History

Gun Control Puts Your Life at Risk

In the 20th century, far more people were murdered by genocidal governments than by armed criminals.

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According to gun prohibitionists, Europe is much safer than the United States, because Europe has stricter gun control. In fact, the historical record shows that excessive gun control (as in Europe) is about a hundred times more deadly than "insufficient" gun control (as, supposedly, in the U.S.). While a lone criminal with a gun can be very dangerous, a criminal government with a disarmed population is the deadliest thing on Earth.

Let's start with the data. If U.S. gun homicide rates had been as low as European rates in the 20th century, how many lives might have been saved? According to a 2018 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in 1990—a bad year for violent crime in the United States—the age-adjusted U.S. firearms homicide rate was 5.57 per 100,000 population. That same year, the rate in Western Europe was 0.53 and the rate in Eastern Europe was 1.31, giving us a European average of 0.92.

The difference between the European rate and the American rate is 4.65 per 100,000. Since the U.S. population in 1990 was nearly 249 million, these data indicate that the U.S. had 11,785 more firearms homicides that year than it would have had if the rate had been as low as it was in Europe. If we apply the estimate of 4.65 additional gun homicides per 100,000 population to every year of the 20th century, taking into account changes in the U.S. population, we find that the United States had 745,162 more firearms homicides than it would have had under the European average.

For the sake of argument, we'll assume that every excess American gun homicide would not have been a homicide if the United States had adopted European-style gun control. That is, we'll assume that other lethal means would not have been substituted for firearms. We also won't consider that many American gun homicides are justifiable self-defense. In other words, when a would-be killer is shot by a law enforcement officer or a citizen, we'll consider the criminal's death to be just as bad as the death of an innocent victim.

Finally, we'll ignore the extensive evidence that nonfatal defensive firearm use often prevents homicides and other crimes.

With the above assumptions, the failure to adopt European-style gun control would be responsible for almost three-quarters of a million excess deaths in the United States in the last century. That is a very large number. It is, however, two orders of magnitude smaller than the number of Europeans killed by governments during the same period.

International homicide statistics usually only count murders by individuals or small groups. A serial killer may murder two dozen people over the course of many years. A mass shooter may murder dozens at once. Those who use explosives or arson sometimes kill even more. But even in the aggregate, individual criminals or criminal gangs perpetrate vastly less homicide than do criminal governments.

In Europe in the 20th century, governments killed about 87.1 million victims, according to research by the late University of Hawaii political scientist R.J. Rummel. That figure does not include combat deaths, such as in World War I or II. It includes only the murder of civilians, from 61.9 million killed by the Soviet Union to 20.9 million killed by Germany. Over the long run, one's risk of being murdered is much lower in the United States than in Europe. It's no surprise that migration between the two has always been very heavily in one direction!

I am alive to write this article because my Jewish German and Lithuanian ancestors migrated to the United States in the 19th century. By doing so, they increased their risk of being shot by an individual criminal but drastically reduced their risk of being murdered by a criminal government. As we all well know, those risks did materialize in Germany (under the Nazis and the Communists) and in Lithuania (under the czars, the Nazis, and the Communists). Because governments are so much more effective at killing than are individual criminals—even looking at all individual criminals combined—the United States was much safer than Europe in the 20th century.

Rummel found that the less free the government, the more likely it is to perpetrate domestic mass murder. Totalitarian regimes perpetrate by far the most; authoritarian regimes less so; and democratic ones least of all. Indeed, no democratic government has committed large-scale murder against a population that was able to vote.

If you could be sure that a given government would forever be democratic, there would be no need for arms to resist a possible domestic dictatorship. Unfortunately, certainty on that score is impossible. The list of nations to have maintained both independence and free government at all times since 1900 is short: Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. That's just seven nations out of 196 worldwide.

Only a foolish version of American exceptionalism would imagine that the United States has been granted permanent immunity from the dangers of tyranny. Democracy was founded in Greece, yet that country has succumbed to dictatorship many times. Germany in 1900 was a progressive democracy and one of the most tolerant places in the world for Jews; a lot can change in a few decades.

According to gun prohibitionists, armed victims cannot meaningfully resist a murderous dictatorship with weapons of war at its disposal. The dictators who do the murdering think just the opposite.

In 1942, Adolf Hitler explained the necessity of disarming his victims: "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjugated races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjugated races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police."

Tyrants past and present have come from virtually every continent and ethnic background. Their ideologies have varied, but they are united by a number of common practices. They do not allow freedom of the press or an independent court system. They attempt to bring religion under state control. And they claim for themselves a monopoly of force. Search the history of the world, from ancient times to the present, and you will not find many tyrants who deviated from the principle that the state must be stronger than the people.

Mass shootings by criminal governments occur predominantly in gun-free zones—places where the population has been disarmed. As soon as the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union began on June 22, 1941, special S.S. units called Einsatzgruppen began assembling all the Jews or Gypsies from a village and marching them out of town. The victims could then be easily machine-gunned at once. Within a year, just 3,000 Einsatzgruppen, aided by a few thousand helpers from the German police and military, had murdered about 1 million people.

Regime change is difficult once a tyrant has taken power, as today's China and Cuba illustrate. So as an anti-tyranny tool, widespread citizen arms ownership works most effectively when it deters tyranny in the first place. Among the reasons there was no Holocaust in Switzerland was that the people there were heavily armed and organized in a very well-regulated militia. The German military almost certainly could have conquered its uncooperative neighbor to the south. Yet because of the costs that the Swiss militia would inflict on the Wehrmacht, Hitler never had the nerve to mount an invasion.

Even after mass murders have already begun, victims who obtain guns can save lives. During the Holocaust, armed Jews caused the Nazis much trouble—in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during Passover 1943 as well as in many lesser-known actions. The Nazi extermination camps of Sobibor and Treblinka were shut down forever because prisoners stole guns from the guards and led mass revolts. The Bielski commando unit in the forests of Belarus grew to 149 armed fighters and saved a thousand more Jews.

During World War I, when the government of the Ottoman Empire began murdering Christians, hundreds of thousands of lives were saved by armed resistance—which relied on guns that the Christians had secreted in defiance of confiscation orders.

"The gun has been called the great equalizer, meaning that a small person with a gun is equal to a large person," observed then–California Gov. Ronald Reagan in a 1975 article for Guns and Ammo, "but it is a great equalizer in another way, too. It ensures that the people are the equal of their government whenever that government forgets that it is servant and not master of the governed."

As the last century demonstrates, the short-term risks of a well-armed civilian population are far less than the long-term risks of a government that is stronger than the people.

 

NEXT: Brickbat: A Modern Marcel Duchamp

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  2. None of this will matter to the Democrats when they stack the court.

      1. They love fucking science.

        1. “Science “

          1. “The Science”

            1. Political Science

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            2. The Science!

              1. She blinded me with science.

                1. weird science?

                  1. SCIENCE

                    Social Causes Influence Every Nuance to Control the Electorate

                    1. Automatic assault weapons with sciencelers!

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                2. Science of the lambs.

    1. The Roundup is up now. You can move morning CACLL group therapy over there.

      1. Oh, is that where you are focusing your trolling this morning? You just jumped in to shit on this thread while screaming “LOOK AT MEEEEEE!”

        Even notice that the lefty trolls have all this intimate knowledge about therapies and medications for the mentally ill. Pretty obvious why.

        1. Sure, this morning’s little round of our resident CACLLs saying good morning to each other by bitching about Democrats really added something to the comments on this blog post that was about gun rights.

          Sorry, I interrupted this high-value ritual.

          1. Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders (CACLL)

            WTF are you going on about?

            1. Conservative and conservative-leaning libertarian

              I’ve gotten complaints that it is mean of me to use terms like Trump apologist or Trump fan, so I am trying to evolve to use a fair, yet non-evocative description. But I get tired of writing it out all the time.

      2. Thought there was a class action ruling against Roundup…

    2. Democrats don’t care because they believe anything done by the government is ok and the right thing to do. There are some now claiming if China had not killed the millions during the cultural revolution far more would have died otherwise so it was okay, it was a necessary means to an end

    3. “None of this will matter to the Demos…”?? Or, anyone who supports the tyranny of the mob, i.e., democracy. Do you vote, i.e., forfeit your sovereignty to rulers? Do you put “majority rule” before rights? Both these political means violate rights. Both value force before reason.
      I, a voluntaryist, value reason, rights, choice, as political paradigm.
      Therefore, I boycott coercive govt., e.g., the US Empire, the United Socialist States of America. This is treason. I make the most of it.

  3. “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    1. “Those about to die…will no go quietly.”

    2. After the Nazis invaded, the Soviets were heavily armed and still didn’t make any moves to overthrow their communistic government. Hitler gambled that the government would collapse, but instead it held firm, despite the widespread presence of arms in the society.

      1. No. Wrong as usual. Thousands of Ukrainian partisans welcomed Hitler, helped get rid of the Communist commissars, thinking their assistance would be welcomed. Hitler wanted nothing to do with armed peasants, slaughtered them especially.

        Stalin returned the favor later, murdering the partisans who had fought against the Nazis, because he too wanted nothing to do with armed peasants.

        1. ” Thousands of Ukrainian partisans welcomed Hitler, helped get rid of the Communist commissars, thinking their assistance would be welcomed. ”

          It wasn’t enough. The Russians of Moscow and Leningrad were armed and fought like hellcats. Against the Germans, though, which doomed Hitler’s plans.

          1. Before the Russian soldiers of Moscow and Leningrad were armed (soldiers usually are) and fought like hellcats (if they didn’t. the armed commissars (and they usually are armed) would have shot them), the armed Ukrainian peasants fought to help the Germans get rid of the Russian occupiers.

            You keep forgetting that, how convenient. You keep steering things back to what the Soviet army did. This conversation is entirely about armed peasants fighting governments, not about government soldiers fighting government soldiers.

            1. “the armed Ukrainian peasants fought to help the Germans get rid of the Russian occupiers.”

              Not enough. Hitler was counting on a collapse of the regime which never came. Russians volunteered by the millions to defend against the Nazis.

              1. You continue to try steering the conversation back to armed soldiers fighting armed soldiers. Not working.

                1. “You continue to try steering the conversation back to armed soldiers fighting armed soldiers. ”

                  You are misunderstanding. I’m talking about armed Russians not fighting their communist government.

                  1. A few armed Russians who choose not to fight their communist government have no relevance to a discussion about unarmed peasants who are unable to fight against their government.

                    1. The Russians were able to fight their government. Some did. Most chose not to. In fact, Hitler was counting on the regime to collapse as his only hope. It was his biggest mistake and lead to his downfall.

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        2. “Stalin returned the favor later, murdering the partisans who had fought against the Nazis, because he too wanted nothing to do with armed peasants.”

          Partisans and peasants are two different things. The partisans were an important part of the war effort. There were even communist party political officers attached to partisan units just as they were attached to military units.

          1. There you go again. The original Ukrainian partisans were fighting the Russian occupiers and their own Communist lackeys to help the German invaders. They only turned to fighting the German invaders once the German invaders showed that their contempt for armed peasants exceeded Stalin’s contempt for armed peasants.

            You keep dragging armed soldiers and armed communist lackeys into the picture. This picture is about armed peasants fighting governments. Your infatuation with armed communist soldiers and lackeys supporting the Soviet government is irrelevant.

            1. ” The original Ukrainian partisans were fighting the Russian occupiers and their own Communist lackeys to help the German invaders. ”

              The article mentions the partisans of Belarus. They were strongly Jewish in character and fought against the Nazis from day one. They were not necessarily peasants, either. There were also urbanites among them.

              1. At least you didn’t drag in armed soldiers, that’s a start. But you did drag in armed peasants supporting communists. And since they were armed and not your beloved armed soldiers, I have a guess as to how Stalin welcomed their contribution. You say they weren’t peasants; neither were a lot of Stalin’s victims. Remember the Katyn massacre? All murdered because Stalin didn’t want any intelligentsia around, especially armed ones.

                Stalin — communist — you love them. Stalin wouldn’t have loved you — you can type words. Doesn’t matter how much you adore him.

                1. “At least you didn’t drag in armed soldiers, that’s a start.”

                  I don’t know what you have against ‘armed soldiers’ or me ‘dragging them in.’

                  “Remember the Katyn massacre? All murdered because Stalin didn’t want any intelligentsia around, especially armed ones.”

                  Polish officers. Their intelligence was not the issue.

                  “Doesn’t matter how much you adore him.”

                  I don’t adore Stalin any more than I adore Nixon. Just get your facts straight is all I ask for.

            2. Shifting the goal posts is right out of Alinsky’s handbook. Why continue an argument you can’t win when you can just change the subject while sounding like you won a point. mtrueman is a Marxist troll.

              1. “Shifting the goal posts ”

                There’s no goal posts being shifted. The Soviet regime didn’t collapse even though guns were widely available. Armed Russians vastly outnumbered armed communist party members, yet the regime held firm.

                1. You have been trying to steer the goal posts away from armed peasants this entire post.

                  1. I don’t see what you are driving at. I mentioned armed partisans, some of whom were certainly peasants.

                    1. LOL!

                      “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” – mtrueman

    3. But I thought law enforcement officers going home to their families safely at night was the most important thing on the planet! Those genocides are perfectly legal. What you are suggesting would have been a crime!

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  5. You should not leave out deaths from starvation, cold, and lack of basic medical treatment in tyrannical regimes. While it may be easy to assign these deaths to the incompetence of said governments, it would be foolish to dismiss them as unintended.

    1. The 60+ million killed by the Soviets includes those killed by starvation during thr collectivization efforts. The Far East has an even worse record. 20+ million in the Killing Fields of Cambodia, 20+ million by starvation in North Korea and 80+ milliion in China’s Great Leap Forward.

      200 million killed by agents of the state in the 20th century. 200 million killed under socialist plans. Socialism is by far the deadliest ideology in the history of the world. And China is right now in the process of erasing 5 million Uighars from existence.

      1. You are an order of magnitude high on the Cambodian Genocide. It’s not that Pol Pot didn’t try but he only had about a population of 8 million to build the worker’s paradise from.

        Percentage-wise he puts Hitler, Stalin and Mao to shame.

        1. He puts everyone to shame. Even in Stalin’s Russia and Mao’s China, there were millions of people who managed to keep their heads down and were lucky enough to live somewhat normal lives. No one in Cambodia can say that. They literally put the entire population in work camps and starved and worked them to death.

        2. Sorry about the extra 0 for Cambodia. I did mean to include it in for the reason you stated. The % of the population liquidated was diabolical. The rest of the numbers are pretty well accepted except by the governments responsible.

        3. R.J. Rummel’s research at U. Hawaii is a decent place to get numbers and sources on deaths deliberately caused by government action. These are his figures for 20th century mass killings: http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM

          Might be of interest, given this sub-discussion.

          1. Yes, I found the U Hawaii website about 3 years ago.

          2. Ooof, that page design, though….

      2. ” 20+ million in the Killing Fields of Cambodia”

        20 million people? No.

        “And China is right now in the process of erasing 5 million Uighars from existence.”

        Same source as the 20 million deaths in Cambodia?

        1. Fuck off. One wrong number does not delugitimize the rest you Marxist shill.

            1. …. has never been your strong point.

            2. Yes, fucking humility. Did you read the post where I acknowledged the error? Reason has written multiple articles as have most of even the mainstream media about the Uighars. I notice you don’t have the slightest humility in your unquestioning loyalty to the ChiComs.

              1. It’s sure not limited to the ChiComs! Anything communist, especially Stalin it appears, probably includes Mao.

              2. “Did you read the post where I acknowledged the error?”

                Yes. After I posted my comment.

                “Reason has written multiple articles as have most of even the mainstream media about the Uighars.”

                Doesn’t this make you suspicious? Reason and mainstream media? They’ve been writing about the extermination of various groups in China for years.

                ” I notice you don’t have the slightest humility in your unquestioning loyalty to the ChiComs.”

                I don’t have any loyalty to the ChiComs. And I have the humility not to pretend to know what’s happening in Xinjiang.

                1. Yet not the humility to admit you are channeling Duranty’s ghost.

                  1. I really don’t know what’s happening in Xinjiang and the stories that Reason, mainstream media, and US government sources presents are not convincing, given the impulse to demonize China that is as strong as ever and never far from the surface of things. What’s the evidence that managed to convince you that China was exterminating 5 million Uighurs? I’d like to see it. You can even link to an ebook or something.

                    1. For me, it was the satellite photos of the interment camps that sealed the deal.

                      But I fully admit I am primed to believe knowing the history of China, understanding the culture’s willingness to give ruling power to any group that can establish law and order, and the evidence of the 70+ million killed as a result of the Long March.

                    2. “For me, it was the satellite photos of the interment camps that sealed the deal. ”

                      You mean there are no photos of extermination camps? I don’t doubt that Chinese authorities are interring people in Xinjiang. They are probably executing people as well, given their use of capital punishment. What I’m not sure about is the extermination of 5 million Uighurs that you mentioned earlier.

          1. Make a number mistake once, and they burn you at the stake. Do it daily like Biden, they lionize you. Same thing applies to murder.

      3. Never again! oh wait its just the Uighars and we need our socks and iphones form China never mind then.

    2. “While it may be easy to assign these deaths to the incompetence of said governments, it would be foolish to dismiss them as unintended.”

      It’s more like callous indifference in the case of the Soviet Union. The methods the communists used to get the food from the farms to the hungry cities were developed in the 20s before the famine of the 30s. (Forcing farmers at gunpoint to hand over harvests.) Stalin was informed of the disastrous famines but he also had advisors telling him these stories were exaggerations. He believed the latter until it became clear to him the extent of the deaths. He then took steps to save lives. He had emergency stockpiles of grain sent to the afflicted areas. He even authorized the use of precious foreign currency to be spent on the relief effort. This shows the deaths, at least those in the later period, were unintended.

      How do you feel about the Armenian ‘genocide?’ It seems that only last year, thanks to house democrats, the US recognized the reality of the genocide.

      1. That is some revisionist nonsense you got going on there. Holodomor was intentional, not callous indifference.

        Muslims genocide people to this day, and in the same region. I say you take up arms with the Kurds to stop the current one. I hear they are Marxist, you’d fit right in.

        1. “That is some revisionist nonsense you got going on there. Holodomor was intentional, not callous indifference. ”

          Confiscation of the grain was intentional. Enforced collectivization was intentional. If Stalin’s goal was to murder the farmers, he wouldn’t have authorized the release of emergency stockpiles or spending of foreign reserves for their relief. You evidently haven’t thought this through.

          1. You evidently won’t cite any sources; one can only assume because they’d either be figments of your imaginary wet dreams or Soviet nonsense.

            1. “You evidently won’t cite any sources; ”

              You only have to ask:
              http://library.lol/main/1734618CA86072E888DE0CE11A55F13F

              1. What, you expect people to buy a book, wait for it to arrive, read it, find what you cherry-picked, and then respond? Nice. I’m sure Trotsky tried that with his killer. Probably millions of peasants tried that when their murderers showed up to steal their food.

                1. “What, you expect people to buy a book, wait for it to arrive, read it, find what you cherry-picked, and then respond? ”

                  Getting at the truth of the matter is sometimes arduous. Luckily you only need to click on the link I provided, download the book, and use a search function to get the goods. Meanwhile, please provide a link to the materials which led you to believe that Stalin didn’t spend foreign money or release emergency stockpiles to relieve the famine. If you can.

                  1. How the hell does one prove a negative?

                    Go lean against some other goalposts. Stalin was a mass murderer beyond yours or Duranty’s dreams. Good thing he died before Mao exceeded him.

                    1. ” Stalin was a mass murderer beyond yours or Duranty’s dreams. ”

                      If Stalin wanted to exterminate the peasants, he wouldn’t have taken steps to provide relief. You need to think this through.

        2. They actually are largely capitalist, Kurdistan was like a Free Trade Zone, to some degree. Much more stable than Iraq, and they sold/sell oil to Israel. If the AKP would let them be, they would live and let live, or something like it, I predict. That said, yes, the PKK is a socialist party representing them in Turkey. I suspect this is typical in many modern liberation efforts. Anyhow, my experience with the Kurds was positive. No woke bullshit. Honest people, hard-working, fighting for their country. And, if it matters, pretty women.

      2. What the fuck is wrong with you?

        “Forcing farmers at gunpoint to hand over harvests.” is somehow, ” more like callous indifference”? Only if you are a Stalinist sympathizer.

        Forcing starving people to hand over their food is flat our murder.

        How do you feel about the Armenian ‘genocide?

        How do you feel about the all the civilians killed in NATO bombings in Yugoslavia, which Clinton and the Democrats authorized? Or Obama’s bombing of civilians in Syria?

        Murder by government agents is still murder. It doesn’t matter which ‘side’ does it.

        1. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

          He is a commie. Other commies can do no wrong.

        2. ” Only if you are a Stalinist sympathizer.”

          I am definitely a fan of Stalin. Though not a Stalinist. Stalin and Nixon were my two favorite leaders of the 20th century.

          “Forcing starving people to hand over their food is flat our murder.”

          Only if they die. They were forced to hand over food in the 20s and there was no famine. The famine we are talking about occurred in the 30s. And when its extent became clear to Stalin, he took steps to reverse it.

          1. Stealing food from starving people is not murder if they weren’t starving.

            Is that what you’re saying?

            1. “Is that what you’re saying?”

              I’m saying that Stalin never intended the enormous death tolls. Otherwise he wouldn’t have taken steps to limit them, such as buying foreign grain and releasing domestic stockpiles to relieve the famine.

              1. During the Holodomor Stalin made it illegal to buy foreign grain. He intentionally starved the Ukrainians to death. Hunger was so prevalent he had to make cannibalism illegal and prosecuted more than 2500 for such acts.

                1. “During the Holodomor Stalin made it illegal to buy foreign grain.”

                  He reversed his position and ended up buying foreign grain which was sent to Ukrainian peasants. He also released domestic emergency stockpiles for the same reason. He wouldn’t have done this had his goal been to exterminate the peasants. He just wanted their grain, just like in the 20s. The difference was that there was a real shortage in the 30s that Stalin was determined to downplay if not deny.

              2. If Stalin took any steps to stop stealing food from starving people, it was only after all the kulaks and wreckers had died and only submissive peasants were left.

                You say here “I’m saying that Stalin never intended the enormous death tolls.”. You said above “If Stalin’s goal was to murder the farmers, he wouldn’t have authorized the release of emergency stockpiles or spending of foreign reserves for their relief. You evidently haven’t thought this through.”

                You keep pretending Stalin was a nice guy. You evidently haven’t thought this through.

                1. “If Stalin took any steps to stop stealing food from starving people, it was only after all the kulaks and wreckers had died and only submissive peasants were left.”

                  I doubt you have any evidence to back this up.

                  “You keep pretending Stalin was a nice guy. ”

                  I’m not pretending anything. And Stalin was not a nice guy. Although his period of arctic exile immediately prior to the revolution shows him at his best. Although he took up with (and eventually abandoned) a 14 year old girl at the time, he seems to have adopted the Tunguskan life ways with enthusiasm, and was a valued resource to the nomads he was in contact with.
                  You can read about it here:
                  http://library.lol/main/2357DEE73F9591AC23FC0958F3AA2FB1

                  1. He was stalin all the poor folks’ food and they starved to death.

          2. Stalin and Nixon… This is Jacks utterly unsurprised face.

      3. Good god almighty, your suckup to communism is worthy of Duranty.

        Grow up!

        1. Pointing out that armed Russians volunteers actually fought for the regime and not against it is not sucking up to communism. Neither is pointing out that the exterminating the peasants was not the intention. We should face this with courage and honesty.

          1. Ignoring that armed peasants fought against Communist occupiers is sucking up to Stalin. So is pretending that death was only an unintended and unpredictable consequence of stealing food from starving people.

            1. “Ignoring that armed peasants fought against Communist occupiers is sucking up to Stalin. ”

              I’m not ignoring it. The effort was marginal compared to the armed peasants and others who didn’t fight against the regime.

              1. You are damned sure trying to steer the conversation away from the inconvenient truth that private guns are anathema to dictators, and Stalin was no exception.

                1. ” private guns ”

                  That’s the first mention I’ve seen of private guns on the page. The guns used by the partisans in Belarus were found abandoned in the field by their rightful German and Red Army owners.

                  1. Soldiers aren’t rightful owners of weapons they use; those are issued for use and belong to the government. If they were abandoned and recovered, the governments had no claim any longer.

                    1. So the guns the partisans used, even peasant partisans, were ‘private guns?’ Or did they remain non private? This is a vital question and perhaps we need a team of lawyers to help answer it.

                    2. And your lawyers would no doubt require any private guns to be registered. If the government allowed them to remain in private hands.

    3. They should leave those out – in this exercise.

      This is about a straight comparison to the differences in deaths caused by guns due to differences in gun control policies.

      Once you get someone to accept that difference, *then* you can show all the other excess deaths that were then allowed by an unarmed populace.

  6. The Nazi extermination camps of Sobibor and Treblinka were shut down forever because prisoners stole guns from the guards and led mass revolts.

    FAKE NEWS!!!!!

    /Fuck You, Mizek.

    1. >>In 1942, Adolf Hitler explained the necessity of disarming his victims

      “Es gibt hier nichts zu sehen”

  7. For all their civilized manners, Europeans did a great job trying to see how many of their own people they could murder in the last century.

    But they have great healthcare now.

    1. Lol!

    2. well there were no more continents to invade and kill the natives so they had to turn on themselves

    3. Maxim’s machine gun was conceived after his brother suggested he invent something for Europeans to efficiently kill each other.

  8. The way things are going here it wouldn’t surprise me if either political camp tried to exterminate the other. Several people on this board have advocated for exactly that.

    1. Yeah the people here on this board are the real problem.

      Not the actual people doing the burning, looting, rioting, and outright murder.

      1. Sarcasmic can’t see differences.

        All that rioting, violence and murder in Portland and other Lefty cities is self-defense.

        It is the exact same thing as that military veteran who shot and killed a rioter and looter who was part of a group that busted through his store window and attacked him. Same-same.

        1. That veteran killed himself over the weekend because of haters like sarcasmic here.

          1. I’m the hater? Haaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

            1. The left is much more engaged in the rhetoric that leads to exterminations. Maybe lighten up on the ‘both sides’ arguments and analyze the depths to which each will sink to get power. Libertarians cannot side with Marxists against state power. It will lead to their annihilation.

              1. I’m not a leftist, despite what the retards feel.

              2. Sarcasmic is an Anarchist.

                He wants to all burn down so Anarchy-land can arise from the ashes.

          2. To be fair to Sarcasmic, he hates everything. Including himself.

          3. Missed the part where sarcasmic expressed any hate.

            1. Missed the part where either of you expressed any sympathy for a man hounded to death by lefties for defending himself and his father.

              1. I think it is sad and tragic what happened to Jake Gardner. I feel sorry for him and his loved ones.

                1. I have to say, you do a pretty good job of judging the individual based on their demonstrated character. That is one thing we can agree on.

                  1. Thank you.

      2. They could very well be the same people, I don’t know what the Rev. does with his evenings

        1. I enjoy a martini and a good book. Currently rereading parts of the disc world series… O wait did you mean the other Rev?

    2. Both sides are totally the same. That is why there are mobs of Libertarians and Republicans out burning down and looting businesses and attacking people in restaurants threatening people with violence if they don’t give the special salute.

      How about you just stop fucking lying and just come out in support of leftist violence. You would at least be honest if you did that. And that is less loathsome than what you are doing, which is lying and claiming false equivalence in order to excuse and diminish the extent of and threat of leftist violence. It is pathetic and fools no one.

      1. You are a prime example of someone who would cheerfully exterminate your political enemies with a clear conscience.

    3. “The way things are going here it wouldn’t surprise me if either political camp tried to exterminate the other. ”

      Exterminating an entire political camp requires organization and resolve, qualities that modern Americans seem to lack. The people on this board advocating extermination are posturing and insincere.

      1. It’s all fun and games until people get hungry. And with the economy obliterated thanks to the government, it’s gonna happen.

      2. people on this board advocating extermination are posturing and insincere.

        Don’t project, shitstain.

      3. Nah, you just take their food at gun point. Then it is callous indifference and not extermination.

      4. I’m sure you and your betters would love to turn modern Amerians (hell, modern everybody) into latter day Soviets. Your suckup to fondly-remember Stalinism ought to be embarrassing. You could at least pick a more up-to-date communist like Xi or Kim. Fidel is dead, so maybe he’d be a good combination of more modern and dead. But Stalin? Sheesh!

        1. “I’m sure you and your betters would love to turn modern Amerians (hell, modern everybody) into latter day Soviets. ”

          If Americans turn to Socialism, and they may yet, it’ll be because all the alternatives have proved to be a disappointment.

          I don’t think Xi, Kim or Stalin provide attractive models to Americans, these days. They will more likely follow anti-authoritarian models like those in Syria’s Kurdish areas or the Zapatistas in Mexico.

    4. I don’t think they realize if real civil war ever broke out, they could not sit and sip coffee and post comments all day.

      1. At this point it more of a when than an if.

        1. After election 2020.

          1. Bloodletting anyway.

      2. Lefties have already started The Civil War 2.0. Democrats like to start Civil Wars. Civil War 2.0 will end in under a month. The Lefties will surrender when their cities run out of supplies. All their property will be eminent domained, minus their share of the national debt they ran up. Lefties will be deported to Socialist nations they admire.

        ….then non-Lefties can get back to sipping coffee and posting comments all day.

  9. In the USA, all gun control is a violation of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.

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

  10. Did you just quote Reagan, the signer of the Mulford Act in California in 1967 because those uppity blacks were carrying weapons that scared the sh!t out of white people? Shame on you, David Kopel! Shame on you!

    1. Assembly Bill 1591 was introduced by Don Mulford (R) from Oakland on April 5th, 1967, and subsequently co-sponsored by John T. Knox (D) from Richmond, Walter J. Karabian (D) from Monterey Park, Frank Murphy Jr. (R) from Santa Cruz, Alan Sieroty (D) from Los Angeles, and William M. Ketchum (R) from Bakersfield,. AB-1591 was made an “urgency statute” under Article IV, §8(d) of the Constitution of California after “an organized band of men armed with loaded firearms […] entered the Capitol” on May 2nd, 1967; as such, it required a 2/3 majority in each house. It passed the Assembly (controlled by Democrats 42:38) at subsequent readings, passed the Senate (controlled by Democrats, 20:19) on July 26th by 29 votes to 7, and was signed by Governor Ronald Reagan on July 28th, 1967. The law banned the carrying of loaded weapons in public.

      Wikipedia – Mulford Act

      1. Well, yeah, but actually, it banned the carrying of loaded weapons in incorporated areas and in some counties. Most unincorporated areas had to wait a few years longer to get “equal treatment.”

      2. >>William M. Ketchum

        Family Circle? Also has the NRA ever said why they supported Mulford? iirc pretty sure they did.

        1. The NRA was a gun safety group. They were NOT a lobbying organization at that time.

          While everyone has a constitutional right to peaceful protest and protest with Arms, the Black Panther Org was advocating violent overthrow of “Whitey” and other Communist funded garbage. NOT EXACTLY GUN SAFETY.
          Power to the People! The Revolutionary Literature of the Black Panthers

          The Panthers were famous for organizing armed citizens’ patrols to evaluate behavior of police officers. Chants such as “The Revolution has come, it’s time to pick up the gun. Off the pigs!” pitted them against the establishment and increased racial tensions.

          1. >>NOT a lobbying organization at that time.

            makes more sense then

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  12. >>murdered by genocidal governments

    bands of maniacs hiding behind “government”?

  13. Wow, an actual libertarian article on Reason.

    1. unreason refuses to write about stuff that hurts Biden and Democrats, so why not use filler so they can link for suckers that unreason is still Libertarian at all.

    2. Sometimes the censors miss one.

    3. It was a negligent discharge. It happens. As long as the muzzle was pointed in a safe direction.

  14. If civil war does break out, will it be a war crime to not wear a mask during hand to hand combat?

    1. depends whose uni you wear

  15. “Trump has always been pro-gun control and anti-Second Amendment”

    “Since becoming president, Trump has:

    Openly embraced Nancy Pelosi’s gun-control agenda
    Banned bump stocks via executive order
    Pushed for enhanced background checks
    Proposed expanding red flag laws on a national level

    As someone who has shown himself to be a threat to the entire Constitution, Trump has gone after other parts of the Bill of Rights — such as the right to privacy and the right to due process — to advance his pro-gun control, anti-Second Amendment agenda, such as:

    Suggesting law enforcement ignore due process rights to make it easier for the government to seize guns
    Proposing social media companies develop tracking tools to “detect mass shooters before they strike”
    Having his DOJ take Google and Apple to court in an attempt to force them to turn over personal information on users of a phone app that calibrates rifle scopes
    Proposing the creation of a phone app to conduct remote background checks via the NICS system that would give government greater access to personal information without due process and eventually lead to the creation of a de facto national gun registry

    So the next time you hear Trump, the NRA, or a member of his cult tell you that we should support him in November because he’s the only one who will protect the gun rights he has already failed to protect, remember that he’s already done more damage to the Second Amendment than Obama ever has.”

    https://www.stridentconservative.com/trump-has-always-been-pro-gun-control-and-anti-second-amendment/

    Trump is Obama’s third term.

    Democide in America was previewed in Lafayette Square with rubber bullets scattered on the ground, tear gas still in the air, and a Bible held upside down.

  16. All I have to say on this is an armed and informed citizen keeps both the government and the would be criminals honest! The government because the government knows that they armed citizens can push back if the government pushes to much. Would be criminals are criminals mostly because they expect to be able to get away with their crimes. So when the citizens is armed and has the right to defend his home (business) from criminals the criminal no longer has that option because the homeowner, business owner has the right to defend their property and lives as necessary.

  17. I’d like to own a gun, but I can’t purchase one because I occasionally use (state legal, medically granted) marijuana.

    1. Have you considered assault fire extinguisher?

  18. I would call the premise of comparing the vast historical tableau of politics, and ethnic and racial hatreds of the wars of the 20th century with a set of firearms regulations in one nation as simply stupid, or, better yet, not even wrong, but you know this already. It’s just typical blather using a bunch of historical information to construct an edifice of supposed “reason” in support of a pre-determined hypothesis, in this case, totally out of proportion to it’s thesis and getting away with any consideration of the myriad alternative explanations by simply ignoring them.

    1. So, you don’t see any evidence of racial hatred in the U.S. these days? None at all?
      And what about political/ideological hatred? The kind Hillary expressed when she talked about “deplorables”?
      Other than all that, we’ve nothing to worry about!

  19. Do u wanna know about the post..READ MORE

  20. David B. Kopel: The best practical argument for self-defense I have read. Well done!

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