Guns Make Homes Safer, Say a Record High Percentage In U.S.

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After Washington state voters passed an initiative imposing background checks on people willing to subject even their private and largely untraceable transaction to goverment scrutiny, opponents of self-defense rights proclaimed that they've found a new path into the future. Hayley Zachary, the executive director of of Americans for Responsible Solutions, announced that the voters of Washington "did what our country's leaders in Washington, D.C. have not had the courage to do."

Nevermind that Alabama voters went the other way, and amended their state constitution to shield gun rights from easy restriction. That, apparently, isn't a courageous voter move at all.

But the brave new world of voter-empowered gun control faces another hurdle that reaches beyond the boundaries of the Cotton State. It turns out that growing numbers of Americans believe having guns in their homes makes them safer, while declining numbers consider the practice dangerous. The cultural shift has been ongoing for years, and across partisan divides.

In 2014, reports Gallup, 63 percent of Americans consider having guns at home to make them safer, compared to 35 percent in 2000. Only 30 percent say that makes their homes more dangerous, down from 51 percent in 2000. Republicans have seen the greatest increase in support for the idea that guns make you safer, from 44 percent to 81 percent. But Independents increased their support for that idea from 35 percent to 64 percent. Democratic support rose from 28 percent to 41 percent.

Gun controllers may win an occasional ballot box victory imposing some restrictions on gun ownership, but Americans' opinions of what constitute "responsible solutions" when it comes to firearms aren't moving in their direction.

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  1. Suck it children!

    1. No, you just need to re-introduce firearms safety instruction for minors. That will be much more effective at cutting down on accidents.

      1. My kids, particularly the boy shot until they were bored with it.

      2. I can’t find any numbers now, but I remember reading some stats somewhere that alleged that a large number of accidental kid deaths were caused not by the kids who lived in a home with a gun, but by the next door kid who came over and “played” with the gun.

        The assertion was that the neighbor kids had never been taught basic firearm safety stuff and ended up killing himself or his friend.

        Like I said it was a long time ago that I remember that from and I have no idea now if it was from a reputable source, but I liked the thinking.

  2. Gallup must have gone out of its way to exclude from the poll the 90% of Americans who favor a national gun database.

    1. That’s down from 99% already?

      1. You mean I got to be in the 1% of something and they took it away from me? (even if it was a propaganda stat with no basis in reality)

    2. Depends on what’s in the database. If it’s about the mechanical characteristics of the various firearms and their known flaws… oh wait, you meant a registry database.

      1. *firearm models in my sarcastic opener, not individual weapons.

        1. I could see some merit to a database of individual weapons, provided there was no information about location or ownership.

          Gunfax, basically.

          1. S/N 337188AE got run over by a tractor and had it’s barrel and gas pistol replaced in 2007. Casing still cracked from the incident.

          2. “Gunfax” would make me so much more confident about my Gunbroker purchases. As opposed to the vague “85% condition.”

            1. How would they get the data? I have the same question about carfax, how do they know what’s being reported is accurate?

              1. You know, I have absolutely no idea. I guess I always assumed that with Carfax, insurance companies maybe submitted data based off of accident claims. That may be wrong but even if it isn’t there doesn’t seem to be an analog for guns. Unless gunsmiths were reporting gun conditions which would have to be attached to some identifier like the serial number.

                Maybe I’m just better off with “85% condition.”

                1. When I bought my BMW from a local dealer it came with a “clean” Carfax. I asked the seller if it was actually meaningful.

                  He sort of shrugged and said that BMW – specifically many of the dealers – don’t update Carfax. So getting a clean bill of health from them isn’t necessarily a sign that you’re getting a good car.

                  Carfax did, however, show a different BMW that I was looking at – an X3 – was involved in an accident that resulted in frame/unibody damage. Once I was aware of that I could suddenly see how the paint on the doors didn’t quite match the color of the quarter panels. Needless to say I walked away from that vehicle.

  3. opponents of self-defense rights

    Props on getting this one right. Self-defense is one of the very few baseline human rights. Denying people the means of effective self-defense is an infringement on this right.

    Gun rightsers would be well advised to cast their arguments in terms of the right to self-defense, rather than the right to own and use inanimate objects.

    1. Speaking of self-defense infringement:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-30020025

      how’s that disarmament going for you, UK?

      1. Random pole in one hand, 1911-.45 ACP in the other. (weighing utility in posited scenario)

        (done weighing utility in posited scenario faster than this entry could be typed)

      2. Proof that gun laws work because now people just use machetes?

    2. Gun rightsers would be well advised to cast their arguments in terms of the right to self-defense, rather than the right to own and use inanimate objects.

      The argument they have seems to be working pretty well and since the opposition (against self-defense or inanimate objects) is stupid and irrational, it’s likely one line of reason is no better than another.

      1. This is a very good point. It will quickly lead to an analysis of the efficacy of gun ownership as a self-defense strategy vs other strategies.

  4. This school bus driver should be shot.

    http://www.nbc4i.com/story/273…..us-beating

    1. I have no iidea why he’s not in jail right now

      1. The bus driver, 48-year-old Christopher Litostansky, has been charged with assault, endangering children and unlawful restraint. He is accused of tying down the legs of a special needs student with a strap to prevent him from kicking another student. According to police, the student had been diagnosed with a severe form of autism.

        It is a good bet he is going there. Good luck before a judge or jury that convicts you of assaulting an autistic 6 year old.

        1. And that’s not even this case where he pokes a little girl in the face with a umbrella and then touches her inappropriately.

          1. “The video shows the drive poking the girl in the face eight times with an umbrella, according to her parents. The parents said the driver then allegedly tried to comfort the girl by inappropriately touching and kissing her.”

    2. I don’t know, he sounds like he’d fit right in as part of the police department. He’s just in the wrong job.

  5. This is a pretty astonishing shift. If it wasn’t Gallup, I’d question the poll, but AFAIK they are as good as polling gets. The bad news for progressives just keeps rolling in.

    1. I don’t know. Even though it is Gallup, it still doesn’t pass my smell test. These numbers are very different with no obvious cause.

      1. Maybe. But just an informal survey of the regulars (across a spectrum of political leanings) at my local bar reveals that a lot of people like and own guns.

      2. These numbers are very different with no obvious cause.

        No obvious difference between 2000 and 2014?

        No, not 9/11, silly. Not the terrorist bogeyman we’ve been told is hiding in every closet and under every bed, that’s not what we’re trying to defend ourselves against.

        There’s a Negro in the White House, we gots to protects our wimmenfolks and chilluns against uppity Negroes. That’s why all the Republicans (and those nutjob teabagging right-wing extremist conservative libertarians, of course) feel safer with guns in the house.

        I have no idea why the libs have started liking guns more – I’m going with the idea that they are all latent homosexuals attracted to the clear phallic symbolism of a firearm. Anybody done a study to see if the typical Al Franken voter prefers a long barrel and a big gauge on a smooth-bore?

    2. The bad news for progressives just keeps rolling in.

      then why does my ass hurt?

    3. The bad news for progressives just keeps rolling in.

      then why does my ass hurt?

  6. Like global warming that came after it, gun control was nothing but a leftist hoax that was destined to eventually be completely discredited with the public. As bad as these numbers look, remember they are this bad even though the mass culture and the media has spent 40 years doing everything they can to brainwash the public into voluntarily disarming itself. Imagine how much worse they would be if the media gave anything approaching fair coverage of the issue.

    1. It’s amazing when you realize the propaganda poured into various prog causes and they still aren’t popular. Who would have thought that anti-human-nature policies were super unpopular?

      The whole anti-gun movement has always amazed me, though. “Remove an amazingly simple way of defending yourself for animistic reasons that would have been laughed out of the room for 99.9% of human history.” It still blows my mind when I think about it.

      1. “Remove an amazingly simple way of defending yourself for animistic reasons that would have been laughed out of the room for 99.9% of human history.”

        Actually, peasant disarmamant has a long and storied history. Sort of like slavery. It’s all about who you’re suggesting be rendered vulnerable.

        1. Yes it does. Indeed, the availability of firearms is one of the things that made real old school occupation and enslavement of entire populations impossible for all but the most powerful and determined nations. Before firearms, civilians stood no chance whatsoever against a force of well armed and trained soldiers. They just had no way to harm them. Thing of it this way, the Mongols never got on their horses and swept across Asia and Europe after the invention of the firearm. The days of rolling into a city and killing all of the men and enslaving the women and children with no worries of getting killed were over.

          1. And as the Boxer Rebellion showed, it doesn’t matter how good you are in the Octagon when the other guy has a firearm.

      2. Of all of the prog irrationalities the gun control one puzzles me the most. I think the real hard core left understands that an armed populace prevents them from using the mob to terrorize their opponents and thus supports gun control for rational albeit awful reasons. But the rest of them actually believe in it.

        It is one thing to conclude that you don’t want the moral responsibility of killing someone even in self defense and thus choose not to own a gun. That is a perfectly rational choice. It is quite another to think that everyone else should be deprived of the ability to defend themselves in some vain hope criminals will follow the gun laws. And do so when also claiming to care most about women and small and sadly often disposed minorities like the gays. These people wake up every day utterly convinced that every woman lives in constant danger of being raped, every black person in constant danger of being lynched, and very gay person in constant danger of being gay bashed by a mob of drunk frat boys. Yet, they fervently believe everyone should be disarmed. I can’t even attempt to try and unwind how someone can think like that.

        1. It is one thing to conclude that you don’t want the moral responsibility of killing someone even in self defense and thus choose not to own a gun. That is a perfectly rational choice.

          We’re talking about leftists here. If that’s their own personal choice, then that choice must be forced onto everyone else by government or else it isn’t fair.

        2. Of all of the prog irrationalities the gun control one puzzles me the most.

          I don’t see why. The idea is that self-defense against guns becomes a non-issues after you drop the ban-hammer. And they’ll consistently point to other countries which have dropped the ban-hammer to make their case.

          Remember, their core belief is that you should only utilize self-defense if your attacker is within one foot of you. Otherwise, you are beholden to turn over the responsibility of defense to the authorities.

          1. I know what they think. I just can’t believe even they are that fucking stupid and irrational.

            1. They don’t think, John. The emote. No thinking involved.

            2. I just can’t believe even they are that fucking stupid and irrational.

              At the risk of getting my brains bashed in. I’m beginning to get it. Not that I would advocate for gun control, but I see plenty of people around here who agree with the notion that the police are justified in firing 80 rounds to kill a crazy homeless guy with a replica. Stating that if a crazy guy started waiving a replica in their presence, they’d squeeze off 2-3 dozen rounds as well.

              While I don’t agree with control in the slightest, I don’t think the society (LEOs or otherwise) that empties three magazines at the first sign of a “threat” is that great an alternative.

              1. Of course society doesn’t do that. Show me any actual cases where private parties act like the police.

                The police doing that is a result of them acting with the complete certainty that they can kill anyone for any reason and will never be held accountable for it. Non cops don’t have the luxury and thus act more responsibly.

              2. LEOs or otherwise

                Law enforcement officers are not society. They are government. Unlike society, they are empowered to use violence without any worry of facing any consequences for their actions.

                People on the left confuse government and society, so I can see how they would make that mistake.

                1. Of course society doesn’t do that. Show me any actual cases where private parties act like the police.

                  Your argument is that civilians never discharge weapons, panic fire, or even stab each other gratuitously? Seriously?

                  While I think police culture ingratiates officers with the liberty of ‘spray and pray’ without consequence I don’t think the practice or notion of ‘spray and pray’ originated with or is solely beholden by the state. I think many who are officers, were exposed to a spray and pray practice well before they were able to dawn a uniform, possibly even drive.

                  At least, I know plenty of people who love to squeeze the trigger and watch stuff explode for whom the fact that they have to get special licensure or hold special distinction in society is secondary.

                  1. Your argument is that civilians never discharge weapons, panic fire, or even stab each other gratuitously? Seriously?

                    No. My argument is people who are not lunatics running from the police don’t do such things. Lunatics have been known to run their cars into sidewalks full of people. Yet, no one views this fact as some kind of justification for banning cars. Yet your argument is that because some lunatic fired 75 rounds at the police there is any danger of 99.99% of other gun owners doing the same and that that danger makes banning guns a rational position? Seriously?

                    The argument that legal gun ownership creates a danger of otherwise law abiding people firing off weapons at each other over perceived dangers is fantasy.

                    1. The argument that legal gun ownership creates a danger of otherwise law abiding people firing off weapons at each other over perceived dangers is fantasy.

                      And the notion that increasing gun ownership (relative or absolutely), in no way possibly increases that danger is irrational.

                      This is what was widely bantered about in the ‘open carry’ forums. At some point(s), owning/displaying/using firearms passes from making a statement, to displaying force, to violating the NAP. Acting like it can’t possibly be so ever (or that you can’t fathom it) is just as irrationally dogmatic as believing guns are inherently evil.

                      It smacks of the progressive practice of simply regarding your opponents as sub-human retards who simply can’t possibly be right, on principle.

                      Between noise violations, assault, and endangerment I could conceive of a crime of discharging 50+ rounds, per person, with absolutely no reason as effectively or practically being regarded as illegal gun ownership. I wouldn’t describe it as policy, but certainly could conceive of policy as jiving with my notions. You might chalk it up as behaving erratically and call the person a lunatic when the police show up and shoot/arrest him, but the outcome of having controlled someone’s use of a gun is effectively the same.

          2. I don’t see why. The idea is that self-defense against guns becomes a non-issues after you drop the ban-hammer. And they’ll consistently point to other countries which have dropped the ban-hammer to make their case.

            And when they do they outright lie about the results.

        3. I don’t own a gun… never have and probably won’t unless the world goes to hell in a handbasket. I’ve shot a few pistols and rifles in my time, but as a hobby it just doesn’t do anything for me.

          But I don’t deny the right for others to have/use them. And I prefer living in an armed society.

          1. Like I said there is nothing irrational about choosing not to own a gun. Hell, there is nothing irrational about being a full on pacifist.

          2. There’s a side benefit to other people having guns – the criminals might think you have one, too.

          3. I don’t own a gun… never have and probably won’t unless the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

            By the way, then it’ll be too late. I’m not trying to say you should run out and get one now– that’s your choice.

            But it doesn’t work like that. When the world goes to shit, you literally won’t be able to find a gun.

            1. It wouldn’t hurt to pick up a tactical shotgun and some 00. Just sayin’.

            2. When the world goes to shit, you literally won’t be able to find a gun.

              I politely disagree. One might consider the very definition of the world going to shit as being an overabundance of guns and ammunition (not to mention cars, computers, hiding spots, etc.) relative to the population.

              Owning a gun shop and being stocked with supplies is no consolation if the front of the store says “Gun Shop” and you’re the only one at the post when the shit goes down.

          4. It is like vaccines. If enough of the population takes advantage of it, you get a lot of benefits even if you don’t partake yourself.

            For vaccines, the more people who are vaccinated means less people who could potentially transmit the disease to you. In the case of guns, the more people who carry, the less likely that a criminal will feel safe in attacking you because they don’t know if you are armed or not.

        4. “I can’t even attempt to try and unwind how someone can think like that.”

          You already did.

          “I think the real hard core left understands that an armed populace prevents them from using the mob to terrorize their opponents and thus supports gun control for rational albeit awful reasons.”

          Gun control is about control. Nothing else.

      3. “Remove an amazingly simple way of defending yourself for animistic reasons that would have been laughed out of the room for 99.9% of human history.”

        It hasn’t been laughed out of the room for 99% of human history. Tyrants throughout 99% of history have relished the idea of disarming the people they rule over.

      4. It’s amazing when you realize the propaganda poured into various prog causes and they still aren’t popular. Who would have thought that anti-human-nature policies were super unpopular?

        It works pretty damned well on Eurotrash.

    2. Intertoobz happened. That’s why they must be regulated.

      /Der Fuhrer

  7. Those numbers are all great, but that fucking initiative still passed here in Washington. God damn it that pisses me off.

    1. Did you see the earlier article about the upcoming protest/civil disobedience event?

      1. I did not. Now I’d better go look.

  8. A Record High Percentage

    Relative to what? 2000? 1980? 1940? 1840? 1790?

    That’s a BS headline.

    1. In 1790, it wasn’t a matter of ‘safer’ it was just another tool in the shed.

  9. Just for the record, people should be free to choose to have a gun in their homes regardless of whether it actually makes them safer.

    1. Agreed.

    2. Yeah. And simply looking at how gun ownership correlates with gun related injuries ignores many important factors and is pretty useless in judging the benefits of owning a gun.

  10. people should be free to choose to have a gun in their homes regardless of whether it actually makes them safer.

    Exactly.

    I don’t like the idea of using arguments which piggyback off the Total Paranoia State mentality. The likelihood of using one of my pistols (assuming I could even get to it in time) in self defense is infinitesimal, but I have them because I want them, and that’s all the reason I need.

    1. I think it is more than infinitesimal unless you keep them locked in a safe.

      If you are the victim of a coordinated armed home invasion, you might have a hard time getting to your weapon. But most home invasions are not like that and most criminals don’t have their shit together.

      A large number of home invasions don’t involve guns. The criminals walk in at night and get a knife out of the kitchen. No kidding. If the people in the house are not armed, a knife works fine.

      If someone kicks in your door during normal hours and you are say downstairs in your bedroom, the best solution is to run. Chances are they will be too surprised and not have the balls to try and shoot you and even if they do they are likely to miss. And unless you live in the country, once you hit the side or the back door they are fucked as you run to your neighbors for help with the police soon to follow. Even if they shoot you, you can take the bullet at least knowing they just alerted the neighborhood and are fucked as people come out to see what is going on and call the cops.

      If you have an upstairs bedroom with no access to easy exit, a loaded weapon near your bed could come in very handy. If you have a dog or an alarm, you will hear someone break in. At that point, you can call the cops and wait with your weapon crouched behind the bed for cover. I don’t care how bad they are or thing they are, you will likely blow their head off before they can harm you if they walk through the door.

      1. Don’t ever call the cops. Ever.

        1. If someone breaks into my house, I am calling the cops. If he runs off, I have let a criminal lose on my neighbors. If I shoot him, what exactly am I supposed to do with the body? And if I don’t call the cops, how do I then explain it if that fact is ever discovered?

          You don’t call the cops unless you have no other choice. And someone breaking into your home is one of those times.

      2. If you super carry, then you will always have access to a firearm.

        I used to live in a upper middle class neighborhood about two miles from a police station. The response time for two false alarm calls was 15 minutes and 14 minutes.

        And don’t call police if you own a dog that you like.

  11. I am glad people feel this way, but it has no bearing on my arming myself. I will not disarm under any circumstances.

  12. It turns out that growing numbers of Americans believe having guns in their homes makes them safer, while declining numbers consider the practice dangerous. The cultural shift has been ongoing for years, and across partisan divides.

    Then why does my ass hurt?

  13. A Record High Percentage In U.S. Say Guns Make Homes Safer

    63% of people hate children.

    1. We are making a similar point.

      57% of Americans believe in psychics.

  14. It is too vague a statement. I am a combat veteran, and a supporter of the 2nd amendment, and I would not say that “guns make homes safer”. Unsecured guns do not make anyone safer. Guns in a home where people who do not practice gun safety scare me to death. In my home, the main worry is not about the actions of my kids, it is about other kids visiting my home. that is why the guns are in a vault, and the ammo is locked somewhere else.

  15. Although I don’t always see eye-to-eye with libertarians, I am usually impressed with the thought processes involved in producing theses like these, and I almost always learn something. Seeking disconfirmation is one of the best ways to make sure that your thought processes remain accurate.

    I am disappointed with this article, however. I realize that the authors are not exactly committing the fallacy of argument from authority / argument from popularity, but just looking at some of the other comments shows that they have come too close to that line.

    Imagine these headlines:

    Autism caused by vaccines, say a record high percentage of Americans.

    Saddam Hussein ready to use weapons of mass destructions, say a majority of voters.

    Most Americans believe that the gap in the fossil record casts doubt on Darwin’s theory of evolution as the only reasonable explanation for human life.

    Nuclear power expensive, inefficient and dangerous: the majority view.

    These statements don’t explicitly make claims based on spurious evidence, but they are designed influence belief. When we think rationally about complex issues, we understand that there may be a host of contributing and mediating factors involved, but that none of these factors is likely to be “how Americans feel about the issue.”

    1. In particular, the bias to which we are falling prey here is the bias of the availability heuristic. We can see how having a gun in the home can protect us from intruders. Cases of home invasions and shootings are widely reported. Cases of accidental discharge may be mentioned in the media, but very little time is spent on them. Therefore, they seem far less relevant.

      I am not proposing a solution here. A quick google search reveals a ton of data: unintentional injuries and fatalities vs intentional. Homicides, suicides, “legal interventions”. It would be very difficult to determine the crime that is deterred (ie never happens) because law abiding citizens carry weapons.

      Given the fact that there are criminals in our midst who would never voluntarily relinquish their guns, some deterrent inevitably takes place. And given the fact that some harmful undesirable shootings take place because of the availability of guns, there probably exists an optimal level of arms which is neither zero, nor 100% of the populace. Figuring out where that is can be a goal of rational debate and evaluation of evidence. It is not helped by hyperbole and logical fallacy.

    2. If you are looking to learn, check out the FBi violent crime statistics by state: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cj…..e_2013.xls

      Then compare against how easy it is to obtain a CCW permit in each of the states:
      http://www.buckeyefirearms.org…..ted-states

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