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by Peter Moskos

May 12, 2009

Guns don't always prevent crimes

It sounds like a gun-lover's crime-free dream world: an army of professional and well-trained armed men and women with extensive knowledge of firearms and firearm safety. Everybody has a gun. This will keep the crazy murders at bay!

Then on a military base in Iraq, a soldier shot and killed five other soldiers. If an army with guns can't prevent a crazy killer, what chance do the rest of us have? This, my gun-loving friends, illustrates the basic position of my gun-hating friends: guns don't keep you safe. An unarmed world is safer than an armed world.

22 comments:

LibFree said...

I don't believe I've ever seen the argument made that total gun ownership would drop crime or murder to zero. What is the murder rate in the military vs the murder rate in the general population.

PCM said...

That's a good question.

Another good question isn't about the murder rate dropping to zero, but would near total gun ownership have higher or lower crime than near zero gun ownership.

Marc S. said...

Fragging is a lot different than street crime.

PCM said...

True dat.

But both are a lot more difficult if you don't have a gun.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as an unarmed world!The ghetto scum will be armed, if not with a gun ,then a bat,knife,two or more on one or anything else the get their hands on!

Jason said...

Problem with gun control advocates is that they can't seem to understand that their "dream" only disarms the law abiding and not the predator. The tragedy in Iraq is one of those freak, tragic occurences and shouldn't be used to support one's theory on guns. That's intellectually dishonest and plain unrealistic. That's like saying there would be no traffic deaths if we'd simply ban all motor vehicles.

PCM said...

But a lot of anti-gun people believe that such a dream is possible. And other countries have more or less achieved this "dream."

What scares me is the gun-loving belief that we would all be safer if everybody carried a gun. That's not a world I want to live in.

And I don't think it's intellectually dishonest to point out that banning motor vehicles would virtually eliminate traffic deaths. If we wanted to save tens of thousands a lives a year, we could do that.

But we as society have decided that cars are more important than saving lives (or letting kids play in the streets). We're willing to tolerate carnage on the roads. That's a choice we have made.

The question than is whether the positives of gun ownership outweigh the negatives of gun violence.

DJK said...

Then those gun control advocates are simply ignorant. That "dream" is impossible. Look at the UK. They still have "gun" deaths...and TONS of knifings.

DJK said...

I wouldn't really call us "Gun Loving" but probably more like life-loving and/or liberty-loving.

PCM said...

Come on, DJK. The UK has about 700 murders a year for about 60 million people. That's (very roughly) about one-fifth of the US homicide rate! How can you say that their approach to violence and gun control doesn't work in reducing killings?

ASHLEY ELIZABETH DOUGLAS said...

this is so cute

DJK said...

I wonder, if we ban gangs, would our homicide numbers drop? I mean... most of our homicides can't be John Q Public getting mad at his neighbor and clubbing him to death. At least...not a percentage of the overall homicide rate anyway.

DJK said...

From Jason, above, "Problem with gun control advocates is that they can't seem to understand that their "dream" only disarms the law abiding and not the predator."

My thoughts exactly.

PCM said...

Certainly the focus should be on disarming *criminals*. The question is how. Some gun regulation may play a part in that. I'm not for anti-gun feel-good gun control if it doesn't work.

Gun owners need to be responsible for their guns (and lock them against theft). And criminals need to face consequences for using guns. Right now none of that happens.

Certainly if guns were less accessible, many criminals would have a tougher time getting them and shooting people (see almost every other country in the world). That, to me, would be good.

Laws influence culture just as much as culture influences laws. It's like a less armed society, not a more armed society. I'd certainly like a de-escalation of arms in society. You may not. So I'll support laws that bend in that direction.

We could legalize bombs, too. Since they kill people. But we've settled the debate on bombs. They're illegal. And rare. Nobody (at least nobody I know) is saying that bombs equal freedom and if we ban bombs, only criminals will have them. The fact is only criminals do have bombs. And yet they don't kill thousands of people on the streets of America.

The problem isn't just guns. And it's not just criminals. It's criminals with guns. If you don't see guns as a good, getting rid of guns seems perfectly reasonable. If course if you don't see guns as good, there's a good change you're pretty ignorant about guns and the good people who have them.

As Dan Baum said in an email, "Those laws don't make us safer, so there is no benefit, and there are genuine costs to trying to pass them."

DJK said...

"Gun owners need to be responsible for their guns (and lock them against theft). And criminals need to face consequences for using guns. Right now none of that happens."

C'mon man. I know some hardcore gunnies, ones that would make a lot of these gun controllers piss themselves....and they ALL lock their shit up.

That's like me saying "All Liberals are Homosexuals". It OBVIOUSLY isn't true.

DJK said...

BTW, nice to be back at your blog... It's been a LONG time. Thanks to ASHLEY ELIZABETH DOUGLAS for posting a comment, which brought me back. I'll try to stick around. Not a ton of time for reading blogs anymore, what with the two little ones and all.

PCM said...

But I didn't say all gun owners don't lock up their guns. I said gun owners need to be responsible for the guns. I think your gunnie friends would agree.

Too many unlocked guns *are* stolen.

PCM said...

Good to have your comments back. You're very articulate, for a dog (see profile pic).

I don't post as much, either. So this should be easier for the both of us!

DJK said...

And a GOOD LOOKING dog, at that!

Gun owners, i'd say 90% of 'em (probably much higher than that), are responsible.

Someone stealing my gun safe, does not mean that I'm irresponsible.

DJK said...

"e could legalize bombs, too. Since they kill people. But we've settled the debate on bombs. They're illegal. And rare. Nobody (at least nobody I know) is saying that bombs equal freedom and if we ban bombs, only criminals will have them. The fact is only criminals do have bombs. And yet they don't kill thousands of people on the streets of America. "

You do realized that explosives and bombs are necessarily illegal, right? Have you heard of Boomershot? Guys, (GUN GUYS), getting together and blowing shit up in .....Idaho? It's been a while, but nobody's getting hurt/killed there....with totally legal bombs.

DJK said...

http://www.boomershoot.org/

DJK said...

" This is a long range, high-power, precision rifle shooting event with high explosive, reactive targets up to 700 yards away. Boomershoot is located in North Central Idaho near Orofino. Shooters and spectators have shown up to Boomershoot from faraway locations including India, England, Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington"