Guns

Do It for the Kids, Especially the Drug-Dealing, Homicidal, Adult Kids

|

A commenter in the thread about Cho Seung-Hui's psychiatric evaluation points to this statement from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:

It shouldn't take a school shooting or an inner-city neighborhood shooting to make us realize that American children are more at risk from firearms than the children of any other industrialized nation. In one year, firearms killed no children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada, and 5,285 in the United States.

For the U.S. figure, the Brady Campaign cites "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, unpublished data from the Vital Statistics System, 1997." According to the CDC, however, the number of children and adolescents under age 20 killed by firearms in 1997 was 4,223, down from a high of 5,833 in 1994. The Brady Center figure presumably is for one of those years in between, so I'm not sure what the "1997" signifies, unless it's the date when the data were unpublished.

In any case, note that the "children" killed by firearms include older teenagers, among them 18-year-olds and 19-year-olds, a.k.a. "adults." Judging from the breakdown in 1998 (I can't find comparable data for 1997), more than 80 percent of gun deaths for the under-20 group involve teenagers 15 or older. About 58 percent of the gun deaths that year were homicides, and these included drug dealers shot by other drug dealers, violent criminals shot by police, and other noninnocent nonchildren. About 33 percent of the gun deaths were suicides; 7 percent were accidents.

For the international comparison, the data should be expressed as rates (i.e., taking population into account) rather than absolute numbers. And they should cover all suicides and homicides, rather than just those committed with guns. If it turns out that people in Japan kill themselves just as often as people in the U.S. but use different methods, the availabilty of guns seems less significant. Likewise if the murder rate in the U.K. is just as high as the murder rate in the U.S. In fact, the Japanese suicide rate is twice the U.S. rate, while the U.S. homicide rate is several times  the U.K. rate. Deadly violence is more common in the U.S. than in the U.K. across the board, with and without guns. The extent to which gun control laws, as opposed to other differences between countries, can account for such differences in rates of deadly violence remains a matter of controversy, to put it mildly. 

Dave Kopel analyzed gun controllers' "do it for the kids" strategy in a 1993 Reason article that, with a few details updated, could easily be published today.

NEXT: Play It Again, Tom

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.

  1. The sensationalism of exploiting a tragedy like this worked better for Brady and the VPC when there weren’t a constant stream of deaths happening in Iraq.

    We’ve been too desensitized as a country to get whipped up in a frenzy.

  2. I knew it would come; I’ve been waiting to say this:

    THE PEOPLE KILLED AT VT WERE ADULTS.

    Student != Child.

    That is all.

  3. Jacob is protesting a little too much here. I don’t think any amount of spin is going to convince anybody with any sense that the U.S. is a pretty dangerous place compared to many other first-world nations.

    At least he got in the standard mockery of the idea that our children are important. At least.

  4. For decades, people increasingly treated children like babies, and adults like children. And now they pretend to be surprised by the results.

  5. The Brady Center figure presumably is for one of those years in between, so I’m not sure what the “1997” signifies, unless it’s the date when the data were unpublished.

    I missed the last word there the first time I read the item. This is exactly the sort of high-quality, precision-calibrated snark I so enjoy from H&R.

  6. In table 1, in the U.S. in 2005, the violent crime rate per 100,000 inhabitants was 469.2.

    http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_01.html

    Contrast this to the U.K. where in 2005/06 2300 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.

    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs06/hosb1206chap78.pdf

    The U.K. violent crime rate exploded when they banned hanguns. Their violent crime rate, that includes rapes, assaults robberies, muggings live break ins is seven times that of the U.S. If you take away people’s ability to defend themselves criminals are going to prey on them. This is what the gun control advocates want the United States to look like.

  7. http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=9641

    New York has a population of 8 million, London 7 million
    London’s crime rate is about 7 times that of New York
    Police budgets are comparable
    New York has 40% more cops on the beat

    Seven times the crime? If you disarm your citizens you are just making them victims. Yes the U.S. has a high murder rate, but how much of that is in a few inner city areas and the result of a rampant gang culture? How would any gun control measure do anything to stop that culture? All it would do would be disarm innocent people so that they can be preyed upon. Perhaps that is what gun control advocates want, more crime and more victims.

  8. Isildur stole my comment (just like he stole the One Ring). /geekout

    Along the same lines, somebody in my office was very angry about the Imus affair because, in his words, “You don’t say things like that about kids.” I could only stare in dumbfounded silence.

  9. “You don’t say things like that about kids.” I could only stare in dumbfounded silence.”

    I have the same reaction when people talk about how tragic it is that Greg Oden and Kevin Durrant are going to leave college and loose their childhood to go to the NBA. They are freaking 19 years old an have the chance to make 10s of millions of dollars playing a child’s game only an idiot or mental midget would want to turn that down to go to have the “college experience”.

  10. It amazes me. All the talk about gun control! Here we have people on the campus who said that this student was nuts.

    They knew he was nuts. They reported him as nuts. They sent him to a mental institution for a while. We don’t know what happened there. His writings were nuts, and there were red flags sprouting up because of all of these things. Shouldn’t there be a way to deal with nuts on campus? This guy clearly was disturbed and a whole lot of people knew it. Why wasn’t there some way to deal with this guy before the fact? Everybody thinks, “Well, get rid of the guns, and we’ll stop the OK Corral from taking place.” We don’t have an OK Corral going on in this country! This is not something that happens every day or every month or every year, and that’s why the reaction to it is extraordinary. So we have all these people who had clear warning signs about the guy, but, I don’t know — because of political correctness or the unwillingness to judge somebody or what have you — nobody did anything about it. The gun seller, the guy that sold the guy’s guns didn’t know he was nuts but the people at the school did. Everybody wants to focus on the gun seller and the gun, but people at the school knew that this guy was not right. I’m not second-guessing here. I’m just responding to the clutter of talk that’s out there.

    Now, we have in what we’ve learned about this guy, a reported attempt to set a fire in the dorm. We have sicko writings noticed by a professor. He was recommended for counseling. We don’t know anything about that, if he went or not. We have reports of him stalking female students. Yet it’s much easier to yell, “Gun control! Gun control! The NRA is bad! Bush the GOP are responsible!” It’s much easier to just go out and say that, than to deal with this kind of aberrant behavior on campus because of all the PC rules that are in place, both the formal and the informal PC rules. But why not focus on that? Why not focus on the clear and early warning signs that something was not right with this guy? Have you read some of the things he wrote? It’s all about death and killing and dying and these sorts of things. The guy was just nuts, and a lot of people knew it. Now, I’m not saying this to lay any blame. I’m just trying to point it out, and they’re going to have an after-action review of this. They always do. The governor’s office is going to do it, and I wonder if they’ll include this aspect in their after-action review. It looks to me like the people in charge here had plenty of early warning signs, not that he would slaughter 32 people, but that he was nuts. Nobody’s going to ever be able to predict that somebody’s going to murder 32 people. You’re not going to be able to predict that. But, people don’t just wake up one morning and decide to slaughter other people, and that’s the point, not gun control. How could a guy like this get a gun? Well, now we know how: Nobody fingered the guy as a potential danger to the community! That’s why.

  11. I’ve heard more than enough on the whole “what the VA Tech shootings mean in regards to gun rights/control” thing. Please stop now

  12. The U.K. violent crime rate exploded when they banned hanguns. Their violent crime rate, that includes rapes, assaults robberies, muggings live break ins is seven times that of the U.S. If you take away people’s ability to defend themselves criminals are going to prey on them. This is what the gun control advocates want the United States to look like.

    So if this is true, is it true of all countries that restrict handgun ownership?

    The UK seems to be something of an exception, doesn’t it?

    Then again, according to Nationmaster, the US has a murder rate about three times that of the UK:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

  13. Just a thought RL, but the guy was a resident Alien, perhaps stalking and attempted arson and being an all around nutjob would be a pretty God damned good reason to deport the little bastard? But no we couldn’t do that. Tha would have been racist!! And the government has no right to stop anyone from coming to live here if they want to!!

  14. Your comment is precious, Brian.

  15. Dear Hindsight bias,

    OMFGSTFUTY!

    Love,
    Tim

  16. I have the same reaction when people talk about how tragic it is that Greg Oden and Kevin Durrant are going to leave college and loose their childhood to go to the NBA. They are freaking 19 years old an have the chance to make 10s of millions of dollars playing a child’s game only an idiot or mental midget would want to turn that down to go to have the “college experience”.

    Not to mention, that with the millions of dollars and badass lawyer on retainer, they can act like kids too.

    Nick

  17. The phony statistics about “children” killed by guns routine is not new.

    Al Gore was mouthing this stuff back when he was VP.

  18. Yes, but what does Tim Lambert think of the Brady Campaign’s numbers?

  19. Just a thought RL, but the guy was a resident Alien, perhaps stalking and attempted arson and being an all around nutjob would be a pretty God damned good reason to deport the little bastard? But no we couldn’t do that. Tha would have been racist!! And the government has no right to stop anyone from coming to live here if they want to!!

    You gotta admit that since it was our society that turned him into a nutjob it would be a little unfair to dump him back on somebody else.

  20. Then again, according to Nationmaster, the US has a murder rate about three times that of the UK:

    Hooked, the US has always had a higher murder rate than the UK. Even when the UK did not have gun control. ie most of the 19th century.

    No country has experienced a reduction in crime after passing gun control.

  21. Short comment on crime rates US v. UK.

    UK “violent” crime rate is 7x the US (counter conventional wisdom fact) but the US murder rate is 3x that of the UK (well known convential wisdom act). To have a true comparison one must merge both statistics and be sure that the definitions of violent crime are the same.

    My guess is that the actual crime rates are somewhat slightly higher in the UK because its people w/o guns are easier prey, but that violent crime in the US is much more likely to involve death for precisely the same reason.

    6 of one, 1/2 dozen of another; US folks are less likely to be crime victims, but more likely to be killed if they do become victims.

    How would both sides of the gun control debate handle that fact if shown true?

  22. Hooked on Innuendo wrote:
    “You gotta admit that since it was our society that turned him into a nutjob it would be a little unfair to dump him back on somebody else.”

    Ahhh, now I see what you’re about.

  23. You gotta admit that since it was our society that turned him into a nutjob it would be a little unfair to dump him back on somebody else.

    Uhhhh…no I don’t.

  24. “To have a true comparison one must merge both statistics and be sure that the definitions of violent crime are the same.”

    Violent crime includes murders. Murders are a subset of violent crime so the U.S. rate is 1/5th (not 1/7th as I erroneously stated above)that of the UK rate even including the murders the U.S. has.

    As far as the murder rate, again, where do these murders occur? They predominately occur in the inner city and as a result of gang violence. The U.S. has a gang problem and probably by extension a drug prohibition problem. It doesn’t have a gun problem. Again, until someone explains how any gun control will do anything to keep guns out of the hands of gang members or do anything to stop the gang culture and even if it did how that good outweighs the obvious harm of increasing other violent crimes, there is no way I will agree that gun control is anything but an unmitigated bad.

  25. So, Jacob lays out a pretty reasonable way to scrub the numbers.

    Has anyone done so?

  26. For the period 1998-2000 the number of murders per capita by country can be found here.

    How does the U.S. rank as compared to the other nations named in the write up?

    #24 United States: 0.042802 per 1,000 people

    #40 France: 0.0173272 per 1,000 people

    #44 Canada: 0.0149063 per 1,000 people

    #49 Germany: 0.0116461 per 1,000 people

    #60 Japan: 0.00499933 per 1,000 people

    _______________________________

    In the top ten are Jamaica and Mexico, nations which have very strict gun control laws as I recall. Of course without gun control laws maybe those nations would have even higher murder rates.

  27. Bringing suicide rates into this debate seems besides the point since homicide victims typically don’t consent to being killed.

  28. To have a true comparison one must merge both statistics and be sure that the definitions of violent crime are the same.

    Not necessarily. One must also compare the judicial histories/trends of the countries.

    For example, an armed robbery with a shooting (a violent crime) might be considered “armed robbery” in one country and might be considered “attempted murder” in another. While both are considered violent crimes, the comparison won’t matter in the overall statistics of “violent crime” but would matter in the mind of the shooter as there might be more incentive to kill in one country since dead men tell no tales. If a live victim can tell a tale in one country resulting in a 6-month prison term for the offender versus a 20-year prison term for telling the salme tale in the other country, you might be incentivizing murder in the country where the punishment is more severe.

  29. Again, until someone explains how any gun control will do anything to keep guns out of the hands of gang members…

    Well, if handguns were totally banned from the United States then they will be very difficult to get and also very expensive (on the black market). Since most gang members have very limited resources (part of the reason they find gangs attractive in the first place), most gang members simply will not be able to afford them.

  30. Of course there a number of nations where a large portion of the murders are committed by agents of the government.

  31. Grotius,

    Mexico also has a huge kidnapping industry. Since it is illegal in Mexico to even own a gun, it is no suprise that criminals have gone into kidnapping. If guns were ever banned in the U.S., I wouldn’t be surprised to see that trend visit the U.S.

  32. “Well, if DRUGS were totally banned from the United States then they will be very difficult to get and also very expensive (on the black market). Since most gang members have very limited resources (part of the reason they find gangs attractive in the first place), most gang members simply will not be able to afford them.”

    That logic sure worked out well. Further, look no further than Mexico where armed drug gangs run rampant over the country despite it being illegal to own a gun.

  33. “I’ve heard more than enough on the whole “what the VA Tech shootings mean in regards to gun rights/control” thing. Please stop now”

    Warren, I’m sorry I missed the gatekeeper election. Congratulations on your win.

  34. Hooked On Innuendo wrote:

    “Well, if handguns were totally banned from the United States then they will be very difficult to get and also very expensive (on the black market).”

    You mean like Cocain and Heroin? Please. A An eight year old child could destroy this argument.

  35. In the top ten are Jamaica and Mexico,

    And the US is also surpassed by Poland, Russia, etc. Countries which seem to be supplying the bulk of our immigrants. It’s quite possible that the US muder rate is being skewed by immigrants from countries where murder is more common.

  36. “Well, if handguns were totally banned from the United States then they will be very difficult to get and also very expensive (on the black market).”

    were you starting from a zero point, you might have a case.

    the “zero point” here is upwards of 250 million privately held weapons.

  37. About the only nation that I know that successfully banned the private possession of firearms was Japan – and consider the efforts that the Tokugawa Shogunate had to go through do that.

  38. “Deaths and death rates for the 10 leading causes of death For People 15 – 24 Years All causes : United States, preliminary 1996”
    http://www.disastercenter.com/cdc/111riskd.html

    “Deaths and death rates for the 10 leading causes of death For People 5 – 14 Years All causes : United States, preliminary 1996”
    http://www.disastercenter.com/cdc/111riskc.html

  39. Well, if handguns were totally banned from the United States

    Hmm. Totally banned. None for the cops, or military bases, or private security companies. I’m curious how this will be enforced, given that by definition only criminals will have handguns. Are rifles and shotguns banned, too? Please elucidate.

  40. Jacob, you protest WAY too much here. It’s obvious to anyone with a passing knowledge of the populations of the other countries mentioned that the death rate is still far higher in the US than elsewhere. Method of suicide is also relevant as attempts with a gun are more likely to succeed than with other methods. As for “noninnocent” victims (heaven forbid if a police shooting were ever unjustified)these deaths can be reasonably attributed to guns because it is much less likely that the victim would have tried lunging at the police with a knife.

    You mentioned in a previous article that the Virginia Tech students should be allowed to carry firearms on campus. One question- should the background check (if there had to be any at all) for the students just look for prior criminal convictions and not treatment for mental illness as was the case with this shooter?

  41. Read about how it would be with no gun controls.

    http://www.bigheadpress.com/tpbtgn?page=0

  42. It seems pretty obvious that the numbers presented by Brady are rather fishy. But in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think many take them seriously anyway.

    A Gallop poll in the last year or so had gun control support at an all time low of 49% versus unsupportive at 51%. Gun control is a political loser now, and when candidates run, they take that into consideration.

    There’s a lot of acrimony that is basically lukewarm leftovers from the ’90s. I fall into the trap of wanting to argue against any and all gun control proponents, but really, they have no power or influence anymore. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

  43. “preliminary 1996”

    Kinda old.

  44. Bill Pope:

    I find it interesting that you repeat Hooked’s first comment (#3 in the thread) re protesting too much, but come to the opposite conclusion: He says “I don’t think any amount of spin is going to convince anybody with any sense that the U.S. is a pretty dangerous place compared to many other first-world nations.” You, however, seem to think the US is more dangerous. Hooked, any thoughts? Is Bill Pope lacking “any sense”? Just curious.

  45. “Well, if DRUGS were totally banned from the United States then they will be very difficult to get and also very expensive (on the black market). Since most gang members have very limited resources (part of the reason they find gangs attractive in the first place), most gang members simply will not be able to afford them.”

    That logic sure worked out well.

    But there’s little doubt that illicit drugs in the United States are much more expensive than they would be if they were free. They’re just very cheap to begin with because they’re much easier to manufacture.

    Plus, the demand for them is much higher since they are consumable. And they’re easier to smuggle into the country and easier to sell on the streets without detection.

    To conclude, the principle still works even if the other factors make drugs and guns difficult to compare.

  46. I’ve been rethinking my position. Maybe the drug warriors and the gun-control people are right. What the United States needs to do–it’s a moral imperative–is to conquer every nation on Earth, then ban the production of all drugs and guns. Afterwards, there would be an end to crime and a beginning to an era of world peace, a Pax Americana if you will.

    I’ve joined you.

  47. Shelby: I guess my first post contained a typo – I meant to write that Jacob will not convince anybody with sense that the US is NOT a pretty dangerous place, etc.

    So actually I agree with Bill Pope.

  48. Pro,

    I have been telling people for years that the sollution to all of these problems is to just ban crime. If we would do that, then no one would ever commit a crime, since banning sometihng always stops it, and the world would be a wonderful place.

  49. I meant to write that Jacob will not convince anybody with sense that the US is NOT a pretty dangerous place

    Who, exactly, is disputing this?

  50. Isaac:

    Hooked was, but only by accident. From what I’ve seen I don’t think the US is any more dangerous than any of the first-world countries I’ve visited, though it depends on how much you drive more than anything else.

  51. Poland, Russia, etc. Countries which seem to be supplying the bulk of our immigrants.

    And don’t forget the murderous hordes flooding in from Kazakhstan!

  52. So, Hooked, what exactly do you propose to do to remove all guns?

    Will the police need to search every residence and business monthly or weekly? Obviously the searches would have to be done without notice, otherwise I’d just bring my guns to someone else’s house on my search days and vice versa.

  53. A colleague wanted to know what possible reason I could have for wanting to carry a weapon. Reply: “So when the Jew-haters come crashing into your synagogue, you aren’t going to make them pay a price? Are you one of those Jews who thought the Germans were giving you a train ride to a nice rural vacation retreat?” His response was that all the Jew-haters were going to be disarmed, too, and that he wouldn’t have to worry.

  54. From what I’ve seen I don’t think the US is any more dangerous than any of the first-world countries I’ve visited…

    I agree.

    Most of my point was that the world is a dangerous place and it is unlikely that it can be made zero-danger. And at a certain point you start to pay higher and higher prices for smaller and smaller gains.

  55. Its a goddamn good thing we have abortion on demand or a lot more kids might have died from senseless gun violence!

    Abortion on demand!

    It’s for the children you know!

  56. “Bringing suicide rates into this debate seems besides the point since homicide victims typically don’t consent to being killed.”

    Yes. Oddly enough, though, the Brady Campaign and VPC have made a habit of using suicide numbers to inflate their statistics.

  57. Father Time

    yup. All I had quickly available…

    /kicks stopwatch

  58. Well, if handguns were totally banned from the United States then they will be very difficult to get

    Taiwan has a non-gun murder rate higher than the US’s gun rate. Link.

    Maybe “Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting.”

  59. This is tangential to the discussion, but I must know the answer: Does any country still have dueling? Better yet, with swords?

    Just wondering.

  60. Who, exactly, is disputing this?

    I am. For the vast majority of people who live in the US, it is a very safe place. Most crime statistics are created in pretty confined geographic areas or subcultures.

    His response was that all the Jew-haters were going to be disarmed, too, and that he wouldn’t have to worry.

    What you call your “invincible ignorance”.

  61. You’re right RC.

    My question was badly worded.

    What I was trying to get at was why Trolly McTroll thought this was such a meaningful challenge.

  62. No, Hooked.

    The US is not particularly “a dangerous place”.

    Some very specific parts of the US – as RC Dean said – are dangerous, especially to people living there and caught up in local dangers (like gang membership and the drug trade).

  63. Well, if handguns were totally banned from the United States then they will be very difficult to get and also very expensive (on the black market).

    A black market 9mm handgun in Britain is cheaper than a comparable firearm at a Texas gun show. I guess people buy them in Texas, put them in the trunk of their car, and drive to London.

    Since most gang members have very limited resources (part of the reason they find gangs attractive in the first place), most gang members simply will not be able to afford them.

    Uh. Gangs run drugs. They have suitcases full of cash. They can import guns with the drugs.

  64. meant to write that Jacob will not convince anybody with sense that the US is NOT a pretty dangerous place, etc.

    Really?
    Uh, define “dangerous” for us please.

    Further, how many violent crimes have you been the victim of?

  65. Forgive me for an inappropriate use of this thread to address something else in the previous thread linked to by this thread (confrused yet? Good)

    This comment:

    This is from bradycampaign.org
    “In one year, firearms killed no children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada, and 5,285 in the United States”

    Is a fucking lie. Excuse my Anglo-Saxon.

    According to the CDC:

    2004, United States [latest year available on reporting tool]
    Violence-Related Firearm Deaths and Rates per 100,000
    All Races, Both Sexes, Ages 0 to 18

    Total: 1,900 Crude rate: 2.46

    If you adjust from “Violence-Related” (which bizarrely includes suicides) to “All-Intents” (which presumably includes accidents) we get:

    Total: 2045 Crude rate: 2.64

    Tool found here.

    The brady center just lost its caps privileges.

    Oh, fuck it. The brady campaign is down, allow me to kick them:

    In 2004, almost eight young people aged 19 and under were killed a day in gun homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings in the United States. Many more were wounded.

    We’ll just whistle past the issue that 8*365 = 2920. Pay no attention to the man behind the statistical reporting curtain over at brady[…].org

    CDC:

    2004, United States
    [Motor Vehicle] Traffic Deaths and Rates per 100,000
    All Races, Both Sexes, Ages 0 to 19

    Total: 7,278 Crude rate: 8.93

    Ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you, it is time…TIME to stop the carnage. We have GOT to get our nation’s children out of cars and off our roads. We simply must.

  66. Yes. Oddly enough, though, the Brady Campaign and VPC have made a habit of using suicide numbers to inflate their statistics.

    Oldest trick in the book.

  67. About that US/UK murder comparison. I was looking into something else a while back, but I believe at least part of the difference is indeed a matter of definition. The US via the FBI consolidated crime report (which has its own problems) reports ‘homicides’, i.e. the killing of humans or all deaths caused by another human, while the UK report apparently is a ‘murder’ report that reports ‘illegal homicide’ or only those deaths that qualify as a crime under the law.

    It looks as if the gun ‘murder’ rates between the two countries may be much closer than the cited data show.

  68. Anyone seen this piece by Walter Shapiro? He may be a gun-controller, but he’s my kind of gun-controller – he dispenses with all the dishonest rhetoric of 99.9% of gun-controllers and cuts right to the chase: Repeal the Second Amendment.

    He may not have brains, but he’s sure got cojones.

  69. Well, if handguns were totally banned from the United States then they will be very difficult to get and also very expensive (on the black market).

    There’s a word for that, and the word is “balls”.

    I live in a town of fewer than 15,000 people. There are three commercial machine shops here, one of which is a fully-equipped CNC operation capable of churning stuff out at a high rate. In addition, at least ten of the businesses here have machine shops as adjuncts to their normal operation, and the number of people with lathes and/or milling machines in their garages or basements probably tops a hundred.

    Any of those people could turn out firearms instead of what they presently do. Guns are low-tech, people. Back when they were resisting the British the Afghan tribesmen made repeating rifles using hand-files and chisels. An M1991A1 (“forty-five automatic”) pistol only has about twenty parts, none of them complex, and revolvers are even simpler. Put it this way: one out of every hundred of my fellow citizens possesses the means to make guns from scratch. How many such are there in New York?

    Banning guns is either wishful thinking or deliberate obfuscation. Reading the Brady Bunch’s output makes me assume the second more or less by default.

    Regards,
    Ric

  70. He may not have brains, but he’s sure got cojones.

    Joshua. I agree with your sentiment. I have always felt that if you’re going to argue for gun control, dispense with the statistics and keep it emotional.

    As for the second amendment specifically, Shapiro may not be as off-base as I might accuse. For instance, we’ve pretty much implicitly repealed the fourth and fifth amendments, and with Campaign Finance Reform, hobbled the first.

  71. re: banning drugs and banning guns

    I’m not the first person to point this out, but

    (1) Illegal drugs (including alcohol during Prohibition) are consumed. That means they need to be replaced.

    (2) A banned firearm only needs to be obtained once. Properly cared for, it will last decades, maybe longer. The Model 1911 is approaching its 100th birthday — and I personally know of at least one 1920s production specimen that works just fine.

  72. Since it is illegal in Mexico to even own a gun, it is no suprise that criminals have gone into kidnapping.

    Not quite. One of my friends from Mexico inherited over 3,000 mostly-antique guns from his father, who died in Mexico City.

    As with many criminals and gangs in Mexico, who often use machine guns and such in robberies, he also owned lots of guns which (apparently) violated the laws mentioned in the Wiki article below, including a functional WWII howitzer, a custom-made 90 cal. semi-auto pistol (a 2X scaled-up 45 w/custom ammo: use both hands) and a Spanish ship’s cannon. But he was quite wealthy and was also buddies with the high mucky-mucks, both of which make a *lot* of difference there, since the laws are pretty, um, “flexible.”

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

  73. Hooked:

    Yo mama’s so fat, when she sits around the house, she sits around the house.

  74. Oh, snap!

  75. It’s been a few decades, but I remember a discussion in college about suicide rates with a classmate who had spent time growing up in Japan. He said that some deaths we listed as “murder and suicide,” a family member killing other family members and then themselves, would have all the deaths listed as suicides. If this is indeed the case, then the much higher Japanese suicide rate includes a goodly number of murders. Does anyone know if this is indeed the case?

  76. “…Method of suicide is also relevant as attempts with a gun are more likely to succeed than with other methods.”

    Sorry; stepping off a 20-story building is the most effective method of suicide known. A lot of suicide ATTEMPTS are cries for help, including a lot of those involving guns, but suicide by gravity doesn’t allow for changing your mind at the last second.

  77. “Any of those people could turn out firearms instead of what they presently do. Guns are low-tech, people. Back when they were resisting the British the Afghan tribesmen made repeating rifles using hand-files and chisels.”

    They still do. In Pakistan there’s a town, Dara Adam Khel, where nearly everyone is in the business of making small arms. The methods are primitive, but effective nonetheless.

    When you look at the US, and realize the number of engineers, mechanics, and machinists, as well as all of the equipment that’s out there, I have no doubt that even in the face of a complete ban, an entire underground industry would spring up within about a week and a half.

    Also consider that there are many CAD and G-Code files out there that can be used to feed a CNC machine, and I would be completely unsurprised to see untraceable, high-quality firearms being manufactured en mass.

    Banning guns would be no more effective than banning iPods.

  78. Isildur stole my comment (just like he stole the One Ring). /geekout

    Isildur didn’t steal the ring, he won it fair and square after cutting off Sauron’s finger.

    Anyone who does that deserves whatever spoils he gets.

    Now as for those thieving Bagginses….

  79. And the US is also surpassed by Poland, Russia, etc. Countries which seem to be supplying the bulk of our immigrants. It’s quite possible that the US muder rate is being skewed by immigrants from countries where murder is more common.

    Eastern Europe isn’t supplying the “bulk” of our immigrants; you have to look south of the border for that.

    But the idea that ethnicity is related to homicide in the US is quite accurate. For example, a disproportionate number of homicide victims in Utah are Hispanics. If you take them out of the picture you find that Utahs of European descent have homicide rates roughly equal to those of their British and Scandinavian cousins.

  80. They still do. In Pakistan there’s a town, Dara Adam Khel, where nearly everyone is in the business of making small arms. The methods are primitive, but effective nonetheless.”

    the otherwise worthless dvd “the vice guide to travel” has a fascinating piece on the people there who =hand make 9mm handguns and various kinds of rifles. it’s pretty insane what they have there, like a bullet-ridden fleamarket.

  81. Here are a few plans for making automatic and silenced pistols from what are basically plumbing parts.

  82. Also consider that there are many CAD and G-Code files out there that can be used to feed a CNC machine, and I would be completely unsurprised to see untraceable, high-quality firearms being manufactured en mass.

    Keep in mind that a significant number (probably a majority) of gun banners believe that they can control every aspect of social and economic life. So in their perfect world lathes and milling machines and CAD/CAM hardware and software would only be available for the useful and beneficial purposes they decreed.

    I recall hearing Karl Hess talk some years ago. He told of being invited to some confab of “thinkers”. The people there were overwhelming “liberal” and had all kinds of plans to make everyone’s life better.

    In the course of his conversations with thes people Hess discovered that they were almost completely ignorant of how things worked. Not one could accurately describe how electricity got to a wall socket or how potable water got to a faucet*. Most had no clue about large numbers of occupations whereby “ordinary” people made their livings. And yet almost all of them were extremely influential in setting public policy.

    These are the type of people who form the leadership of the gun-control mob.

    *Mind you, I suppose one could accuse Karl of being something of a reverse snob. But he didn’t really expect people to know everything, he just wondered about those who had absolutely no curiosity about how things went together.

    The first time I met Karl Hess I said something lame like “you’ve been a hero of mine for long time”. He smiled and replied “You’ll get better”.

  83. “In the course of his conversations with thes people Hess discovered that they were almost completely ignorant of how things worked.”

    I’ve long held the belief that your average academic, policymaker, and/or politician isn’t fit to man the drive-through window at a Taco Bell, let alone monkey with an entire country.

  84. 1. before we blame ‘society’ or some virus propagated via Playstation, let’s pause and remamber that Evil has -always- stalked humanity, and always will.

    2. Last I checked, several yrs ago, criminal death rates in developed nations weren’t all that far apart, high teens to low 20s per 100,000 pop. Murders occupied a higher proportion in America, with suicides very high in Japan and Britain. Gun restrictions in Britain reduced gun suicides, but other forms increased commensurately, notably poisonings and what the Brits quaintly call ‘leapings.’

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.