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by Peter Moskos

December 16, 2008

Guns and violence

I'm too swamped with final papers right now to give this the justice it deserves (But I will give this link to other posts on gun control). I'm sure some of you might have some thoughts on this email I just received. Please comment and discuss.
I live in VT which has very liberal (ha ha) gun laws. I'm not a gun owner and as a good liberal growing up in Brookline Mass, I was of course pro gun control. Now I have sort of come to the conclusion that the NRA argument, "Guns don't kill people...", is to some extent correct.

One telling statistic I heard (probably wrong but it was on CSPAN) from an author who wrote a book about airline security after 9/11 was that in the first three months in 1973 after the FAA mandated full passenger screening there were 5,000 guns confiscated. Since I had never heard of gunfights on commercial airliners it made me curious about whether how we Americans, have changed. Also in Israel where lots of people carry guns, assault rifles at that (the Mumbai terrorists would have been dead in about 15 minutes if they had tried what they did in Israel), and yet they seem, other than the ongoing conflict, to have relatively low rates of gun violence?


Chris said...

Your right, no gun laws here in VT, Very few gun issues for law enforcement to deal with. More people killed by other means. Police have been attacked or h killed by other means than with guns here.

cap vandal said...

I am not particularly ideological regarding gun control, but it seems like guns work out better when there is some sort of cultural or ethnic homogeneity. Israel or Vermont or the rural south. Or Switzerland. They just don't seem like a good idea in a US city.

Also, not the most politically correct view, but the idea of having your underclass or whatever you call the most deprived groups armed to the teeth seems particularly stupid. You can call it racism if you want, but this has to inform a lot of the blue/red state differences on gun issues.

I would favor approaches that involved licenses, taxes, and insurance for people that possess guns in a city. Also anything that would eliminate cheap guns, which are fundamentally awful.

It seems to me that people that I have interacted with that were serious about guns were also serious about safety, etc. and responsible.

PCM said...


At first glance cultural and ethnic homogeneity seems like it would make things safer, but Switzerland is not homogeneous. They've got 4 official languages and cultures to match. And then there's Somalia. Lot's of guns and very homogeneous.

I still think the biggest issue is the combination of poverty and guns.

DJK said...

Punish the criminals....not the victims. It's really simple.

Bad guys don't follow laws.....so stop making so many that hinder the good guys' ability to defend himself.

Yeah, there's a pathology to crime, but that's the subject of another paper or five million.

DJK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJK said...

The "There'll be blood in the streets" hype is just that...

There's blood in the streets now...now that people aren't allowed to defend themselves.

Who is of the moral standing to tell another that they can't defend themselves?? Cops I guess... but, there's more crime among cops then there is among CCW holders. Hmmm...