal to put a bayonet on a rifle in the state of California.

  70. Is China making guns yet?

    Yes, by the ton. I have not looked at a Chinese AK vs a Russian AK, but a majority of my AK loving buddies don’t really like the Chinese ones as much as those from other nations.

    They also make a copy of the USian STINGER.

  71. mediageek,

    These days I so rarely handle and fire a gun that I treat them very cautiously. Not because I think it is going to attack me but to avoid some idiocy on my part.

  72. How about a machine gun?

  73. Media Geek

    Self-alienation is unhealthy.

  74. Guy-

    I used to own a Mak90. It was decent for what it was.

    Grotius-

    There’s nothing wrong with that. I would much rather be with someone who’s overly cautious than someone who’s overly cavalier.

  75. mediageek,

    Actually, one tiny reason why I am not so hot on the Glocks is that I prefer a safety that is not part of the trigger. Granted, I will probably have it off almost all of the time since “my finger is the safety” too, but I still like having a seperate one.

    Main reason I don’t like Glocks? Same as not liking Fords, just don’t like them. Other’s tastes are fine with me.

  76. Yes, by the ton. I have not looked at a Chinese AK vs a Russian AK, but a majority of my AK loving buddies don’t really like the Chinese ones as much as those from other nations.

    They also make a copy of the USian STINGER.

    YEAH, BUT CAN YOU GET THEM AT WAL-MART?

  77. The Glock trigger thing you are likely thinking of is the recent studying of the neurological “sympathetic contraction” effect. One famous case involved a NYC cop holding his Glock in one hand, with his finger on the trigger, and opening a door with the other hand. He fired through the door and killed someone. When you grip with the left hand the right hand tends to grip as well, then the gun goes off. Others have posited that this is what happened in the optometrist shooting, as the SWAT guy opened his car door.

    It is for this reason that modern gun safety emphasizes keeping the finger indexed alongside the pistol frame, not on the trigger.

    These cases are still user/training errors that have nothing to do with the particular gun design. Glocks do have lightish triggers for a (quasi-)DAO design but that really isn’t the problem here.

    Glock also has an extremely high market share in the LE market, so of course everyone sues them.

  78. “How about a machine gun?”

    Machine guns are legal if you can afford the pricetag.

  79. Edward,

    Is a machine gun more like artillery or more like a flintlock smoothbore musket?

  80. “YEAH, BUT CAN YOU GET THEM AT WAL-MART?”

    RIGHT NEXT TO THE NOAM CHOMSKY BLOWUP DOLL. AISLE 14

  81. mediageek,

    Well, of the couple of times that I’ve actually fired a gun in the last few years it was a flintlock smoothbore musket. I like that blackpowder.

  82. Edward,

    Wal*Mart:
    Not yet that I know of, but there is always hope in the future. If Ezra Klein and his buddies would stop pestering Wal*Mart maybe they will 🙂

    How about a machine gun?

    All for it! You can get them now (not at Wal*Mart) you just have to pay more taxes on them and do more paperwork and get bothered by the cops more often.

  83. Guy, for the most part I agree with you on the Glocks. They don’t really turn my crank, but I think that for IPSC/IDPA/3Gun, they’re the second best choice, and less than half the cost of the stuff that STI/SVI makes.

  84. We’ve been meaning to buy a flintlock for a while now. The nice thing is that as far as I know the regulations on them are pretty limited.

  85. IPSC/IDPA/3Gun

    Are those the thingies where you go to different “stages” and shoot in odd scenarios?

    My son took me to one of those. Was really cool! Used the H&K Compact .45 that I got him for his ‘old enough to not be hassled for a pistol’ birthday.

    He out shot me by a little, IIRC.

  86. Is a machine gun more like artillery or more like a flintlock smoothbore musket?

    Think of it as a really fast rifled musket, and see if that helps.

  87. These days I so rarely handle and fire a gun that I treat them very cautiously. Not because I think it is going to attack me but to avoid some idiocy on my part.

    Smart. I do the same, but partially due to acculturation. In my family, one of the worse things you could do was mishandle a firearm. It was the quickest way to lose the respect of the elder male family members. Had I mishandled a firearm and had my dad, grandfathers, etc. seen me or heard about it, well, that would’ve been the end of me (or so I believed). I believe that a solid family firearm culture is far superior with respect to safety than any government regulation could be.

  88. Some, or maybe all Glock pistols have a safty trigger built onto the trigger iyself. People unfamiliar with these mechanisms have been known to fire prematurely or accidently because they squeezed a kittke too hard.

    About 20 years ago, their were some Ruger revolvers manufactured that could go off if they were thrown to the ground striking the back of the hammer and driving the firing pin into the chanbered cartridge. to my knowledge these pistols were all recalled and modified by the manufacturer. All revolvers since havev been manufactured with a mechanism that blocks the hammer unless the trigger has been pulled.

  89. R.C. Dean,

    Well, originally machine guns were used more like artillery. So it would in part depend on the machine in question.

  90. “Well, of the couple of times that I’ve actually fired a gun in the last few years it was a flintlock smoothbore musket. I like that blackpowder.”

    Cool stuff!

    My tastes tend to run to the more modern guns, but any time spent putting lead down range is fun.

    “Are those the thingies where you go to different “stages” and shoot in odd scenarios?”

    Yep. Fun stuff. Unfortunately I haven’t been to a local match since before Christmas, and the place where I practice for Bullseye Pistol competition keeps getting closed due to other circumstances.

  91. mediageek,

    Actually, last summer I did engage in some shooting of a lot of modern weapons at a range. It was a lot of fun.

  92. From the Net:

    “Other single-action revolvers suffer from similar safety-related problems. For example, in 1986 a federal appeals court upheld a punitive damage of $1,250,000 against Colt in a case involving the unintentional discharge of a single action revolver. The plaintiff had taken the handgun with him on a fishing trip. He was sitting on a rock when the gun fell from his holster, struck a rock, and discharged. The bullet lodged in his bladder, damaging vital nerves and rendering him impotent.”

    Now I couldn’t find this case. It may be an unpublished decision, or maybe the decision has not been published on a public database yet. However, my ridulous hypothetical does not seem so ridiculous to me as you guys have been making out.

    I did not know about this bullet-in-the-bladder case, or the Glock thing, when I made up my hypothetical, but it seemed then, as now, to be pretty realistic as hypotheticals go.

  93. “Now I couldn’t find this case. It may be an unpublished decision, or maybe the decision has not been published on a public database yet. However, my ridulous hypothetical does not seem so ridiculous to me as you guys have been making out.”

    Single Action Revolvers are based on designs that are almost two hundred years old, and hence not modern.

    All of the modern reproductions that I know of include transfer bar safeties, and the rare old codger who has one of the old style ones is generally smart enough to carry the weapon with an empty chamber under the hammer- a practice that’s been known since the days of the old west.

    Next, I suppose, you’ll dig up information on the exposed sear on the Nambu pistols from WWII and claim that this indemnifies Glock.

  94. About 20 years ago, their were some Ruger revolvers manufactured that could go off if they were thrown to the ground striking the back of the hammer and driving the firing pin into the chanbered cartridge. to my knowledge these pistols were all recalled and modified by the manufacturer. All revolvers since havev been manufactured with a mechanism that blocks the hammer unless the trigger has been pulled.

    That is true of all Colt SAA-style [the famous “cowboy six-shooter”] revolvers and most other revolvers made before 1900 or so. You alway know to carry with the hammer over an empty chamber.

    Shooting these kinds of guns has become very popular in recent years. There is a Single Action Shooting Society that hosts RenFest-like meets where folks dress up like Deadwood extras and do shooting contests, including a segment shooting from a 10-cent horse-ride.

    Many manufactures make modern SAA clones. There is a split between manufactures that update the design to include an inertial or blocked firing pin (e.g. Ruger), and those which make authentic SAAs (e.g. US Firearms).

    This is an interesting liability and rights question; I think those who want the Real Deal and understand the design issues should be allowed to own one. Many gun control advocates would ban those sorts of guns.

    Modern firearms (post 1905 or so) include passive safeties like firing pin blocks, inertial firing pins, and whatnot. The gun-was-bumped-and-went-boom is extremely difficult to do with a modern gun, it would require multiple simultaneous failures.

  95. All of the modern reproductions that I know of include transfer bar safeties

    Correct. Because of tort law. Because of lawyers and court cases and fear of the same.

    Which, as I seem to recall, was my point when I made up the hypothetical gun that goes off when bumped.

    Failed to shoot yourself on your last fishing trip? Hug a tort lawyer!

    There, hopefully that is the end of the bumping guns meme.

  96. Mediageek: quicker on the draw.

  97. If nothing else, the knowledge that some potential victims are legally armed would discourage criminals from breaking into homes that might be occupied, thereby avoiding violent confrontations.

    Maybe I’m just the cold-blooded type, but if I were going to break into a home and thought that the occupants might be armed, I’d shoot any occupant I came across. Now, I don’t envision myself breaking into any homes, but there might be a few other people out there who are and think the same way.

    Not that I think this is a reason to prevent people who want sidearms to have them, but whenever I read comments like Mr. Sullum’s it’s the first thing that leaps to my mind.

  98. Do the peopel who can do true “bump firing” have to pay that machine gun tax on their finger?

  99. Failed to shoot yourself on your last fishing trip? Hug a tort lawyer!

    Do you generally bring a pistol out on the lake with you, Dave? Here I am using baited hooks like a sucker.

  100. Maybe I’m just the cold-blooded type, but if I were going to break into a home and thought that the occupants might be armed, I’d shoot any occupant I came across.

    You wouldn’t just go down the block and look for unoccupied homes, the same way most other criminals do? Car thieves use a similar method.

  101. if I were going to break into a home and thought that the occupants might be armed, I’d shoot any occupant I came across carefully case the house and burgle it when nobody was home.

    There is a huge difference in the rate of “hot” burglaries (when the occupants are home) between US and England, this is frequently cited by gun rights advocates.

  102. That’s it, this weekend I’m practicing my quick-draw.

  103. There was some fluff news story about 10 years ago where the reporter was interviewing a former (meaning on probation) burgler who had admitted to 100’s of burglaries.

    His favorite time was late afternoon (the afternoon commute for dad and hauling kids around for mom). He said if he got to the house and there was any indication of someone in the house or an alarm system, he just walked away. Too much trouble to deal with.

  104. Dave W.,

    While tort law is probably a factor in product safety concerns by manufacturers, it is not the exclusive or (in many cases) necessarily the most important factor.

  105. If guns were eradicated from this planet in five minutes, we’d be killing each other with something else (as we already do).

    The Rwandan Genocide was committed by thousands of Hutus armed with machetes.

    The fact the Tutsis had few guns made it that much easier.

  106. YEAH, BUT CAN YOU GET THEM AT WAL-MART?

    I know they’re the Left’s Favorite Corporate Boogeyman, but you’re waaaay behind the times, Eddy-boy. Wal-Mart is getting of the gun business faster than you can say “Assault Weapons Ban”.

    The relatively few Wal-Marts that do sell firearms stock only Fudd Specials: Bolt-actions, pump shotguns, .22 rifles. No handguns, no machine guns, not even a frickin’ bazooka (with frickin’ lasers).

    Most gun owners I know (including me) only go to Wal-Mart for the relatively cheap ammo, and even then their selection sucks so bad that it’s usually better to go to the local gun dealer. Or load your own.

  107. “Maybe I’m just the cold-blooded type, but if I were going to break into a home and thought that the occupants might be armed, I’d shoot any occupant I came across.”

    Armed occupants who are proficient with their firearms and familiar with the lay-out of their homes are pretty tough to over-power. The odds are stacked in favor of the defender.

    I truly hope that an armed house invader comes to my home first – or the home of someone just like me – because I can guarantee you that after he stops by a home like mine he’ll have little capability to harm anyone else who is sleeping soundly in their home.

  108. Which case? I am not making an argument from principle, I am saying that the practical effect of putting people with guns in jail, in a place where guns have been banned, is a decrease in other violent crime.

    Actually, this parallels one of the NRA’s programs. It encourages local law enforcement to arrest any felon found with a firearm or ammunition by setting up procedures to try such felon on Federal felon-in-possession charges. Since the case is a slam-dunk (felon+firearm=conviction), Federal sentences are severe (10 years per firearm), and Federal convicts are imprisoned much further away than local ones, the program has been wildly successful everywhere it’s been tried.

    Note that banning guns is not at all necessary. in fact, many of the places the program was most successful were right-to-carry jurisdictions. Licensees have their licenses to show why they’re carrying, and running a driver’s license is an effective way to spot felons.

    Civil rights aside, you gotta love the gun industry racket at work here. Guns create their own demand, it seems – once you sell one, it creates a need for others to buy one to protect themselves from the first guy you sold to. And then more people have to buy guns to protect themselves from those guys, and so forth.

    Doesn’t seem to be working too well. From an NRA fact sheet referencing FBI data:

    More RTC, less crime. Violent crime rates in 2004-2005 were lower than anytime since 1976. (Crime victim surveys indicate that violent crime is at a 31-year low.) Since 1991, 23 states have adopted RTC, the number of privately-owned guns has risen by nearly 70 million, and violent crime is down 38%. In 2005 RTC states had lower violent crime rates, on average, compared to the rest of the country (total violent crime by 22%; murder, 30%; robbery, 46%; and aggravated assault, 12%) and included the seven states with the lowest total violent crime rates, and 11 of the 12 states with the lowest murder rates.

    Main reason I don’t like Glocks? Same as not liking Fords, just don’t like them.

    Valid argument. I like the Colt Government Model, but for several reasons almost always carry a Glock 30.

    How about a machine gun?

    I think law-abiding citizens and legal residents should be able to own and use anything local law enforcement does.

  109. As a hunter, I own a plethora of firearms… modern, blackpowder replicas, handguns, shotguns not to mention bows, crossbows and other implements designed to move game from field to table. In the highly unlikely event of having to defend the casa, my thought is to use a wonderful and rather expensive 12 gauge shotgun. With the embellishments and rich Turkish walnut stock, it looks like a museum piece. The reason for this choice is twofold. The 12 gauage shotgun loaded with something like #6 shot is utterly devastating at close range and quite unlikely to put the neighbors at risk. The second, perhaps more practical reason, is that if I had to show up in court, I would prefer the jury see something that did not look as if I was hoping to defend my casa.

  110. While tort law is probably a factor in product safety concerns by manufacturers, it is not the exclusive or (in many cases) necessarily the most important factor.

    Maybe generally speaking, but in the case of the transfer bar safety it probably was the most important factor. Obviously we will never know exactly why the decision makers at the various gun manufacturers decided to employ the “transfer bar safety” as universally as they did, but I know in my heart that it was fear of product liability law.

    I do not believe that the universality of the “transfer bar safety” was the result of consumer demand or was a p.r. ploy.

    Why do you think the “transfer bar safety” became so universally adopted, Grotius?

  111. Jose – Good plan. Unfortunately, I’d never be able to call a single witness to support my ever having gone hunting…

  112. Armed occupants who are proficient with their firearms and familiar with the lay-out of their homes are pretty tough to over-power. The odds are stacked in favor of the defender.

    Do you keep your guns locked? I heard that locking up your guns can slow down one’s response in the event of an armed intruder.

  113. “Failed to shoot yourself on your last fishing trip? Hug a tort lawyer!”

    First of all, I haven’t gone fishing since I was probably twelve years old.

    Secondly, tort lawyers haven’t got shit to do with the fact that I’ve learned how to properly and safely handle firearms. This includes target pistols with tuned triggers and no external safeties.

    The guy who shot himself with the SAA obviously was ignorant of proper safety procedures, which have been common knowledge for well over a century, for carrying such a firearm.

    I will, however, blame tort lawyers for the fact that it’s quite difficult to find a pistol nowadays with an acceptable trigger pull straight out of the box.

  114. “Do the peopel who can do true “bump firing” have to pay that machine gun tax on their finger?”

    No, but that may change with the recent decree by the BATFE that the Akins Accelerator constitutes a machinegun, despite the fact that the mechanism was designed to adhere to the laws governing what is and is not a fully-automatic firearm.

  115. The guy who shot himself with the SAA obviously was ignorant of proper safety procedures, which have been common knowledge for well over a century, for carrying such a firearm.

    Which means if you ever got anywhere near him, then you could end up impotent, too. How do you ensure that everybody else in your vicinity is as careful as you? Fortunately, you don’t have to. Hug a tort lawyer again!

    I mean one time the Vice President, even, had a little beer with lunch and . . .

  116. “Do you keep your guns locked? I heard that locking up your guns can slow down one’s response in the event of an armed intruder.”

    Only when I’m not in the house. But since carry concealed most of the time, even walking in the door I’m fairly well-prepared.

    Once the next generation is toddling around I’ll probably store the bed-side XD-40 in one of these when I go to sleep:

    http://www.safetysafeguards.com/site/402168/product/GV1000CDLX

  117. Dave W.,

    Why do you think the “transfer bar safety” became so universally adopted, Grotius?

    I have no idea.

    Prior to today had you ever heard of such thing?

  118. Dave W.,

    …but I know in my heart that it was fear of product liability law.

    Which tells me exactly squat about why they adopted this new technology.

    I would point out what is obvious though; people were adopting, changing, etc. technological devices long before there was tort law.

  119. “How do you ensure that everybody else in your vicinity is as careful as you?”

    Dave, I have seen the light. Huzzah!

    Glad to see that proper range etiquette and safety procedures have nothing to do with it!

    Why, thanks to tort lawyers, I can now go about blithely violating basic rules of safe firearms handling!

    Truly, a new day has dawned, and legally-required mechanical safeties are far superior to a little bit of common sense and education.

  120. Dave, would it be cool if I pointed a loaded single-action revolver at you if it has a transfer bar safety?

    I even hugged a tort lawyer first!

    Nothing bad could possibly result.

  121. Once the next generation is toddling around

    Do you think households with children should be legally required to have gun safes?

  122. Dave, could you answer my question?

  123. Do you think households with children should be legally required to have gun safes?

    Forget gun safes: Who’s going to protect the children from all that high-fructose corn syrup in the cupboard?

  124. It was common practice in the household of my parents, as it in mine, to leave at least one gun loaded at all times.

    As for trigger pulls, yes, firearm manufacturers have produced rifles and pistols with hideous triggers. The success of the Accu-Trigger by Savage seems to have inspired Ruger to produce a rifle with a decent trigger. In the battle between tort lawyers and the market, I favor the market. The free enterprise system has allowed me to replace every part on a little Ruger 10/22 to the point where there is nothing “Ruger” left on the rifle. In particular, the little plinker has a delightful match-grade trigger that breaks like an icicle (unlike the truly miserable factory trigger).

  125. Jose Ortega y Gasset,

    It is a wonder that parents leave the power in the home at all times. Electricity is dangerous. 😉

  126. Actually, Grotius, if not for the political might of the electrical utilities, I imagine some enterprising politician would have made our domiciles entirely “child safe.” And for firearms, it was my father’s belief that unloaded weapons were not only useless, but bred poor habits particularly in young boys.

  127. “Forget gun safes: Who’s going to protect the children from all that high-fructose corn syrup in the cupboard?”

    I simply won’t have it in my house. Accidentally bump a bottle of it and *WHAM!* you’ve got diabetes.

  128. Truly, a new day has dawned, and legally-required mechanical safeties are far superior to a little bit of common sense and education.

    That is not quite my point, mediageek. Tort law doesn’t require a transfer bar safety. rather, tort law merely requires manufacturers to make a reasonably safe product, upon pain of paying compensatory (and sometimes punitive) damages if they fail in this generalized duty. Even “strict liability” regimes, where they exist in the product liability law, allow a defense that the product is not “defective.”

    This is much preferable to legislation requiring manufacturers to universally adopt a “transfer bar safety.” That is because the tort law allows manufacturers how to ultimately best decide how to minimize accidents, and it allows different manufacturers to decide in different ways. It creates a “free market” (as it were) in gun safety mechanisms (and lack thereof). It is a bottom up approach to gun safety, rather than a top-down one.

    Now, if teh webs are to be trusted, it took from 1905 from 1973 for all single action revolvers to be made with a transfer safety bar, but this slowness gave the market time to decide that transfer bar safeties really were the way to go. Cold comfort to those shot by bumped guns in the interim, but, as you realize, they either were careless enough to allow a gun to be bumped or to get within gunshot of someone who was that careless. Tort law is not the fastest way to effect product design reforms, but it helps ensure that the reforms are actually economically optimal. In the real world, that is as good as it gets sometimes.

    So, now, I hope you can really see that tort law rocks out! Bigtime!

    Side note to Grotius: If you ever read any history then you would know that societies with the strongest tort law have always had the strongest economies. Hamurabi’s and Draco’s codes probably did not have anything we would recognize as tort law, but Solon’s did. Solon also extended the Heliaia to the lower classes and instituted other reforms to make it function like a tort court in certain cases. Now correlation is not always causation, and it is not certain that expansive tort law atually causes economic prosperity. However, as T. sometimes points out for us, correlations can be pretty telling anyway.

  129. Forget gun safes: Who’s going to protect the children from all that high-fructose corn syrup in the cupboard?

    I hate to take this interesting discussion into corn syrup land, but a funny thing about my latest temporary ban:

    We were discussing “the syrup” on that thread where I had the fake poster issues and ended up being temporarily banned.

    In the course of responding on that thread, I did some research, which indicated that the increase in diabetes was not much greater than the increase in obesity. This was puzzling to me because previous research had indicated to me that the diabetes spike was much higher than the obesity spike.

    Now this was important to me because I consider obesity and obesity related problems to be a matter of personal responsibility. I was only concerned about HFCS and diabetes, as a matter for potential government action, because I was under the impression that diabetes was increasing a lot faster than obesity, and was, in that sense substantially independent of the obesity problem.

    However, given that diabetes has increased only a bit more than obesity — this means that diabetes can be viewed as part and parcel of the obesity problem and therefore is better viewed as a matter of personal responsibility.

    Which is a long way of saying, a lot of you guys were right and I was wrong about the diabetes danger of HFCS.

    So I was trying to figure out a graceful way of admitting I had been wrong, and perhaps saving face (eg, diabetes has increased somewhat more than obesity — it is not black and white) when the ban hit.

    Bad timing, really.

    Side note to mediageek: if my options are you pointing a gun with a transfer bar safety at me or a single action revolver at me, then I would choose the safety gun. if my options are safety gun or no gun pointed at me, then I choose no gun.

  130. “That is not quite my point, mediageek.”

    Yes, Dave, it’s what you’ve claimed the entire time.

    Thank you, goodbye, you lose, the filter is now re-enabled, and electrons will no longer be tortured into fluorescing your insipid stupidity on my monitor.

    Cheers, have a good day, don’t drink the corn syrup and remember to tip your waitress.

  131. Expect poor Jim Brady to be wheeled out drooling for the camera any moment now…

  132. I have guns and I have kids. I have a carry permit and carry almost everywhere.The kids have been trained to respect the weapons and are in fact quite proficient with them. They also understand the danger of them. We also taught them about water, electricity, sharp objects, cars, and democrats.
    We can write laws till christ returns and we wont be able to protect stupid people from themselves. In accordance with theory concerning survival of the fittest, dumbasses will always find a way to die prematurely or not raise their kids to be reasonably well versed in the process of thinking.
    When one of these idiots comes into my home because he/she is too sorry to work, I want to excecise my right to be well armed for the protection of my family and myself.

  133. Dave W.,

    Side note to Grotius: If you ever read any history…

    Yes, I’ve certainly never read any history. Anyway…

    …then you would know that societies with the strongest tort law have always had the strongest economies.

    Maybe, maybe not.

    If you have any books or journal articles to recommend I’d be amendable to reading them. I’m certainly not going to take you as an authoritative source though.

  134. “Failed to shoot yourself on your last fishing trip? Hug a tort lawyer!”

    I can’t fish any more because of all of the stupid explosives rules.

  135. I can’t fish any more because of all of the stupid explosives rules.

    OK, that was funny.

  136. As promised to Guy in the other thread, more gun pr0n of my new toy.

    Also, worth visiting

    Of Arms and the Law
    Gun Law News
    Publicola
    Alphecca

  137. Captain Holly,

    “In other words, gun control laws are ineffective and largely symbolic.”

    I didn’t read everything between this quote and here, but it is worth noting that there is a big difference between “gun control” and “shall issue.” Lott looked mainly at “shall issue” and the impact of concealed weapons licenses, IIRC. The small effect that Dr. T notes is really only about “shall issue.”

    FWIW, I think NM gets it about right in its constitution…

    “No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.”

    Lots of good lessons learned when we were the “old West.”

  138. As promised to Guy in the other thread, more gun pr0n of my new toy.

    SWEET! Nice bullet launcher!

    “No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.”

    I prefer Alaska and Vermont on current policy, but NM is a good fallback.

    In the old west, concealed was pretty common from my understanding. Perhaps I heard the wrong interviews.

  139. brotherben didn’t ask for one, but

    AMEN!

  140. Oh, and Dave W., thanks to stupid wankers and tort lawyers, Ruger will ruin my Single Six if I ever send it to them for service. I have the old model*, no transfer bar, and the action on the “improved” version sucks in comparison.

    *As noted earlier, all single action revolvers derived from Col. Colt’s work featured a half-cock allowing the cylinder to spin freely. Only a fool ever carried such a gun with the hammer over a loaded chamber.

  141. Maybe I’m just the cold-blooded type, but if I were going to break into a home and thought that the occupants might be armed, I’d shoot any occupant I came across

    I suspect that, if you were going to break into a home and thought the occupants might be armed, you would be much more likely to choose another home, or break in when nobody was home.

    Otherwise, you’re breaking into homes to commit mass murder.

  142. Now correlation is not always causation, and it is not certain that expansive tort law atually causes economic prosperity.

    What you might call expansive tort law, including strict liability and other doctrines that eliminate or reduce the personal responsibility of the injured party, is more likely to be a luxury that can only be afforded by wealthy societies. Otherwise, the burden on producers is too great.

  143. I’m pro-gun, so I don’t want to hear it, but consider this:

    Why do right-wingers think that a cancer vaccine will lead to more unholy sex, but refuse to believe that more guns could lead to more gun violence? Both arguments seem to be baseless and lacking in any scientific foundation, yet the extreme right-wing sez “show me the proof” on the gun issue and “we don’t need no stinkin’ proof” on the cancer vaccine issue.

  144. Oh, and Dave W., thanks to stupid wankers and tort lawyers, Ruger will ruin my Single Six if I ever send it to them for service. I have the old model*, no transfer bar, and the action on the “improved” version sucks in comparison.

    Don’t buy from Ruger then. Sell your Ruger and buy a gun you like. If nobody makes a gun you like, then design your own. You will be very popular with customers who think all the existing guns are lame. Just make sure not to sell to any fools.

    Free market.

  145. “Both arguments seem to be baseless and lacking in any scientific foundation, yet the extreme right-wing sez “show me the proof” on the gun issue and “we don’t need no stinkin’ proof” on the cancer vaccine issue.”

    belief is a hell of a drug.

  146. FWIW, I think NM gets it about right in its constitution…
    “No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.”
    Lots of good lessons learned when we were the “old West.”

    Actually most of the “no concealed carry” laws were passed in the early 1900s to keep Irish, Italians, and other undesirable immigrants from carrying.

    I like Maine’s constitutional guarantee:

    “Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.” Me. Constitution Art. I, S. 16

    Theres a historical list of state RKBA constitutional provisions passed from 1776 to 1998 at http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/beararms/statedat.htm

    BTW, New Mexico has finally passed its shall-issue concealed carry law.

  147. “In the old west, concealed was pretty common from my understanding. Perhaps I heard the wrong interviews.”

    In the old west, open carry was the norm. If you were carrying concealed, the assumption was that you were up to no good.

    Now that we live in a society where open carry is rarely practiced, concealed is the better way to go.

  148. I am for people’s right to bear arms. However, I don’t like it all all when people are cavalier about gun violence, as I think Sullum is doing here.

    But if they are cavallier about knife or rock violence, then everything should be dandy, no?

    Anybody who has had experiences like mine is going to read that part of Sullum’s post and just think he is full of it. Or to put it nicer, I think some of this rhetoric may have the opposite of the intended affect on people who are not gun[-]nuts.

    Maybe SOME people with experiences like you would think less of Mr. Sullum. However, more rational people, even others that suffered similar experiences than you, would still find the rulling AND Mr. Sullum’s comments welcome.

  149. Dave W.

    Don’t buy from Ruger then. Sell your Ruger and buy a gun you like.

    Are your reading comprehension skills really that faulty? It’s a gun I already own, which if I ever needed to send it to the manufacturer for service, they would fuck it all to hell in the name of your high holy “safety improvement”.

    Why am I a libertarian? So stupid wankers like Safety Dave don’t have power over me.

  150. It’s a gun I already own, which if I ever needed to send it to the manufacturer for service, they would fuck it all to hell in the name of your high holy “safety improvement”.

    Yes, and I am saying if the possibility that your Ruger might someday need service that you could not obtain in a way that suits you upsets you so much, then sell the gun (for cash or other good and valuable consideration), and take the consideration you make in selling the Ruger to buy a gun made by a company that will service their gun in a manner that suits you.

    I further said that if no company makes a gun that suits you out of the box and/or will not be ruined by servicing (should servicing ever be neccessary) then start your own gun company, with a servicing department, that will sell a suitable gun and service plan to you and the millions and millions of other people who feel as you do about gun safety issues.

    Just make sure not to sell to any foolish people who would fail to follow gun safety as assiduously as you. For example, if Vice President Dick Cheney walks into your store, then make sure to refuse to sell to him. You will have no liability if there are no accidents with the guns you make and service (without ruining) and love.

    Free market.

  151. In the old west, open carry was the norm. If you were carrying concealed, the assumption was that you were up to no good.

    It was the “up to no good” guys I was thinking about.

  152. Juris,

    Didn’t get to finish our little discussion earlier…

    You posted some crap about some harvard study that you claimed was making a “More Guns = More Crime” claim…

    From the article…

    Read it CAREFULLY.

    “The association between firearm prevalence and homicide was driven by gun-related homicide rates; non-gun-related homicide rates were not significantly associated with rates of firearm ownership.”

    Notice this phrasing. Notice that non-gun related homicide rates were not associated. They are talking about gun crime. The article continues.

    “These results suggest that it is easier for potential homicide perpetrators to obtain a gun in states where guns are more prevalent. “Our findings suggest that in the United States, household firearms may be an important source of guns used to kill children, women and men, both on the street and in their homes,” said Miller.”

    Again. This sounds like they are talking about gun crime.

  153. “Do you think households with children should be legally required to have gun safes?” – Dave W.

    No.

    I also don’t believe in punishing people for other non-crimes, such as drug use, prostitution, speeding, or failure to wear a seat belt. (I bet that’s not the answer you were looking for…)

  154. This article goes back to 2007. It has ALREADY been disproven considering that this is NOW 2010 and the predicated disaster has not shown up. The problem with arguments from liberals such as this is that they just hate guns and fail to consider that law abiding gun owners don’t act in the manner they predict. I also speak as a reformed liberal now turned conservative who woke up and saw that the real agenda of such gun grabbing/hating liberals is to bring in socialism and as long as the rest of us have guns to oppose this grab at power then they are fearful. With good reason. YOU traitors to the American way WILL NEVER be able to take our 2nd Amendment rights away! LEAVE! Never come back! Go to the communist country of your own choosing! Your NOT true Americans anyway due to your liberal views! Be gone from us!

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