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by Peter Moskos

April 2, 2012

Seven die in California shooting

The BBC reports. And my response is once again to re-post a cartoon:
But relax! Your paranoid political fantasies notwithstanding, no one's going to take your guns away!
Barring some seismic realignment in this country, the gun control debate is all but settled--and your side won. The occasional horrific civilian massacre is just the price the rest of us have to pay. Over and over again, apparently.


Unknown said...

On the other hand, armed crazies intent upon mass murder DO tend to pick on the folks least likely to shoot back. When was the last mass shooting at a hunt club or a Tea Party rally?
I suspect it's no coincidence that violent crime rates go down in communities that ease up on gun restrictions. People tend to behave worse when they don't fear immediate and painful consequences.

And I think time has shown beyond a doubt that restricting the legal possession of guns, doesn't restrict the illegal possession of guns. Especially with our own government intentionally arming the people who sell illegal guns.

PCM said...

"I suspect it's no coincidence that violent crime rates go down in communities that ease up on gun restrictions." You say that... but it's not true.

And how about that shootout in a Detroit police station not too long ago. People don't always pick the softest target.

Unknown said...

1. I'll look for the articles that say otherwise and you can pick them apart.

2. "DO tend to," means usually, not always.

PCM said...

Please do. I'll be eagerly waiting and happy to oblige!

Unknown said...

OK, semantics. Since it's nearly impossible to separate gun law changes from other variables, I can't conclusively show that violent crime rates "drop" when gun restrictions ease. What I can show is that murder rates are lower in "shall issue" (concealed carry permits) states than in "may issue" or no-concealed-carry states. I included Washington DC among the latter.
"Shall issue": 5.33 per 100,000

"May issue" or none: 6.67 per 100,000


This is ONLY for murder, not assault or robbery. Those may take longer to find. I also want to look up violent crime in comparable rural areas and cities, since state and national averages include outliers such as D.C. and Louisiana.

Right now I'm headed to bed; it's been a long day and I have another one of those tomorrow.

Anonymous said...


The evidence is far from conclusive. Most anti-gun laws advocates point to John Lott's work that suggest that more guns equal less crime, but there have been many other peer review studies that have shown no effect or the opposite effect. (For example see http://home.uchicago.edu/~ludwigj/papers/JPAM_aiming_for_evidence_gun_policy_2006.pdf.

Common sense suggest that hand gun bans laws can not be fully effective if it easy extremely to purchase hand guns in many states.

Also, there are so many factors that impact murder rates which make it almost impossible to isolate the effect gun laws have one way or another.

Unknown said...

Isn't the elephant in the room, the fact that violent people don't obey gun laws, and will get guns even if guns are banned? Not only that, if they don't have guns they will still be violent. Guns are simply tools, and one of their valid uses is self and property defense. Responsible people with guns prevent violent crimes. That's all the justification anybody needs.

PCM said...

I think you're right on the mark when you say, "far from conclusive."

Sometimes violent people don't get guns. Or don't have one handy when they loose their temper. Lives can be saved in this way. (And often people will kill with a gun and not with another weapon. Guns are very efficient tools, as you point out.)

Also, a lot of violent people get guns "for protection." But if their enemies (or friends) don't have guns, a knife for protection will do just fine. The streets can be deescalated. That means less violence. That is good.

Responsible people with guns may prevent some violent crimes. And they also may contribute to violence in other situations. Which outweighs the other? I don't know. We don't know. And certainly the answer may not be the same everywhere.

For me, in New York City, I'd prefer to have fewer guns overall, even if we can't even take guns out of the hands of all the criminals.

Thomas McHale said...

For these past few years or decades, we have been looking for possible control and restriction on the increasing number of illegal gun possession in all over the country. I just realized that, we are always waiting something to come up or to happen before we do something about it. You see, the public's vigilance is somewhat recurring, this means that we aren't fully into it implementing stricter rules when it comes to taking some action in punishing those who aren't complying to this law. I guess, it's about time that we should do something and act it out consistently to help stop this kind of incident happening again.