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January 13, 2011

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Brian Dann

The comments on here are amazing from both sides. This shows exactly just how complicated of an issue this is. When it comes to gun control and guns, passions run high but this is exactly the reason I started NorthShoreDad.com, not to put out there that I am right and you're wrong, but to offer my point of view and to spark the debate. This discourse, this debate is exactly what this issue of Gun control needs. There are no easy answers and by no means do I expect our nation to outlaw hand guns and assault weapons. In America it is just not a realistic expectation and may not even be the solution. But this debate and debates like it that are going on all over this country is what needs to be done because somewhere between, "get rid of all the guns", and "all guns should be legal" is the answer of what needs to be done on the subject of gun control in America. What I do believe though is that something needs to be done so that a person who is mentally unstable, like the individual responsible for the shootings in Arizona, can't get access to a gun, and those deemed responsible enough to safely own a gun aren't denied their rights.

On a separate note, some the ads that run on my site are not under my control. The ads constantly change and what ad show up is at the discretion of the company that controls that ad space. So any ads that seem in-congruent to the text I write is purely coincidental.

Flora

I guess my question to those who STILL think we need to arm ourselves to the teeth is: Why would the NRA and their friends WANT more of these things to occur? The lack of background checks, lax laws for gun shows etc. would seem to be the very opposite of what they purport to promote: responsible gun ownership. Every time there is a mass killing by someone with an assault weapon it undermines what the NRA publicly says it favors. Some public relations machine you guys have!

I have to believe by now that you NRA types just don't give a crap and don't care who dies. It's the only possible explanation for the bizarre phenomenon of NRA supporters calling for business as usual after these massacres. If anything in this blog post is true it's that there is no reason for ANYONE to own an assault weapon. It's only purpose is the mass killing of other humans. It's not for hunting and it's not the kind of thing you keep in your purse for "protection". It's a murder machine. It has nothing to do with the Second Amendment. We have to take the power away from the big money behind the NRA and its ghoulish pals if we are ever going to see any improvement.

Bruce


I can tell you one place that has perhaps the toughest gun control laws in the world, and virtually zero gun deaths per capita - SINGAPORE. Note if you're in a hunting club you can own a gun, but it's still pretty restrictive. Here are some of the punishments as stated in the Arms Offences Act.

Any person who is in unlawful possession of any arm or ammunition shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less that 5 years and not more than 10 years and shall also be punished with caning with not less than 6 strokes.

Any person who uses or attempts to use any arm shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punished with death.

Dan

I can see from previous comments that despite this tragedy and previous ones, Americans are still not ready to understand and accept the urgent need to limit the availability of guns to civilians in that country ... what can all the rest of us do but brace ourselves to read of the next senseless killing ... sigh ...

Dave

The UK is a small set of islands with a small population. Similar to how people use Norway as a shining example of public healthcare(less people in Norway than Los Angeles, 80+% of the same ethnic group, and severe immigration restrictions to promote a strong national identity), comparing gun control/crime rates in the UK to the US is ridiculous. You are far more likely to be mugged, raped, assaulted, or suffer a property crime in the UK than the US(per NationBuilder UN Crime numbers). You also leave out the fact that after gun control went into effect in Australia gun crime climbed.

There are enough handguns in the US for 80% of the population to each have one. Some kind of gun ban is not going to get rid of guns, it's just going to make good people criminals and it won't do anything about gun crime rates(see DC and Chicago, who had outright bans and plenty of violent gun crime).

Alex

I appreciate your point of view as a concerned father. But there are a number of statistical problems with using the UK gun ban as evidence in support of gun control, such as the fact that the number of people injured by firearms in the UK almost QUADRUPLED from 1998 to 2007. There are too many other things to write here, so rather than waste time shooting holes in the analysis (pardon the pun), I'll just say this:

Mexico has draconian gun control laws comparable to the UK, in some ways even stricter, since it's nearly impossible to own a firearm of larger than .22 caliber. How are they doing on gun deaths? Not so well. By contrast, Israel and Switzerland have almost universal gun ownership, with licenses to possess firearms available to any adult and, particularly in Israel, a high percentage of concealed weapons carriers. Both those countries have very low rates of gun crime and firearm injuries.

There are numerous other examples country by country. The point is, there is literally zero statistical correlation between levels of gun ownership and gun crime from country to country. They are all over the place. I think even Canada went away from stricter gun control in the last year or two, citing its statistically-revealed failure.

Even here in the United States, the 31 "shall issue" states -- those that are required to issue concealed weapons permits to all who pass the background check -- have a 24 percent lower violent crime rate, 19 percent lower murder rate and a 39 percent lower robbery rate than states that forbid concealed weapons. In fact, the nine states with the lowest violent crime rates are all right-to-carry states. In the US, guns are used for self-defense about 4 times as often per year as they are used to commit violent crimes.

Also, you mention assault weapons like they are a specific item, but the definitions of what that means in this country are absurd. For example, if you have a pistol style grip on a shotgun in California, that renders your gun an assault weapon. The same with a threaded barrel on a pistol, and a whole host of other ludicrous criteria clearly created by someone who knows nothing about guns. Having a pistol grip on my shotgun doesn't make it any more or less dangerous.

For that matter, what would you mean by "guns used in hunting"? For hunting what? Pheasant? Deer? Wild Boar? Bear? The point is, there are dramatically different weapons used to tackle all these things. (For me, I draw the line at bird hunting with my dad and grandfather. I wouldn't have the heart to shoot a deer.)

I do, however have a revolver in my home for home protection. I don't think I'm a gun nut; I'm an Ivy League grad and certainly not a right winger. But I would be frustrated if the government tried to do away with my constitutional right as established by the 2nd amendment and upheld by the Supreme Court, particularly when that is shown to have no benefit as far as crime goes.

Nonetheless, I can respect your opinion about firearms. I can see the allure of a country where the only guns are in the hands of the authorities. But I think that would likely do to the gun industry what we did with the drug industry: make it a multi-billion dollar black market.

Thank you for your thought-provoking blog post.

-Alex

Carlo

Brian,
Thanks for speaking with the voice of sanity. The avalanche of negative comments you are getting for your article does not change the validity of your arguments. I wrote to both my senators, and I hope -- admittedly against hope -- that they'll have the courage to do something.

Leonard

As with most anti-gun leftist you neatly leave out information to make the problem worst then it is. You fail to mention that only private sales at gun shows don't go through a background check, here in California all sales at gun shows must have a background check and FFL. The man who had a CCW never pulled him weapon so no one was indanger from being shot by him. All the guns used in the shootings you mentioned above were all bought legally, you ant-gun people always want to blame the gun, why ?, nobody blames the car when a drunk driver kills an entire family. You also fail to mention all the lifes saved because of guns but that wouldn't advance your or the Brady Bunch Campigns political agenda. California has very strict gun control laws and even an assault weapon ban and high capacity magazine ban but that hasn't stopped anything. Now with law enforcement cut backs a gun free state is not only not safe more but dangerous .

Digit

Wow, we have successfully brainwashed this nine-year old to be government reliant. Wasn't it just a few years ago that JFK said "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

And so today the progressive movement, and nuts like you are asking the opposite. What is the government going to do for me? I'm sure you would love for the 2nd amendment to be abolished. Well, if that happens the 1st amendment is right behind it along with the rest of the constitution.

Jonathan

I think most people commenting are missing several points. I personally think the following will reduce some gun crime, and also satisfy most peoples needs.

1) It is too easy to get hold of a gun for everyone. We really do need to close the Gun Show loop-hole. It allows anyone, sane or insane, to own a gun without any checks. This makes it easy for anyone, no matter their criminal record or mental status, to purchase one and do anything with it.

2) People treat having a gun as a Right, but it should be a privilege, just like driving. Take a test and get a license, then you can have as many guns as you want. Make it so you have to renew just like your driving license. The government already know where you live, and if they come to take everyone's guns, then it will be blindingly obvious and action can be taken.

3) I can't think of a reason why anyone needs an automatic, anything over .45, or anything that holds more then 9 rounds. If a gun falls into this category, keep it at the shooting range.

4) Have gun shops be the only place you can buy ammo, and make it mandatory to have a gun license to get any.

Helmut

The United States "broke away" from Great Britain for many reasons, one of which was to grant individual freedoms from overbearing government. Let the Brits do as they wish. Our government is right to stay clear of gun controlling laws.
Also, your "point" regarding the citizen with the gun almost shooting the innocent-sounds curiously similar to the Rachel Maddow spun story in which she twisted the man's statement into...he simply said he was ready to kill the guy (the shooter) but saw that there was already a tussle, at which point he mistook the good guy for bad. One's readiness to act going into a situation is entirely different than their actions once in a situation. Why would he have shot a guy rolling around on the ground? He would have shot a guy who was shooting unarmed citizens.
"you can take the gun from a sucker, but you can't take crime from the punk mother -ucker..."

Tenlow

The problem with banning guns is you then create legal precedent for removing things from the bill of rights. The supreme court recently decided that the second amendment does in fact guarantee the individual's right to keep and bear arms. Our country was founded on the idea that everyone has the same rights, but once you decide some of those rights are less important than others, there's no point in having them at all. I hate the "slippery slope" argument, but this really does qualify. Saying people don't need to own guns is just as true as saying people don't need the right to free speech or protection from unlawful search and seizure. After all, once guns are banned the police are going to have to do a lot more searching to find them all, and if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide. You don't have to agree with the right to own guns, but you do have to understand that just because you think you know best doesn't make it true. You don't like it? We won't miss you when you leave.

Race Falcon

You stupid yum-yum, you are not quoting violent crimes other than murder with firearms. Lets take for instance victims of assault. Great Britain has an assault rate of 2.8% versus the US rate of 1.2%. That is a 200% greater incidence of assault compared to the US. The US has a perception of safety when walking in the dark of 82% versus 70% in GB. Also, GB in 2010 executed 1964 people versus total US executions of 42. These stats are from nationmaster.com if you want to verify. So, in conclusion, if you think GB is so fucking wonderful, do us all a favor and move there!!

John Cahill

Your numbers appear off per Wiki. You cite Britain at 42 per 100,000. Wiki cites US as 6.1 per 100,000. Please check your numbers before you rant.

Also keep in mind Britain has 5 times less people. I concede there are more gun deaths in the US but I do not desire to give up my arms. If safety is the argument then outlaw alcohol, fertilizer (Tim McVeigh) and lower the speed limits to 45. In 2009 ninty three (93) people a day died in car crashes. 700 children a day are harmed in cars. Reference http://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/statistics.html Gun violence is not the problem. The social infrastructure is the problem regarding murders.

If you make guns illegal US prisons will swell beyond their currently huge 2 million prisoners. Most prisoners are no in jail due to guns or murder. Trying to confiscate the guns would result in huge resistance and government persecution.

I choose to live with my gun. It is not an assault weapon. It is a concealed revolver. A psyco like the guy in Arizona can still take out a major politician with one shot. Lincoln is proof. My gun is a statement of my freedom. God bless the victims of guns, DUI, war, gangs, and all that plagues the world. I do feel for their suffering. Wiki reference follows.

It might be better if you move to Britain.

WIKI Prevalence of homicide and violent crime is greatest in urban areas of the United States. In metropolitan areas, the homicide rate in 2005 was 6.1 per 100,000 compared with 3.5 in non-metropolitan counties.[27] In U.S. cities with populations greater than 250,000, the mean homicide rate was 12.1 per 100,000.[28] According to FBI statistics, the highest per capita rates of gun-related homicides in 2005 were in D.C. (35.4/100,000), Puerto Rico (19.6/100,000), Louisiana (9.9/100,000), & Maryland (9.9/100,000) .[29] The Bureau of Justice statistics from 2004 do not include D.C or Puerto Rico.

Don

People killed people for thousands of years prior to guns ever being invented.
Outlawing guns will change NOTHING.
PEOPLE kill other people.
Not inanimate objects.

Steve

The difference is not gun control laws.

The difference is that our beloved constitution gives every nut that wants a weapon to have one, whether sane or not. It's not the assault weapons. It's weapons, period. A gun has but one active function: to kill. By extension, we actually have a constitutional right to KILL. That's what's really insane. Amending the Constitution of the United States of America so that we no longer have an utterly unnecessary right to bear firearms. Should we still have the privilege? Yes. Hunters do hunt. But any other kind of weapon in the hands of untrained, barely monitored civilians is utterly, completely unnecessary.

John M

Background checks are required for "assault weapon" gun purchases as well as for handguns.

Handguns have been banned in Great Britain for years. Assault weapons have rarely been an issue anywhere.

You also write, "and so far the government has not taken over" based on a law change that happened in...2007? Seriously? So what happens if the government goes bad in 50 years? 100 years? Yes technology may prevent people for defending their country as effectively s they could in the 18th century, but that is no excuse to disarm them...

You write this article as if you know better than our Founding Fathers. You don't, your information is false, your opinions are easily refuted and your article is littered with emotion. Laws should never, EVER be written based on emotion...that is very dangerous.

Matt

I appreciate you article. Those are staggering numbers you shared regarding the deaths due to firearms and it is quite sad. However, one of the original intents of the amendment allowing firearms for citizens was for defense against the threat of a tyrannical government.

Stalin, Hitler, and other dictators that caused the deaths of in excess of 100 million people in the 20th century confiscated all guns thereby ensuring their citizens defenseless against their leaders onslaught.

As can be seen by the recent tragic event in AZ individuals cannot always be trusted to use their freedoms responsibly; however, the solution is not to restrict the freedom of all citizens. Governments are also composed of individual people who can become corrupt and they must have their powers limited. As the saying goes, "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely", especially in the hands of a few.

One person with a gun can usually get away with killing DOZENS of people before getting caught. This is very unfortunate.

Governments, who have consolidated all power of firearms into their own hands, have the capability of causing the death of MILLIONS as can be seen by the last century. The greatest killers were often corrupt governments killing their own unarmed, defenseless citizens. This is also very unfortunate and must not ever happen again.

The people who lived through the horrors of the death camps of hitler, stalin and others never in their wildest dreams could have imagined such a betrayal by their own governments and that is why they were not able to defend themselves.

And, in anticipation of being called irresponsible and anti-government; I am actually a supporter of responsible government and I vote in federal elections and I believe in obeying the law.

Wolf

Oh, and maybe this will keep you up at night regarding your grenade launcher argument. I am sure some ingeniuty could fix this up nicely.. http://lgweaponry.com/ad_sheets/37mm.htm

Interesting also that you are running "Front Sight" ads on your blog.

Chris

Law abiding citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. It is a constitutional right. You'll just have to accept that this is one part of the Constitution that liberals like you can't dismantle. It's obvious that you are the typical liberal scared rabbit. You want the government to guarantee you'll be safe by intervening in every aspect of your life.

It may sound cliche, but the government can have my guns when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.

Rob Tutor

During that same time period, 452,555 died in automobile accidents, we should get rid of cars! Your statistic is .006% of the population annually. That is statistically insignificant. And if your argument is that every life is precious, why don't you take the money you want to waste on making guns illegal in the US, and use it to prevent abortion, or feed the homeless, or something else useful. Oh wait, I know! Lets make alcohol illegal to prevent drunk driving.. and there will be no increase in crime just like in the great UK with their gun laws, oh wait, that's right, we tried that and it was a disaster. This is a Federal Republic, not a constitutional monarchy. The answer to the worlds problems is not more laws, it's more EDUCATION.

Faceless Minion

Here's a simple equation that people like you have never really gotten:

If owning firearms is criminal, only criminals will own firearms.

Is this really going to make you safer?

Second Amendment

Great Britain doesn't have a 2nd Amendment. Thank God we do. Get over it.

Jaggers

Do you think that criminals and wackos get their guns like a law-abiding citizen by going through background checks? They're going to get their guns one way or another, at least let me have a gun so I can defend myself.

Wolf

Chicago has one of the strictist gun laws in the US, and guess what, they have a higher murder rate than Arizona does. Why do you think that is? Look at California which also have very restrictive gun laws and you'll also see much higher crime rates with a gun. But wait, aren't they illegal? Hmmmm....

Mexico has some extremely strict firearm laws, much like Great Britain. Why don't you provide those comparitive statistics in your diatribe? The answer is easy, those statistics would firmly refute your assertation that we need stricter gun laws in Arizona and the US.

It's funny that people like to cite Arizona's lax laws, especially the one where citizens are allowed to carry a gun into a bar (although people who cite this fail to mention you can't possess alcohol when you choose to do so). There has not been one gun incident in the year since it has been in effect.

Regardless of where you stand, it's a moot point anyways. I am a law abiding, very successful businessman. I am willing to throw all that away in order to ensure the right of all of our children to be self-determining.

j

move to gb if you dont like our right to bear arms, df

Endecast

You don't have anything new to say on this topic. This argument has been settled and unfortunately for you you just have to accept the fact that you can't have your way. You say there's no reason for anyone to own a firearm, I say there's no reason why the government should ban firearms.

ken wyant

Get another fact right. Handguns have been outlawed in Britan for a long time. knife deaths are higher there than gun deaths. Sensless yes.
In Australia all firearms are banned yet they still have firearms deaths. Criminals will always find a way.PUNISH THE CRIMINALS NOT TAKE AWAY THE RIGHTS OF LAW ABIDING CITIZENS..

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