HuffPo promotes meaningless gun statistic

If you were to visit The Huffington Post right now, then you would see at the top of its home page an alleged statistic about gun-related deaths in the USA since the Newtown shooting.

There is one little problem with the statistic. By itself, it is meaningless.

The statistic doesn’t separate accidental deaths from intentional killings.

It doesn’t separate acts of self defense or acts in the line of duty from criminal acts.

It doesn’t separate deaths involving pistols from deaths involving rifles.

It say nothing about the amount of ammunition involved in the gun-related deaths.

It says nothing about the existing gun laws in the areas where gun-related deaths have occurred.

It does not compare the number of gun-related deaths in 2013 to the number of gun-related deaths in previous years.

The posting of such a meaningless statistic can have only one purpose: to try to frighten gullible people into believing that stricter gun laws are needed.

What is happening in Chicago demonstrates that stricter gun laws are not a panacea for gun-related deaths.

Also, when a person chooses to use a gun to commit a crime such as robbery or murder, that person is engaging in immoral behavior.  One could interpret an increase of gun-related deaths as being a sign of an increase in immorality. How often do liberal pundits talk about an increase in immorality?

Of course, it is far easier to post a meaningless statistic in a large font than it is to talk about moral decay.

 

 

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  • MartinLandauCalrissian

    But, it makes people feeeeeeellll. And feelings is all libs want out of people. They don’t want thinking, they want feeling.

    • jim_m

      Of course. And because they feel they demand that someone do something, and in this case like most leftist causes the something they are demanding will do nothing to actually alleviate the problem. Actually, like most leftist solutions it will actually make the problem worse (which I believe is their intent)

      It’s all classic leftism. We feel bad and someone must do something about this horrible crisis. So we demand that action be taken that has nothing to do with the problem itself, thus we have the benefit of feeling like we are doing something and we have the benefit that the problem doesn’t go away so we can continue to use it as an excuse o run other people’s lives for them

  • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

    Another favorite of the anti-gun crowd is to talk about the number of “children” killed by gunfire, when the total includes gang activity and deaths from gangbangers as old as 23.

    • Researcher

      At one point the NRA audited such a study and found the “children” were as old as 26. Killed at home was defined as within 20 feet of the home owner’s property line. That allowed one death to be counted when it happened inside a neighbor’s house. Gun in the home might include a Revolutionary War non working British Brown Bess flint lock musket hanging over a fireplace. VisionAndPsychosis.Net.

      • Jonathan

        I’m an outsider in this: not a US citizen. From outside, the conversation is a bit strange — I guess because the constitutional issue seems so peculiar if you’re not actually a US passport holder. But I’m interested to know: what number of accidental shootings of children /would/ be acceptable to you? What number would be insignificant, and not worth reacting to, lest it infringe your conception of liberty. Are you trying to argue that once you correct the figures that you’re left with a number of deaths that needn’t give anyone pause? What is that number?

        • herddog505

          You tell us: what’s the price of your liberty?

          • Jonathan

            I’m not sure what your question actually means. It seems strange to me to measure the price of liberty in other people’s blood. I imagine it may be the case that more Americans have died from accidental gunfire in the US since the end of the Vietnam war than in military actions overseas. Correct me if I’m wrong: I’m just guessing. This is quite a price. It’s interesting to see how different people respond to this kind of thing.

            I’m as free as I want to be, within the normal constraints of a western democracy: I think what I want to think, vote how I want to vote and when I want to vote, I do as I please (constrained by a shared set of social mores and commonplace political norms most of which are familiar throughout the western democracies: outside the US, taxpayers tend not to mind paying taxes — within reason — and yet often do not consider themselves in the least bit ‘socialist’). I do not love my government, but I do not hate it: I certainly do not fear it. I am as free as you, and free too from the concern that anyone I know, or anyone they know, will ever be shot by anyone. My political liberty is unconstrained. My social and economic liberty are far more constrained by my own personal choices connected with raising a family and wanting to be an active participant in it than they are by anything my government can do to me. You probably wouldn’t consider me free, because I am not free to buy sidearms at the drop of a hat (and because I pay much more tax on my gas). But very few people I know would ever want to own weapons. It is not an issue for us, and therefore it is not a peg from which we hang our notions of what it means to be free. Personally I consider that rather liberating when I look at the level of gun violence and the destabilising effects of freely available military hardware in many communities around the world. If I lived elsewhere, perhaps I would feel differently.

            As regards Lauren’s point below: surely if your argument is that the numbers of gun deaths have been inflated, then you are tacitly admitting that the numbers as they stand are significant and problematic. If the numbers don’t bother you that much, why worry about whether they’ve been inflated? If it makes a difference to your thinking to know that the numbers have been inflated, then the question naturally arises: at what point /would/ the numbers be too many. WOuld they ever?

          • jim_m

            Forgive us but it seems stupid to place the price of liberty as being the possibility of a criminal misbehaving so you would rather be a slave in a fascist state like Venezuela or Cuba where the murder rates are actually higher than in the US but you would have the selfish satisfaction of having everyone be disarmed except for the criminals and the criminal state enterprise.

            You claim to be as free as you want to be. So what if I want to use more of my freedom than you do? Your response is that I should get screwed. What if someone wants less freedom than you do? Well according to your own logic we should take away your freedoms because they are not needed.

            Freedom means being able to do things simply because you want to not because they are necessary or useful. Many people have difficulty with that concept. Many people in the US have difficulty with that concept.

            Venezuela is a cautionary tale. A once democratic nation was taken over through democratic means and then the thug Chavez “reformed” the constitution to make himself dictator, He took away everyone’s guns so there could be no resistance as he destroyed the economy and destroyed the wealth of a once prosperous nation.

            This tale has been often repeated in modern history. Take away people’s guns and then take every bit of freedom from them. Notice how oppressive governments crush freedom but somehow criminals still flourish. A government that has complete control does not have to protect the citizens.

            Look at the city of Chicago. A Democrat controlled government has disarmed the people and the result is the highest murder rate in the country and a police the prey upon the public committing crimes against helpless citizens while they hide behind the power of the government.

            You want to know why we won’t give up our guns? That is why. A government with total control takes away your rights and then takes away your life. I don’t fear my government but I fear what it could become if I don’t remain vigilant about my freedoms.

          • Jonathan

            That’s not what I said. I said I’d rather live under the rule of law in a tyranny — which is not necessarily to be a slave — than to live in a country with no possibility of a good life at all. In Chile and in Venezuala there a good people, who read and think and learn and do not care for their governments, but they are safe. I do not mean I would rather live there than in the US! Far from it! In Iraq, and in Afghanistan, and in much of Central Africa, nobody is safe ever, and very few have the chance to escape fear, and to ignore the ills of their world and grow as people. This matters.

          • frankstclair

            To live in tyranny is to be a slave. Do you actually think before you write these things?

          • Jonathan

            I shouldn’t be doing this (responding to your every comment), but I can’t help it. I’m sure I’ll regret it. But you need to read about slavery. You need to read some real history books that were not written to prove a historical point, before you pontificate like this. All kinds of people have been subject to tyranny. Some really great thinkers, some amazing writers, some brilliant leaders, all kinds of people. None of whom were slaves. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius wrote a great book called the Consolation of Philosophy as he lay in prison before his execution by a tyrant king in northern Italy in the sixth century. He wrote about the freedom of the mind: and it’s a book that is still read now. I’ve known Latvians who stood at the barricades against Russian soldiers in 1991, unarmed, and won their freedom for themselves. I think they understand freedom as well as you. It sounds like you have a very limited personal experience, based only on your life in the US, and your narrow view of anything outside that.

          • herddog505

            Yes, being a in a prison, concentration camp, or dictatorship is the shiznit I don’t see why everybody doesn’t sign up for it…

          • herddog505

            jim_mFreedom means being able to do things simply because you want to not because they are necessary or useful.

            Exactly. As I read the other day (can’t remember where, I’m sorry to say), Rosa Parks didn’t NEED to sit at the front of the bus, but she understood that being free – being an American – meant that she damned well ought to be able to do so if it suited her.

          • jim_m

            Agreed. And people like Jonathan claim that they are free and happy, but it is obvious that they have little concept of what freedom is. They are happy to do what their government masters ell them to and they think that they are free when they are truly slaves.

          • Jonathan

            No, I do not especially care to cow tow to anybody. My government doesn’t really tell me to do much at all. You shouldn’t attribute opinions to people like this. It’s not sensible /or/ polite. As it happens I do not consider myself subject to my government. I would happily break the law if I thought that law was unjust. I would readily rebel against a tyrannical government. But I think it is supremely unlikely that I will have to encounter one in my own country. I simply don’t understand why you think that other people do not care about liberty or even experience it, just because they do not share your interest in weapons. You seem to think I must be a slave because I do not want to own a gun, but this is not a definition of slavery that I recognise.

            I’m just interested to know why you tolerate and explain so much death: I’m very happy to be corrected if I get anything wrong.

          • jim_m

            the word is Kowtow

            If you look at where murder in the US happens it is actually a very small area. Take Chicago for instance. 80-90% of all murders occur in just a handful of neighborhoods. I do not experience any such violence in my life because I don’t live there.

            There is a lot of violence in a very concentrated area. The cities and the government are helpless to solve this issue. The solutions provided by well meaning leftist politicians have actually made things worse.

            So why do we tolerate so much death? We don’t have it. it is remote from us. And the politicians instead of offering solutions seek to make political gains like seizing guns from those who have no connection with crime or murder.

          • Jonathan

            Yes indeed. It’s late where I am, and there’s many a slip twixt brain and finger.

            Ok. That makes more sense to me. There’s evidently a misfit between where most of the violence is, and where most of the political opposition to gun control is. This is pretty clear from the map that has been on the Huffington Post front page. I can understand the depth of feeling that attaches to the Constitution — which most outsiders (I think) would happily admit is a noble thing. But I still don’t understand why the proliferation of heavy duty weapons is not more of a concern to people who know guns, and use them responsibly. The most dangerous thing I use regularly is a four-wheel drive car — which is right up there with the book, the tractor, the combine harvester, the washing machine, the computer and the aeroplane as an object that has transformed the nature of personal liberty (in the case of some of these things far beyond what the framers of your constitution could ever imagine). Any government which denied me the right to possess a car would be a tyranny, and I would resist it tooth and nail. But I want people to have licenses to use them, because they are dangerous. And I want people to have their licenses taken away if they misuse them or can be shown to be a liability to the safety of others. And I sure as hell want my family to wear their seatbelts. If I were a US citizen who valued gun ownership, I think I’d let some of the same sort of concern effect my attitude to the management of this right.

          • jim_m

            I added more to the comment that you may have missed.

          • Jonathan

            Yep. Just saw it! And then my ps went above…

          • jim_m

            What “proliferation of heavy duty weapons”? If you are talking about what politicians refer to as “assault weapons” you are sadly mistaken if you think that they are heavy duty. You couldn’t take a deer down with an AR15 and fully automatic weapons have been illegal since 1934.

            Lawful gun owners are actually very conscious about gun safety and organizations like the NRA are at the forefront of promoting safety and responsible ownership. You know a lot that just isn’t so,

          • Jonathan

            Well ok: I’m thankfully illiterate in these matters. I leave that kind of thing to a friend of mine in the British Royal Marines… Just heavier duty and far far far far more plentiful than the shotguns and fowling-pieces that people in Western Europe tend to have. But you can’t have it both ways can you? Either you have the guns you need to hunt — that nobody but nobody is threatening to take away — or you legalise the weaponry that you’d need if you were even to dream of taking down your own military (which would not seem to consist of the sorts of the weapons which you /do/ have).

            You seem to believe that European tyrannies have only existed because civilian gun ownership has been controlled, and that US tyrannies have been prevented because you have so many people with weapons. Why do you think that governments are a greater risk than violent popular movements? Tyranny is not only meted out from above. It can also rise up from lower down the social hierarchy. We’re subject to all kinds of forces: and in some cases we need elected representatives to protect us from them. These days, there’s far more power and more money available to those who do well in private business than in government. That’s where the real power lies, in most places, and private interests are very good indeed at creating and shaping popular interest. You’re placing a lot of trust in that massive army of armed citizenry. I don’t see why that’s more sensible than placing your trust in an elected government.

          • jim_m

            But here is the thing then/ You say that you are illiterate on guns yet you presume to tell others what the rational and logical thing is to do with guns.

            I do not believe that European tyrannies have only existed in the absence of guns. I have maintained that tyrants do seek to disarm their victims and that is true.

            I believe that an armed citizenry is a serious disincentive to an overreaching government, As I mentioned before US gun owners would comprise the world’s 3rd largest standing army and even if facing more powerful weapons it is unlikely that any nation could overwhelm us.

            As for placing more reliance in an elected government? Hitler was elected. Chavez was elected. If you don’t trust the people with guns then why do you trust them to elect a good government?

          • Jonathan

            In general I trust people more than governments: but I don’t trust people that much, and I certainly don’t trust mobs. An armed mob is my idea of a nightmare. Now I really am off to bed. Sweet dreams

          • RSCamaro

            Its rare that anyone who works for the government can be totally trusted. You see, they have no vested interest in you or your family other than the money that they need to keep their pockets full. I’ll take my chances on the people who want to protect their liberty and aren’t looking for a handout provided by people who more or less need your vote to continue in their quest for money and power.

            Don’t believe me? Research how many congressmen and senators are going to have to abide by the affordable healthcare act rules.

            …Ron

          • Jonathan

            Oh, and by the way, the most extraordinary and inspiring acts of resistance to oppression to which I know were the unarmed protests against Russian rule in the Baltic states at the fall of the Soviet Union, and the passive resistance led by Ghandi to British rule in India. What followed in India, with over a million deaths in the political violence between Hindus and Moslems, was symptomatic of a transformation in the attitude to the use of violence. Guns are not necessarily a ticket to peace.

          • Jonathan

            I can’t believe I got a negative vote for that! What’s not to like about a successful passive resistance?

          • frankstclair

            What do you mean by successful? In this country passive resistance will simply get you killed.

          • Jonathan

            Which is the most intelligent thing you’ve said. Well done.

          • jim_m

            You only prove my point that violence is cultural and not related to weapons. As I explained to ackwired above the Rwandan genocide was conducted primarily with edged weapons, babies were slaughtered by beating them against walls.

          • Jonathan

            Well ok, so there’s a cultural problem in the US. But are you therefore arguing that if all the guns just vaporised tomorrow, you’d have the same violent death rate? I think not. And don’t go citing that UK example again: the statistical misfit makes it pretty much irrelevant.

          • jim_m

            Guns won’t be vaporized so let’s not even speculate about that. But they could be banned and in hat instance I would say that yes, the murder rate would climb just as it has everywhere else guns have been completely banned. It is too convenient for you to discount the examples of how crime increases when guns are banned because they are “statistical misfits”. That’s bullshit and you are simply hiding from the truth,

            Yes the murder rate would increase. In Chicago guns have been illegal since the early 1980′s. In Washington DC they were illegal too. These cities are at the top of the list in terms of crime and murder. Banning guns has an inverse effect on crime.

          • Jonathan

            Try banning guns in Somalia. Clearly a gun ban tomorrow is no more likely than the guns disappearing. Nobody in the UK wanted more guns available at the point where stricter controls came in. Because nobody there wanted to be enslaved to violence and more at risk. The figures are really very low indeed, as low as anywhere in the world really, given the size of the urban population. The fluctuation was not because suddenly guys with guns felt more free to use them. Remember, the UK is a country where they still do not need to have an armed police force, because every study indicates that it would make life worse, and more people would die unnecessarily if we had one. But obviously if you took away police weapons in the US tomorrow, it would be a calamity. So the point is, the comparison is not helpful.

          • Art Weaver

            The facts are that violent crime is out of control in Great Britain and Australia since the ban of gun ownership. Self defense is also banned in both these places, and the stats lumped in with crime stats.
            Britain is no longer a state of unarmed law enforcement. Some areas have full time armed officers. Quite a few areas a “swept,” by armed contingents of law enforcement several times a month. MANY officers now carry a concealed weapon, and are allowed to do so!
            The unarmed Bobby argument is no longer val

            I have no doubt that your liberties, your freedoms were won and defended at some point at the price of bloodshed. Very likely by the blood of an American soldier.

            The number of mass murders in both places has gone up significantly as well. But your government and your press does not report them as they would if a gun was involved.

            We here in the US value our liberty by out ability to defend it. We do this because our history has taught us that we must not only fight for own, and be ready to defend it…..we must also be ready to defend YOURS and those like you who foolishly give away your abilty to defend your own liberty. We have done this again & again all over the planet. We have seen the results of your self-proclaimed superiority, and rescued those like you repeatedly.
            The price of liberty includes the liberty to screw up. Sometimes people get hurt, sometimes they die. But, that is just a part of the process. You don’t stop walking just because you fall down sometimes…..
            I expect that the time will come, possibly sooner than you think, that a “Yank” will save your sorry backside from your own foolishness. And they’ll shake your hand and smile and never rub your nose in that fact while you call them names and run them down to their backs like always. But thats OK, were used to it!

          • Jonathan

            I don’t know where you get your facts from, but that is simply not true. If you believe that official reports, academic reports, and newspaper reports are all wrong, what is the basis of your information except libertarian hearsay? Overall crime levels are diminishing in England & Wales. In specific urban areas, rates of violent crime are increasing, but the problem varies regionally just as it does where you come from (and as one of your peers has eloquently pointed out). In a few minutes digging I have found reports in the Daily Telegraph — a right-wing conservative newspaper in Britain — that in 2011-2012, the police recorded a fall in violent crime in England and Wales of 7 per cent (from 822,000 offences in 2010/11 to 763,000 offences in 2011/12) and a fall in robberies by 2 per cent. A parallel study done in Cardiff, which that newspaper cites, found that overall in England and Wales, serious violence decreased by 4% in 2011 compared to the previous year. Apart from a 7% increase in 2008, levels of serious violence have fallen every year since 2001.

          • Hawk_TX

            Actually Art is correct as the murder rate that the U.K. claims is artificially low. They accomplish this by only counting murders based on whether they get a conviction. This means that if the police have not solved a murder then as far as government statistics go then it did not happen. If the U.S. used this trick our murder rate would drop by approximately two thirds.

            Here are two websites that have in depth analysis of U.K. murder rates.

            http://rboatright.blogspot.com/2013/03/comparing-england-or-uk-murder-rates.html

            http://extranosalley.com/?p=35909

            The best estimate is that England’s true murder rate is higher than the United States.

          • frankstclair

            You know, I believe the violent death rate would be nearly the same. Guns are NOT the primary weapon of violent death in this country. Last time I checked FBI stats, it was fists and feet.

          • mikegiles

            Couple of points. How do you think Ghandi would have faired in an independence struggle against the Soviet Union. Or China. Or Nazi Germany. Second point, the American Revolution started in 1775, when British troops marched out of Boston to confiscate the weapons held by the local militia, at Lexington. Perhaps Americans see the right to bear Arms differently because we had to fight for our independence; and we know governments can descend into tyranny.

          • Jonathan

            I don’t think popular resistance with side arms to any of these regimes would have produced anything accept massive violence. People did try it you know. The American revolution does not supply universal laws: it explains the experience in your country, not in other peoples. Are you trying to say now that Americans not only know more about liberty, but more about tyranny than other people? You can’t always win every argument you know, on the grounds that you are American and you know better! You know more about your country. But the references to other peoples in your debate almost always say more about current perceptions in the US than they do about historical events outside it, and it’s these that bring in outsiders like me. History does not produce simple moral lessons, because it was never that simple, and the experience of the rest of the world is not simply a garnish to US history.

          • frankstclair

            Oddly enough, these areas of concentrated violence correspond with the areas of strictest gun control laws. Go figure.

          • herddog505

            JonathanI’m just interested to know why you tolerate and explain so much death: I’m very happy to be corrected if I get anything wrong.

            I think we’re approaching this from fundamentally different views. My view is that deaths due to the misuse of firearms – of ANY implement, from kitchen knives to cars – is a matter for the police and / or mental health workers. I’m very sorry when innocent people are killed, whether it’s by some loon with a gun or a drunk with a Chevy. I am very interested in seeing that the guilty party is arrested, tried, and punished. However, I fail to see why a crime committed by somebody else should impact my right to own either a gun or a Chevy so long as *I* do not misuse them. I believe that I am on firm ground regarding the US concept of justice in this regard:

            No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law

            Or, if you prefer:

            Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice

            I take the Canadian concept of “the principles of fundamental justice” to be equivalent to the American concept of “due process”; I expect that both have their roots in English Common Law and Magna Carta (esp. clause 29):

            No freeman is to be taken or imprisoned or disseised of his free tenement or of his liberties or free customs, or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go against such a man or send against him save by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no-one will we sell or deny of delay right or justice.

            I do not see that the evil acts of one man ought to be considered sufficient evidence to deprive me or any other innocent man of our rights and property, nor do I consider “well, you don’t really need that” to be due process. Or shall we start rounding up Muslims because a handful of them commit outrages? How about taking away everybody’s computer because some people use them for nefarious purposes, ranging from child pornography to fraud to terrorism? Once one embraces the idea that the innocent can be punished for the crimes of the guilty, there’s really no limit to the outrages on “fundamental justice”.

            I take it, however, that you are of the opinion that guns are good for nothing but murder, that there’s no need for them in a “civilized” society (the tens of thousands of Americans who use them every year to stop crimes would disagree), and that we would be better off without them. As I wrote elsewhere, history proves you very wrong. Even in your own country, one of the first gun control acts was passed NOT for what gun grabbers are pleased to call “public safety”, but rather to help suppress a fractious minority (Red River Rebellion). In our country, the ruling (white) class in the South used similar laws to make damned sure that their black slaves were in no good position to free themselves. We see in recent times examples of unarmed / disarmed peoples being subjected to brutalities ranging from mass deportation to extermination: the Jews in nazi Germany, the kulaks in the Soviet Union, Iraq, Rwanda, Bosnia, etc. We also see armed peoples hotly defending their lands against invaders or other occupiers, such as the Vietmihn that I mentioned earlier.

            Again, an unarmed people are nothing but slaves waiting for a master, or cattle waiting to be butchered.

            Do I fear such a thing in my country? No. On the other hand, I expect that Jews in Germany in 1925 didn’t, either.

            But let’s look at when guns are useful. According to the FBI* in 2009, there were 215 “justifiable homicides” in the United States, defined as “The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.” This, of course, does not reflect how many crimes are stopped – how many innocent people are saved – because the crook was wounded or simply scared off. A recent Cato Institute study finds that Americans use guns quite often to stop crimes:

            Of the 5,000 incidents reported between October 2003 and November 2011, 488 involved home burglaries along with another 1,227 incidents where intruders fled when confronted by armed inhabitants. Another 34 concerned pizza delivery drivers defending themselves, along with 172 animal attacks. Concerns about an attacker taking a gun away from an armed victim were proven invalid, with 227 incidents reported where the intended victim disarmed his attacker, while just 11 attackers disarmed his victim. Twenty-five rapes were avoided by armed victims. Two hundred and one attacks were neutralized by armed senior citizens (over age 65, according to the authors).^

            Now, I ask you: are you willing to throw those lives away? How many innocent people are you willing to see raped or beaten or knifed or strangled to death because they have no effective means to defend themselves? How many women will you tell, “Look, pee on yourself and hope he’s disgusted enough to leave you alone”?

            Finally, we know that gun control does not necessarily lead to lower violent crime rates or even lower homicide rates. Britain’s violent crime rate is (IIRC) about FOUR TIMES that of the gun totin’, rootin’ shootin’ United States.**

            So, for all these reasons, I’m not too inclined to give up my rights.

            By the way: do you believe that self-defense is a fundamental right?

            ===

            (*) http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_15.html

            (^) http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/7589-guns-used-in-self-defense

            (**) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

          • Jwb10001

            Please do tell how you would “rebel against a tyrannical government” if you and your fellow citizens have been disarmed by said tyrannical government. You’re very critical of us for not seeing your point of view I don’t however see you making much progress toward our point of view.

          • Jonathan

            I’m fortunate to live in a place in which the chances of there being a violently tyrannical government is about the same as everyone wanting to possess their own guns: virtually nil. Armed rebellion, in case you hadn’t notice does not have a very good track record world-wide for getting rid of oppressive regimes, and replacing them with acceptable democratic governmental systems. Your own rebellion is an interesting example: but it was a very long time ago, and would not look the same if it played out now. It’s also worth noting that the level of tyranny was really not all that impressive. Part of what looks strange to overseas observers about the gun control debate in the US is that you really don’t seem to know what tyranny looks like.You often use the term metaphorically, for governments some of you don’t happen to like. When you talk about tyrannies overseas, it’s most often apparently done in order to create equations with people in your own country and to paint them a nasty colour: look at the way in which you so often misuse the terms Marxist and socialist in fora like this one, when what you’re talking about is rarely anything like Marxism, or socialism. Believe me, I know: I’m European! I have friends and acquaintances from Eastern Europe who took part in mass rebellions that did not involve bloodshed. Had they had weapons, they would hardly have been able to resist the Soviet Union without turning their countries into nightmares of death. But they would have brought untold suffering upon all they knew and held dear. That does not mean they were slaves. And in the end, they prevailed. Most people prefer to avoid the scenario of total devastation when faced with it for real. Look harder at history: contextualise your own a bit more carefully.

          • jim_m

            I’d call BS on your claim that the chances of an oppressive government are nil in your country, but you haven’t said where you live other than n Europe. I gather that you are from northern Europe and if that is the case I could cite several examples of tyranny descending upon nations there. No one is exempt. It is foolish to think that it could never happen to you.

          • Jwb10001

            Gee you sure do make a boat load of assumptions about me and draw a number of conclusions based on said assumptions. You must be a teacher or professor with some assumption of superiority that you don’t really deserve. But thanks for all your helpful suggestions. How about I go on a rampage and blurt out a bunch of stereotypical crap about Europeans?

          • Jonathan

            Actually I haven’t blurted out a bunch of stereotypical crap: I’ve reflected more on the countries I’m more familiar with in north-western Europe. But you’ve told me a good deal about the fact that I am a slave and how everybody outside the US in countries where there is less gun ownership lives in subjection to tyranny: which is simply not true. In the meantime, aside from all the insults I’ve acquired a better understanding of some of the issues about which you’re concerned, owing to a couple of really useful comments that were made about regional variation of gun violence when I first commented here, and for which I am grateful.

            I don’t for a minute believe that you should all have your guns taken away from you. If you could come down from your high horse for one second, it would be possible to have a real conversation, instead of reproducing tired out garbage. But you’re so intent on accusing me of being a slave because I don’t live in a country where many people have guns that it´s impossible for me to ask any sensible questions at all: all I´m doing here is saying, no, I don´t live under a tyranny, and nor is there any threat that I shall, and all you’re doing is shouting at me that I’m wrong about everything. Why is it necessary for people in the pro-gun lobby in the US to believe that everybody else is worse off than them, and that the freedoms you have and to which you aspire are based on the possession of weapons, so that anyone who does not possess weapons, anywhere is a slave. The US is a country, not a faith (isn’t it)? All I can suggest you do is get a passport, and travel, and be ready to accept that other people have different experiences of life and are still free to live as they want to live, and not be denied on principle from getting any job that is available, or vote as they want to vote to get rid of governments that they do not like.

          • jim_m

            Before extolling how great where you live is I would suggest looking at how often despotism has overtaken your people. If, as I suspect, you live in the EU, it is pretty damned frequent compared to the US. If indeed you are from the EU, you can thank us for your current freedom. There are some benefits to people believing in freedom even if you don’t believe so yourself.

            And if you are from anywhere else in the world despotism visits your land even more frequently than in the EU. We’ve made it 236 years here in the US without tyranny.

            Yeah, I will accept a certain degree of risk for not having a government sending people to concentration camps or having death squads roaming the land. That doesn’t happen here because there is an armed public that constitutes the third largest standing army in the world preventing it.

          • Jonathan

            I do not have unconditional pride in my nation: but Europe has brought the world more than tyranny. One of its children is the US. And I know exactly what the debt of Europe is to the US — and it is one that is long remembered in the west. I spend a great deal of time in Normandy, and I know the cemeteries well, and the beaches. From a German point of view the western front was a side-show in comparison to the apocalyptic scale of conflict and defeat in the east: but it was a side-show that restored and guaranteed us our liberty. You’re totally right in that respect. But I’m not sure that this has anything whatsoever with the civilian possession of rifles, or the levels of murder rates in peacetime in the late C20th and early C21st.

          • jim_m

            It is founded in the belief in freedom from tyranny, which in many nations is lacking.

          • Jonathan

            In which western nations do people not care for liberty and freedom from tyranny? Do you believe that people like tyranny in Burma? And do you think that the tyranny of armed mobs in ungoverned Somalia, armed to the teeth, is somehow more palatable than the tyranny of Chavez, where people may at least dwell in peace, practise their religion and educate themselves — luxuries which the superluity of weapons prevents in many other tyrannies?

          • jim_m

            where people may at least dwell in peace, practise their religion and educate themselves

            Until of course the state decides they no longer can. State control is eventual tyranny. It is only a matter of time. The fact is that people of Europe are accustomed to state control over their lives. The fact that it devolves into a tyranny is something they have come to accept.

          • Jonathan

            Nonsense. Not to be a libertarian is not the same as being a socialist, and accepting a degree of central authority is very far from accepting tyranny. (But of course, that depends what you mean by tyranny: self-interest excuses itself in many ways). I do not personally believe that the country I live in would be better or freer or happier or safer if more people owned weapons. I can say this while completely ignoring statistics from the US. Every other source of evidence indicates that if there were more guns where I live, there would be more gun deaths and life would be less peaceful. Nobody wants more guns. We are not slaves. (Perhaps if I lived somewhere where there were many guns, and no security of any sort — like Afghanistan, or now Mali, I would want to possess a firearm.) But I have not learnt to live with tyranny just because I am European. My nation has not experienced any serious degree of tyranny for many many lifetimes. And we have never had any kind of institutionalised social segregation by race.

          • jim_m

            You have already stated clearly that you have no concept of what real freedom is. You have claimed that you are happy with what the state gives you because you don’t need anything else. You wouldn’t know freedom from tyranny just like you cannot tell the difference between a slave and his master.

          • Jonathan

            I don’t follow. Maybe I’ve expressed myself badly. I lived in North America (in Toronto — so not your bit) for three years, and worked with a very large number of people from the US, of all political persuasions. I never had any indication I’m less free in any substantial way than them, or that I don’t value many of the same notions of what freedom consists of. Indeed, I’ve often felt that many European countries (not necessarily my own) are far freer intellectually than America, and far more tolerant. The only place this really breaks down is in respect of guns: if your definition of freedom depends on the possession of weapons, which are seen not only as the means of guaranteeing freedom, but tokens of freedom itself, then this is not a definition that I happen to share. Perhaps I trust my society more than you trust yours. That doesn’t mean I like it’s government, or that I am an apparatchik of the state. I dislike much that happens, but my freedoms allow me not to be too worried about all that. I don’t expect that you march on Washington with a rifle every time a bill is passed to which you object?

          • frankstclair

            You’re free? Pack your pistols up and go out to the range. What’s that?

          • Jonathan

            I don’t own any pistols. It’s never occurred to me that they’d be useful for anything. I have other means of expressing my independence which don’t involve paying money into anyone else’s pocket, or subscribing to the interests of a club.

          • frankstclair

            Baaa! Baaaa!

          • Jonathan

            Why can’t you appreciate that people outside the US care about liberty too? There are other people out there in the world who deny the validity of all opinions but there own and are content to believe that all that matters is who has the biggest guns. In some countries their will prevails. I’m lucky enough not to live somewhere like that. Why don’t can’t you accept that in some places, people don’t really need very many guns, and do not live in fear or in subjection?

          • Henry Smith

            Why can’t we accept that people outside the US care about liberty? Easy, it’s because they allow themselves to be disarmed and accept whatever the government says they have to accept. In our eyes, they value a feeling of security more than freedom. They forget that several hundred thousand Americans with guns died to gain them that liberty. I for one say, next time, to hell with the sheep people of Europe. Let them be enslaved. They deserve no better.

          • Jonathan

            OK. This is a bit like talking to muslims. Thanks: I really did learn a couple of new things last night. But you should learn that your own views are not the only ones that are righteous and legitimate. You don’t seem to know what you’re really talking about when you talk about people in other countries but your own: you seem to enjoy being discourteous and aggressive. It’s not a good advert. I’ll not trouble you any longer.

          • Jonathan

            As a p.s.: I’d forgotten that the war in the European theatre was won by a ‘well-regulated militia’. Fortunately the availability of anti-tank weapons and the widespread knowledge of how to fly fighter aircraft meant that this militia needed no training whatsoever to turn it into a powerful fighting force.

            Thank goodness that the decision to enter the war in Europe wasn’t left to some cranky old democratic president who would have had to swim against the tide of popular feeling at the outset.

            Oh. Hang on a minute.

          • Art Weaver

            I don’t know where you live. You have conveniently declined to say. But, you must be either a king, a president, a prime minister, or maybe a dictator/emperor! You speak as if you represent the will and opinion of everyone where you are from!
            We have the same problem from liberals here. They also feel that they either speak for everyone, or know what’s best for everyone. Our liberal government and liberal press constantly misrepresent or outright lie about the facts here as well. Most people are not in favor of gun bans or new gun laws in this country. Gun owners certainly are not. Yet the liberals repeat this nonsense every day….a lie told often enough becomes the truth….
            The lowest crime rates exist in places where guns are a requirement of the the culture. Sweden, Denmark, Israel are just a few examples that prove your conjecture that less guns equal less crime is wrong!

          • Jonathan

            So because I’ve presented you with figures from a right-wing organ that contradict your hearsay, I’m a liberal? I am actually quite a conservative Christian, so many liberals would consider me deeply unprogressive, and a mouthpiece of a thoroughly illiberal faith. Conservatives in countries that are not your own don’t necessarily want to own guns, or feel that everybody should. We may have more in common than you think — except for the fact that I don’t want to own a gun, and I see no reason to fear the government in the country in which I currently live (England), more than I fear, say, the Murdoch press, or very rich people who gamble away other people’s livelihoods in games that they can never ever lose, and who always profit, whatever happens.

            You say liberals speak like they know what’s best for everyone. Well some here speak as if the people’s collective of conservative gun-owners in the US are the only social group who understand freedom, the only people who recognise tyranny, the only people who know what it is to be a slave, and the only people who have ever shed a drop of blood for liberty. This is hogwash.

            Before you mention Sweden and Denmark you should find out about gun regulation there, and compare it to the US. Once again, you cite examples overseas that you’ve read somewhere, but you don’t seem to know the facts. If you did, you’d probably be uncomfortable about them. It is quite a different story in Denmark and Sweden from the US (and you need to be careful about branding those places Marxist too, as so often happens: Swede’s are the most independent minded people I’ve ever met, — but they have a political culture geared to meeting this requirement of personal autonomy that defies easy categorisation and leaves everyone else confused. It’s not my cup of tea: but good luck to ‘em). Personally I think that the Scandinavians, although they are more bureaucratic than I like, have a much better approach than the US, which is to say there are plenty of guns about, but they are very careful indeed about regulating access to them.

          • Jonathan

            So because I’ve presented you with figures from a right-wing organ that contradict your hearsay, I’m a liberal? I am actually quite a conservative Christian, so many liberals would consider me deeply unprogressive, and a mouthpiece of a thoroughly illiberal faith. Conservatives in countries that are not your own don’t necessarily want to own guns, or feel that everybody should. We may have more in common than you think — except for the fact that I don’t want to own a gun, and I see no reason to fear the government in the country in which I currently live (England), more than I fear, say, the Murdoch press, or very rich people who gamble away other people’s livelihoods in games that they can never ever lose, and who always profit, whatever happens.

            You say liberals speak like they know what’s best for everyone. Well some here speak as if the people’s collective of conservative gun-owners in the US are the only social group who understand freedom, the only people who recognise tyranny, the only people who know what it is to be a slave, and the only people who have ever shed a drop of blood for liberty. This is hogwash.

            Before you mention Sweden and Denmark you should find out about gun regulation there, and compare it to the US. Once again, you cite examples overseas that you’ve read somewhere, but you don’t seem to know the facts. If you did, you’d probably be uncomfortable about them. It is quite a different story in Denmark and Sweden from the US (and you need to be careful about branding those places Marxist too, as so often happens: Swede’s are the most independent minded people I’ve ever met, — but they have a political culture geared to meeting this requirement of personal autonomy that defies easy categorisation and leaves everyone else confused. It’s not my cup of tea: but good luck to ‘em). Personally I think that the Scandinavians, although they are more bureaucratic than I like, have a much better approach than the US, which is to say there are plenty of guns about, but they are very careful indeed about regulating access to them.

          • Art Weaver

            I don’t know where you live. You have conveniently declined to say. But, you must be either a king, a president, a prime minister, or maybe a dictator/emperor! You speak as if you represent the will and opinion of everyone where you are from!
            We have the same problem from liberals here. They also feel that they either speak for everyone, or know what’s best for everyone. Our liberal government and liberal press constantly misrepresent or outright lie about the facts here as well. Most people are not in favor of gun bans or new gun laws in this country. Gun owners certainly are not. Yet the liberals repeat this nonsense every day….a lie told often enough becomes the truth….
            The lowest crime rates exist in places where guns are a requirement of the the culture. Sweden, Denmark, Israel are just a few examples that prove your conjecture that less guns equal less crime is wrong!

          • frankstclair

            What price peace? Venezuela lets you live in peace-until they seize your property for the State. Chavez died with two BILLIONS of other people’s money. Graveyards are peaceful, you know.

          • Jonathan

            This is a getting a bit childish. Why not try to understand other people’s positions? Read again what I was trying to say. Tyranny comes in a lot of different forms, and all kinds of different degrees. In some place, people are tyrannised by levels of popular violence in which absolutely nothing good can thrive. Constant violence and anarchy in contexts where weapons are rife and there is not faith in law or mutual responsibility crushes everything. In some countries with unpleasant dictatorship, people are at least free to live and love and raise their families even if they are surrounded by calamity. If you cannot see that there is a difference, but want to cling to the idea that guns are always good, then you are a peculiar kind of fundamentalist who doesn’t really want to pay any attention to the realities of life for a great many people. Keep on contemplating your navel.

          • diverjimk

            Somebody posited a while back that, if the people who were exterminated by the Nazis each had an old Mauser bolt-action rifle, 20 rounds of ammunition and the WILL TO USE THEM, Hitler would have been one of history’s footnotes. Something to think about, wouldn’t you say? The possession of firearms by civilians is one of the main reasons the Colonies were able to earn American independence from Britain.

          • Jonathan

            Go and read Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 by Max Hastings, and see if you still believe that. It took the Russian invasion of Germany to put paid to Hitler, and the history of it can’t be written from the German point of view because across most of the front, everybody died. Stop and think about that.

          • mikegiles

            On the question of Hitler and the Soviets, the Soviets were the ones that allowed the war to start in the first place. They should consider themselves lucky that the Western allies didn’t make peace with the Germans, and allow them to deal with them on their own.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            In the ’20s or early ’30s, Hitler could have been stopped by a regrettable accident with a broken wine bottle in a bar brawl.

            To use an analogy – think about an asteroid on a trajectory to hit the Earth. Up close, it takes an immense amount of energy to deflect. But catch it early enough – several hundred million miles out – and applying a hundred pounds of thrust for a few seconds would be sufficient to alter its trajectory to a point it’ll miss Earth by millions of miles. Yeah, it might impart just a millimeter or two sideways drift per minute, but given a long enough period those millimeters add up., It’s all about time – the more time to change the trajectory, the less force you need.

            Of course, as we’re finding out with the current near-misses, telling whether the rock’s on the proper trajectory can be iffy. For example – In the ’20s, nobody saw Hitler as much more than some loudmouth spouting off to his friends in a bar.

            And it kind of depends on your theories behind history. If a Hitler-like charismatic leader was going to rise after Germany’s defeat in WW1, someone would have taken his place if he’d been killed in the ’20s. And that someone might have been more militarily effective than Hitler was in the 1938-1945 time period. The Battle of Britain might easily have gone a different way, if their strategic plan had recognized the importance of the radar stations in the Chain Home system – and taken those out on a regular basis before sending over mass bombing raids.

            Or gone “Hey, screw this war business anyhow. Let’s just kick back, boost industry and technology, and see what trade can get us…”

            So – yes, it’s pretty likely an armed population willing to defend itself probably wouldn’t have allowed a Hitler to ascend, since his real basis for power early on was getting people to do regrettable things in the interests of racial purity, and fostering resentments against the entire world.

            With a population that couldn’t fight back – the stage was set for decades of misery to come.

            Or – as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it –

            “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.”

          • jim_m

            Unfortunately, Jonathan is an appeasement first statist, who believes that the state is always right (unless that state is the US) and that people should be happy with whatever rights the state sees fit to give them.

            He has not learned the lessons of WWII (or WWI, or frankly of the Napoleonic wars and the American Revolution (which are in many ways one and the same)). He believes that appeasement of dictators is the way to avoid war.

            He believes that disarmament of the public will prevent civil unrest, terrorism and crime. His beliefs are contra-factual and ignorant of human nature. He sees violence as something that is apart from human nature and that people, if sufficiently controlled by the state, will never be violent.

            And finally, he does not believe in evil (evidenced by the fact that he does not believe that violence is in human nature and that he is against punishments such as the death penalty) , does not believe in private property,(based on his rant against wealth and capitalism) and has been hiding his real beliefs the entire time he has been posting. Key to understanding his dishonesty in what he believes is his refusal to disclose where he was from for 2 full days of discussion.

          • herddog505

            As it happens, we Americans actually HAVE measured the price of our liberty in other people’s blood: redcoats, Mexicans (in Texas) and even our own (Civil War). For that matter, we’ve measured the price of liberty in places like France and the Phillipines in German and Japanese blood, or in Korea with North Korean and Chinese blood.

            I’m glad that you don’t fear your government. I’m sorry that you are deliberately robbing yourself of the ability to keep it that way. For myself, I will not. The lessons of history are too clear: a people that are unarmed are slaves waiting for a master… or cattle waiting for the slaughter.

            What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

            Thomas Paine
            The American Crisis

            If we wish to be free — if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending — if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which e have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

            Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

            Patrick Henry
            March 23, 1775

            The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user. It is equally useful in securing meat for the table, destroying group enemies on the battlefield, and resisting tyranny. In fact, it is the only means of resisting tyranny, since a citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized.

            Jeff Cooper

          • jim_m

            You left out the one that our friend probably already knows:

            Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Mao Tse Tung.

          • Jonathan

            There we go: if someone disagree with you, they are a Marxist. I am not a Marxist, and I am not a Socialist. But I am also not a libertarian. I do want to understand a little more about what makes people think the way they do. But I think it’s important not to get caught up in the same tired old positions all the time. I can imagine if I lived far from a police station, in a place where I had good reason to be concerned about security, I would be glad to have a gun. But I do not think for a single second that a hunting rifle would allow me to take out a fighter bomber, an aircraft carrier, or a tank column. Personally, I’m a Christian, and my religion teaches me that the liberty that matters most is the one that exists within me. But I care for tyranny no more than you.

          • jim_m

            I did not accuse you of being a Marxist. I just suggested that you would know that quote , being that it was probably closer to the sort of political education you received than what someone here would receive. Herddog gave you familiar quotes for someone educated here.

          • Jonathan

            Ok! Sorry.

          • frankstclair

            Yet you are unwilling to allow others to preserve their liberty. You love what OTHERS have defended. Nice.

          • Jonathan

            It’s not really a question of what I ‘allow’ or not, is it? Why so touchy about an opinion that is at variance with yours? I come to places like this to learn. I’ve learned a fair bit here. How about you?

        • Lauren Mullen

          It’s not about wanting to see a certain number of children dead before we give up our guns – that is morbid and soulless. Rather, the person is pointing out that the number of “children” dead are inflated – a 26 year old is certainly not a child. Worse, a lot of kids (12-15) end up dead because of gang activity, not because an angry parent or other adult shot them to death.

          This is also a cultural issue. In the South and the West, urban cities are few and far between; and even those areas are still heavily influenced by the surrounding rural areas. Because of this, many of us grow up using guns to hunt or just to pass the time (shooting cans with BBs, going to the gun range, etc.) Even if we’ve never shot a gun, we have fathers, brothers, and friends who do use guns regularly. So we don’t associate guns with gangs and murder; we associate them with hunting, sport, bonding and coming-of-age. We know they are dangerous weapons, but we also know that if we handle them respectfully we can have a good time.

          In the north and the east, where rural areas are sparse and everything is just one big concrete jungle, guns aren’t used for hunting and sporting. They’re used for murder and violence, and most people who have them have them illegally. So not only do people in the north grow up not using guns, but they don’t know anyone who uses guns in a safe manner, either. They associate guns negatively as tools that can only be used for barbaric, primitive acts of violence.

          • DustyDiamond

            Pardon me, Lauren, but you are waaaay off base with your analysis of guns in the north & east. You need to visit the north & east before making ignorant comments such as, “…rural areas are sparse…” and “…guns aren’t used for hunting and sporting…” Tell that to my fellow citizens in Pennsylvania, where 60% of the commonwealth is forestland and has the second highest number of licensed deer hunters after Texas. Perhaps if you qualified your comments to guns in the inner city wastelands, they would have some validity. But then again, it’s the same in just about every large city no matter where it’s located. Posting these nescient comments only serves to provide more fodder for the clueless anti-gun crowd.

          • Lauren Mullen

            Ehh, one state doesn’t really disprove what I said. Think about heavily urban states like Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and to some extent New York. Even though there are rural areas in the state, they fall into the minority because the states are so small and the urban areas are so vast. Places like Wyoming, South & North Dakota, Texas, and Oklahoma are much bigger and have much less urban sprawl, which makes them more susceptible to widespread gun culture – I lived in the city in one of those states, and even as urban as it was, I still knew a bunch of people who would go hunting during deer season or take their kids to the shooting range.

        • jim_m

          The purpose of he second amendment was as a measure of insurance against tyranny. As Herddog asks shat is you freedom worth? Or better yet: What is the freedom from tyranny worth to you and you children and their children?

          Take a look at the countries that ban guns: Cuba, Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union. In some cases the oppression has gone on for decades and continues today. How many millions are dead because the state first deprived people of the ability to defend themselves not just against criminals, but against a criminal state?

          Finally, The US does not lead the world in murder rates. There are many nations that are worse and they are amongst the states where guns are banned. Murder is a cultural issue and not related to gun ownership.

          • Jonathan

            I live in a country free from tyranny. Western democracies aren’t tyrannies. Political oppression in the countries you name is not the result of the banning of weapons. There are all kinds of tyranny, not all of it imposed by centralised governments. Personally I’d rather live in Venezuela or in Chile than in Somalia, or Mali, or the Congo, or Afghanistan, or Iraq, or in any other country where military hardware is freely available and the rule of law is a dream.

            You’re right though that gun ownership is not the only issue. The example of Norway demonstrates this: there they have a strong hunting culture, and there are a lot of guns in circulation. They have an absurdly lower rate of gun deaths than the US (do you /really/ consider it a success to be better than the likes of Panama, South Africa, Brazil, or Columbia? The European outlier is Switzerland, which doesn’t come anywhere close to you guys, but where everybody has guns, and they commit suicide with them all the time). If you look at murder rates, you’d be hard pressed to find many countries with low rates of gun ownership and murder rates that top that of the US. Care to name any comparisons?

            I have no idea where you got your factoid about the Nazis from. Read some books by historians of C20th Germany. The Nazis loosened older, harsher gun control laws, and in 1938 largely deregulated the acquisition of rifles, shotguns, and ammunition, and lowered the legal age of ownership to 18. The Jews were prohibited from owning guns of course: but this was neither the worst aspect of their persecution, nor the principal cause of the catastrophe. The Jews of Germany nor anywhere else in Europe could have resisted Nazi tyranny with hunting rifles where the armed forces of the western European nations failed.)

          • jim_m

            Chavez banned guns and the murder rate went up. The UK banned guns and the murder rate went up.

            Guns are not the issue. People commit murder. People have always committed murder. Banning guns only disarms the victims.

          • Jonathan

            The UK murder rate is comparable to that of Ireland and Sweden. Which is to say, negligible — although murders do happen. The US murder rate is comparable to Belarus, Laos, and Turkmenistan, and higher than that of the Palestinian territories. There is nothing that looks good in these statistics. But Lauren’s more sensible words above are helpful, and I suppose what you need to engage with in the US is regional variation between the different states. But you’ve got a huge murder rate compared to most western democracies, and a vastly bigger rate of gun deaths. Why not do something about it? We all pay a bit of a price for liberty. Why pay this one?

            I’m not being rude: I’m really interested to know. The constitutional argument is always the sticking point here. But what I don’t understand is why you think that gun ownership would ever help if your government turned nasty. Don’t you think that (a) the soldiers themselves would be unwilling to fight their own people and (b) that if they were willing, the people would need a damn sight more than small arms to deal with a tank? This isn’t the C18th.

          • herddog505

            Tell that to the Vietmihn.

          • Jonathan

            But if you rebelled against your government, you wouldn’t be backed by China.

          • herddog505

            Neither were they initially. And I wouldn’t hint to them that the only way they beat the French was because they got Chinese help; I have no love at all for the Vietnamese communists, but I respect the hell out of the Vietnamese fighting man as a tough, determined, intelligent adversary.

          • Jonathan

            Yep, you’re probably right there. And there are other examples you could cite to back your case. But these are pretty complex situations, and I’m not sure that they necessarily help. I’m sure that some people in the US would like to think that the Vietnamese people were wrong to resist the power of the southern government and the US military. Doesn’t this mean you could use the same historical example precisely to counter your position. Isn’t a heavily armed populace as likely to be a threat to nationhood and liberty as a heavily armed government?

          • herddog505

            Why should it be? Americans are and have always have been. Except for the Late Unpleasantness, we have never been a threat to our “nationhood”, mostly because Americans have been self-governed and generally satisfied with our government (or, at least, the mechanisms for peacefully changing it). I suggest that what you’re talking about really is not threat to “nationhood” but rather to “the State”, which is exactly what we’ve been talking about. For a small-scale example of how we Americans have had to deal with that, I refer you to the Battle of Athens*.

            The cases where liberty has been curtailed / eliminated in the United States have been cases where people have been disarmed / unarmed. I have already mentioned black slaves; Mother Jones in her autobiography writes of several cases where workers were threatened, beaten, and murdered by thugs employed by their bosses because they had no effective means to defend themselves.

            Oh, you mentioned Ghandi and India. Yes, it’s inspiring. Lucky for him that he was up against the British and not the Soviets, the Red Chinese, the nazis, or any other regime more inclined towards… um… less gentle treatment of dissenters. The Chinese tried non-violent protest in Tianamen Square about twenty-five years ago; it didn’t turn out so well for them.

            ===

            (*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Athens_(1946)

          • Jonathan

            I’m off to bed now. I’ve enjoyed talking to you. You set me straight on a couple of things, and I understand your position a bit more clearly. So thanks. I still think you’re all a bit nuts, but in the nicest possible way.

          • jim_m

            I probably am a bit nuts, but you have been a good sport and I hope you will come back again.

          • RJ
          • jim_m

            Jonathan. While you claim to be free from tyranny and that there is no possibility of tyranny descending upon your country I would suggest you take a look at Cyprus.

            In Cyprus gun ownership is completely forbidden. The government has no fear of confiscating the property of citizens and has decided to do so in order to sustain the government’s incompetent management of the nation.

            If the government feared armed uprising of the people in protest of the illegal and dictatorial actions of the government there would be no confiscation of property and a solution that was more equitable to the people arranged.

            You claim that you are not under tyranny but your government will do the very same thing to you and you can do nothing about it.

          • Jonathan

            You are right Cyprus is a bad model. But you know what, Cyprus is a bad model in almost every way possible. The weather’s nice, and there are some interesting ruins and a few nice bars, but politically it has never been anything except a disaster. It doesn’t matter what political party gets into power in those parts. But you know what? If you’d ever visited the eastern mediterranean, you’d know it’s a joke to suggest that life would be better and safer with more guns. They are a pretty fiery bunch: much, much better at popular protest than you. A good proportion of them believe in revolutionary socialism, and just as many if not more believe in something that looks and smells a good deal like Nazism. And each half of the island of Cyprus would like nothing better than to shoot the crap out of the other half. SO go ahead. Arm ‘em to the teeth and watch the fun. (Have you never ever encountered the fact that the influx of freely available weapons can be a politically destabilising phenomenon? There are numerous parts of the world which would be a good deal pleasant for their inhabitants if there were a few less AK47s still kicking around. People could, you know, send their kids to school without worrying about whether or not they’ll live through the day).

          • jim_m

            Jonathan. While you claim to be free from tyranny and that there is no possibility of tyranny descending upon your country I would suggest you take a look at Cyprus.

            In Cyprus gun ownership is completely forbidden. The government has no fear of confiscating the property of citizens and has decided to do so in order to sustain the government’s incompetent management of the nation.

            If the government feared armed uprising of the people in protest of the illegal and dictatorial actions of the government there would be no confiscation of property and a solution that was more equitable to the people arranged.

            You claim that you are not under tyranny but your government will do the very same thing to you and you can do nothing about it.

        • frankstclair

          Interesting question. Accurate statistics concerning the accidental shooting deaths of children put the figure at about 35 annually in the United States. Deaths of children in backyard swimming pools number about fifty. Do you want us to ban pools? A better question is how many legitimate uses of guns to prevent violent crimes are there per year, versus gun deaths. There are about 8500 gun murders per year in the US. According to John Lott, University of Chicago, there are as many as one million successful defensive uses of firearms per year. So, thirty five accidents plus 8500 homicides versus one million violent acts prevented. Does that answer your snarky, petty attack on American liberty? Of course not, you are obviously a “progressive,” also know by Leninists as a “useful idiot.”

          • Jonathan

            Last night I had a really good conversation here, and learnt a couple of things which gave me a better understanding of where some people in the US are coming from. I’m not snarky, I’m different from you, and I am quite prepared to change my position if presented with new information. You seem a little more yoked to an unchangeable ideological position. Where I come from it’s not ‘progressive’ to think that a reliance on guns and violence is unnecessary as an anchor for liberty. It’s just a fact of life, and one which I value deeply. I don’t need a gun to be free.

          • jim_m

            The pro gun position is not considered progressive here either. Progressivism trends toward state control of people’s lives and always has trended that way. Gun rights tends to emphasize individual accountability and responsibility, two concepts that are antithetical to progressivism.

            And you are correct. You don’t need a gun to be free. You just need for people to be free to have guns. When people cannot, they are under the thumb if government and freedom is only transitory, based only on the good fortune of having a government that is not corrupt or interested in despotic control.

          • herddog505

            The histories of our countries are very different. We had to win our liberty by force of arms from the British (and the Mexicans in the case of Texas), and slavery was similarly ended by force of arms.

          • Jonathan

            Yes, I agree. And the histories of different countries — or more accurately, the way in which those histories are perceived and remembered and retold in the present — shape current attitudes in different ways in different countries. I’m glad that you seem to think there is a distinction to be made between the slavery of African-Americans, and the experience of Americans who were politically subject to British rule before independence. I’m happy to accept that I know far less about US history than all of you. But that doesn’t mean it’s not reasonable to be surprised by some aspects of the gun debate in the US, because it so often relies on example culled from overseas, but often does not seem to really engage with the full range of different experiences. History tends not to produce absolute lessons. It’s not physics.

          • herddog505

            Absolute lessons? No, because people are not absolutely the same.

            However, you want to understand why many of us Americans are wedded to the right to keep and bear arms. I think I have explained it, but allow me to summarize:

            1. Our history, including the various Indian wars preceeding Independence, the War for Independence itself, and the Texas Revolution and even the Battle of Athens demonstrates to us that an armed and determined people can protect themselves and their rights even in the face of superior miliary force;

            2. We also implicitly believe (or, at least, this has been common in America until recent times) that a people accustomed to bearing arms are easier to train as soldiers. Our greatest soldiers – York and Murphy – were riflemen long before they put on a uniform;

            3. Our history and culture teaches us that arms are (ahem) useful not only for self-defense, but also for maintaining law and order (cf. Northfield, Minnesota raid);

            4. We look around the world and see unarmed / disarmed people oppressed, ensalved and even slaughtered by a relative handful of thugs, be they slavers, the KKK, SS, NKVD, Red Guards, Khmer Rouge, Hutus, etc. We are not keen to EVER be in that position.
            I’m glad that you live in a peaceful country and that you don’t fear that this will ever be different. Again, however, I’m sad that you are willing to trust this – the liberties and perhaps the lives of yourself and your fellow citizens – to luck.

            We are not.

          • Jonathan

            Thanks for that: succinctly put. Personally — in some contexts (look! Compromise!) — I’d still be more worried about governments restricting digital communications like twitter than I would about fire-arms. But your words get the /basic/ principle of ownership in the US sorted. As far as I have heard, nobody is threatening that, but I may be wrong.

            Is it just because of the second amendment that you’re prepared to be more careful about who can drive a car, and how, or who can drive different types of large vehicle (or indeed aircraft), say, than you would be about who can own guns and the amount of rounds they can fire without having to stop to re-do their hair?

          • herddog505

            I don’t know what you’re on about unless it’s (A) the old saw about guns – somehow – being more deadly than other tools and (B) that we Americans can casually pick them up whenever we feel like it (though, if it were up to me, that would be EXACTLY how it would be).

            All I can say to you is that owning a firearm is a constitutional right, for (as I understand the mind of the Founding Fathers) the reasons that I listed above. Driving a car or flying an aircraft is not. I can use a gun to put meat on my table, to stop a crook harming me or my family, or, in extremis, shooting a jackbooted thug who wants to take away my rights or herd me into a camp (to my shame, we’ve done that here, you know).

            Incidentally, FAR more Americans die from car crashes every year than from gunfire. Indeed, in 2009 (the last year for which I can readily find data), Canadian motorists killed about 2000 people and injured another 178,000 (when will the bloodshed end???). But because people see the need – as I do – to own cars, nobody talks about more “car control”.*

            It appears to me that ANY tool / device can be misused, either through accident or negligence. Unfortunately, it is a liberal cause celebre to make guns ESPECIALLY wicked and evil; you’ve bought into this.
            Finally, as others have said, being free means that you haven’t got to justify why you want to buy this or sell that or do this other thing: being free means that, within broad limits of not harming other people, you may do as you please.

            ===

            (*) Here in No. Carolina a few years ago, some loony Muslim tried to kill nine people with his car at the University of North Carolina. CAR CONTROL! We need more restrictions on SUV’S!

            Or… not. It’s just a crook who tried to kill people, and we’ve locked him away for it. No need to bother the tens of thousands of other people in our state who drive similar cars with greater regulations because of the actions of one fanatic.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Reza_Taheri-azar_SUV_attack

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Very nice summation.

            “Finally, as others have said, being free means that you haven’t got to justify why you want to buy this or sell that or do this other thing: being free means that, within broad limits of not harming other people, you may do as you please.”

            A gun is simply a tool for taking small pieces of metal and accelerating them quickly. What the exit for that acceleration is pointed at depends solely on the user. Point it at a target with a high degree of accuracy, and you’ve got an Olympic gold medal shooter. Point it randomly into a crowd at a nightclub, and you’ve got one thug wannabe shooting at another.

            In neither case does the gun wield itself. The person bearing the firearm has the responsibility for its use, whether it be lawful or not. And when you teach people (either directly or tacitly) that there’s no penalty for misbehavior with guns, you’ll see irresponsible use.

            As far as what I might WANT, I agree – as long as I don’t misuse something and cause harm to another (and no, “OMG he’s got a gun, and even though he’s peaceful, I can’t stand knowing he’s got something like that!” psychic harm isn’t sufficient cause…) what business is it of the state what I might want? If I can afford it, and use it responsibly – what’s the problem?

          • Jonathan

            Thanks for that herddog. Personally I think guns are little more deadly than other tools: they’re not designed for us to pick our noses with, and gadgets which are designed for that purpose do not allow us to do so from several hundred metres away, but that’s by the by. Would you mind me asking a few more question? I am genuinely interested.

            In many countries people expect to have to wear seat belts in their cars, and expect to lose their licenses if they drive improperly, if they go blind, when they get too old to be considered safe and so on. You’d also have a job to get or keep a license to drive a car if you suffered from a range of serious physical or mental health conditions. Is it reasonable and constitutional to make efforts to keep weapons from the hands of people who are not might not be deemed responsible or capable citizens in any other context? If so, are you happy that sufficient efforts are made? What kind of efforts would be right at the boundary of what is not acceptable: i.e. at the light end of unconstitutional regulation in your view?

            Are you happy that the framers of your constitution thought that membership of a well regulated militia was open to all on a voluntary basis — or would that mean it was no longer well regulated? (What does well regulated mean anyway? I’m not sure why the term appears in your Consitution unless something were meant by it, since this is such a tightly expressed document).

            Lastly (if you can still be bothered!), does your constitutional right to bear arms not include field artillery, grenade launchers, surface to air missiles, fully automatic weapons, recoilless rifles etc? If not, why not?

            Thanks very much: I really do want to know, not so as to be more of an arsehole, but so as to understand the position better.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            “Personally I think guns are little more deadly than other tools: they’re not designed for us to pick our noses with”

            Neither are circular saws, table saws, sabre saws, hammers, screwdrivers, nail guns…

            If you’re not using the proper tool (pinky finger w/properly trimmed nail) you could end up doing yourself an injury.

            “Lastly (if you can still be bothered!), does your constitutional right to bear arms not include field artillery, grenade launchers, surface to air missiles, fully automatic weapons, recoilless rifles etc? If not, why not?”

            As I posted above – “if I use the thing responsibly – what business is it of the government?” You can own grenade launchers and grenades – as long as you pay the tax on ‘em. ($200 a whack, if I recall correctly.) You can also own automatic weapons, if you get a license and pay the tax. Field artillery? Sure. Tanks? Sure – but you’ll have to go British on those, since the US doesn’t sell surplus tanks often.

            http://driveatank.com/

            http://www.tanktownusa.com/

            Then you’ve got to worry about maintenance. The initial cost might not be all that much (depending on your relative scale of ‘much’) but the feeding and upkeep… that’ll take a chunk. There’s a reason the companies that let you drive ‘em charge so much.

            Ammo’s a different problem, and if a grenade has a $200 tax on what’s essentially a small chunk of explosive and some metal weighing less than two pounds, what’s a 200 lb shell gonna run you? Not to mention the paperwork.

            And that brings up another thing… the responsibility to NOT hurt someone when using the above items. I’m thinking it wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to have the full weight of the law crash down on folks who do.

            The US Code is currently over 200,000 pages long. Figuring double-sided, exclusive of bindings, you’re looking at 100,000 pages. There’s 500 pages in a ream, 5,000 in a standard case case, a case of 8.5×11 weighs about 50-60 pounds. So you’re looking at about 20 cases of paper, about 1,800 lbs. Add in bindings and endpapers, you’re looking at about a ton.

            Crash that down on someone from 20 ft up, you wouldn’t see a second offense.

            (If you’re feeling particularly barbaric, we could add in the IRS tax code. at 73,0608… but that starts hitting the range of cruel and unusual punishment…)

          • herddog505

            I see that we are thinking along similar lines.

          • herddog505

            JonathanIn many countries people expect to have to wear seat belts in their cars, and expect to lose their licenses if they drive improperly, if they go blind, when they get too old to be considered safe and so on.

            I’d expect to lose my rights to own a gun (and to vote, among other things) if I misused it by, say, shooting somebody unlawfully.

            Incredible as it may seem, we DO make efforts in our country to keep guns out of the hands of loons and crooks. For example, contrary to what one sees on TV and hears from people like Diane Feinstein, Andrew Cuomo, that loathesome sawed-off little tinpot wannabe Michael Bloomberg, and the idiot Joe Biden, I can’t just stroll into my local gun show and get a machinegun; this requires a Class III Federal Firearms Licence. Neither can I just walk into the local hardware store and pick up a semi-auto pistol; I must have a permit from the Sheriff of my county. In any case, I must complete a federal form 4473:

            Form 4473 contains name, address, date of birth, government-issued photo ID, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check transaction number, make/model/serial number of the firearm, and a short federal affidavit stating that the purchaser is eligible to purchase firearms under federal law. This includes swearing that you do not use any illegal drugs, thus outlawing firearms possession by e.g. American marijuana users. (Cf: Prohibited persons.) Lying on this form is a felony and can be punished by up to five years in prison in addition to fines…*

            One complaint about Barry and his gang is that, while they yap about gun control and keeping guns away from crooks and crazies, they’ve done next to nothing to prosecute those cases where people who AREN’T allowed firearms have tried to get them, which is itself a crime.

            I must say, too, that you keep harping on Somalia and Turkmenistan and Bingzi-bangzi: “Oh, they’ve got guns and violence!” as if the one leads inevitably to the other. Americans, it is estimated, have about 250 MILLION firearms. Contrary to popular belief, the average American city is not a corresponding war zone. Indeed, MOST American streets are pretty safe. As (I believe) jim_m has pointed out, the vast majority of murders in our country occur in a fairly small number of bad neighborhoods; I don’t need a vest, helmet and rifle to stroll down most streets in my city in North Carolina. For example, here is Chicago, one of the most notoriously violent cities in the country:

            http://mapsof.net/uploads/static-maps/chicago_violent_crime_map.png

            With regard to a “well-regulated militia”, as I recall correctly, there was nothing “voluntary” about it: as under English Common Law, adult males had to provide themselves with suitable arms and equipment and report for periodic muster.**

            Finally, WRT heavy weapons, if it was up to me, Americans could own such things. Indeed, I recently learned that it is legal for an American to own a fully functional tank, though there are some special licences that have to be gotten. But don’t worry: the things are so expensive that the average crook won’t be sticking up a mini-mart with a bazooka or a restored Sherman.

            The proviso is that I am pretty merciless on crooks: you use your gat to commit a crime, the weight of the law will fall very heavily on you. You kill somebody, it’s the gallows. I don’t go in very much for this “reform” or “his momma smoked crack” stuff.

            ===

            (*) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_4473

            (**) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militia_Act_of_1792

          • Jonathan

            Actually Turkmenistan has far fewer weapons in circulation than the US — fewer than 4 per hundred people — and a possibly commensurately lower rate of gun violence (unlike Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia etc), at about a rate of 0.1 gun homicides per hundred thousand people. Only 2.4% of their homicides in 2012 were by firearm, but then they only actually had, um, 5 homicides by firearm last year. Turkmenistan is pretty low on the rankings of gun ownership. But I guess none of us would be very happy to live under their political system. If only they weren’t such sheep, they could probably improve their scores.

        • Vagabond661

          “what number of accidental shootings of children /would/ be acceptable to you?”

          Such an odd question. It’s like asking how many children deaths from car accidents are you willing to accept before you outlaw automobiles? How many children must die before you cement over pools?

          Very strange question.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Of course, you’re not answering it properly.

            If you say ‘none’, then by default you should be ‘for’ gun control. After all, if it’s ‘for the children’ then no effort or expense is too great.

            But pools and cars – well, those are just a normal hazard of growing up.

            It’s funny how just a little education is the great preventer on things like that. The NRA has their “Eddie Eagle” program – telling kids that if they find a gun to LEAVE IT ALONE, don’t let any kids play with it and get an adult to take care of it. Simple, straight to the point, easily learned.

            But far too many parents think “If I just leave it in a closet, the kid will never find it.” and don’t bother to even tell their kids about guns. After all, there’s always time…

            Until there isn’t… and a child is hurt or killed because his parents were worried about telling him or her about guns.

  • Commander_Chico

    I’d like to see a figure for auto-related deaths in the same period.

  • kazzer66

    How about some statistics on how a permissive liberal society, where no one has to accept responsibility for their actions, or pay for their crimes, no matter how heinous, might promote violent criminal behavior?

    • herddog505

      Look up the statistics on recividism. Those tell the tale: “Oh, we’re SURE that he’s REFORMED. Why, we gave him a few years of cable, three squares each day, and a weight room. We told him that shooting that store clerk was really, really bad, and he’s told us (cross his heart!) that he won’t do it again! Anyway, it’s really mean to keep him locked up, so we’re going to set him loose again. He won’t do it again!”

      • jim_m

        Prison is not about reform, it is about punishment. The reason we don’t have better programs for the reformation of criminals is that in the 1000′s of years of recorded history no one has figured out a way to actually achieve the reformation of criminals in a consistent way (hence the plot of A Clockwork Orange).

        The left is insistent in their progressive ideology that man can be perfected. The problem is that they refuse to learn from history that such a state is opposed to human nature. People are who they are. Change is difficult and therefore extremely rare.

        • herddog505

          jim_mPrison is not about reform, it is about punishment.

          I think that we are substantially in accord (if it were up to me, there would be public hangings and chain gangs). However, I suggest that it’s not unreasonable to look at the root cause of a crime: did the crook do it because he was desperate (cf. Jean Valjean)? If so, then some sort of education might be useful: “Look, you stole because you were desperate. If we teach you a trade and help you get on your feet, we think you won’t do it again.”

          Or does the crook simply know no better as a result of being raised in bad circumstances? Some years ago, I was in a quickie mart in a “bad” part of Albany, GA. There was a school across the street, yet there was a prominent sign on the door of the shop: “Only one child at a time.” In my experience, one doesn’t want to limit one’s customer base like that, so I asked about it. The shop owner told me that the kids had been TAUGHT BY THEIR PARENTS to steal: letting more than one of the little thieves into the shop at a time was an invitation to pilfering. “Look, you stole because you weren’t taught any better. Well, we’re going to teach you NOT to do that. You’d better not do it again.”

          Now, for the hard-core crook, the violent criminal or the “career” criminal, I’m inclined to making it VERY hard for him: “You’re a waste of a human life. You’re a burden – a menace – to society. We’re either going to ensure that you never do it again by locking you away for a very long time, or else we’re going to stretch your neck. Either way, society will be shut of a miscreant.”

          • Brucehenry

            I could be wrong, but it’s my understanding that recidivism is lower in Western Europe than in the US. Could that be because sentences are shorter, conditions more humane (convicts are not routinely raped and brutalized by their fellow inmates), prisons are less crowded, and there is no death penalty?

            Like I said, I could be wrong. And by Western Europe I mean UK, France, Scandinavia, Netherlands, etc.

          • jim_m

            Death penalty has exactly zero recidivism.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Part of that may be social, and also possibly from laxer enforcement. (Paris and France, for example, seem to have a significant problem with vehicular arson in certain neighborhoods – and the police have learned that you just don’t go in there unless you’re in force. We haven’t gotten that bad here yet… pretty much.)

          • herddog505

            It’s very hard to compare different societies, as we who are interested in Second Amendment know quite well. Why do the Japanese, for example, have very low violent crime rates? Is it because they have very limited access to firearms? Then what about Switzerland, which has pretty easy access? Why is the violent crime rate in gun totin’ America lower than it is in safe, sane Great Britain? Perhaps a prison sentence in Europe is a badge of shame, while in parts of America it’s a badge of honor or a rite of passage.

            It may be that “more humane” prison conditions* lead to less recividism. However, I KNOW (as jim_m points out) that the crook who’s in his grave (or a prison cell for life) sure as hell won’t offend again.

            ===

            (*) I was astonished when reading the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that Blomqvist reqarded his prison sentence as something of a vacation, a change to catch up on his writing without the distractions of his day job!

  • Vagabond661

    I would like to see a statistic on how many crimes have been committed by illegal aliens since January 1, 2013.

  • jim_m

    Between 800,000 and 2,500,000 crimes prevented annually by lawful gun use. Think on that when lefties claim they want to prevent crime by banning guns.

    The violent crime rate in the US is 383.3 per 100,000 Property crime was 2980.7 per 100,000. That’s a total crime rate of 3295 in the year 2011. Eliminate the use of guns to prevent crime and you could see an increase of 8% to 25%. In the UK they saw a 35% increase in murder after banning guns. To see a 25% increase in crime is probably not the high estimate, it is probably the low estimate when you consider the additional inducement of criminals knowing that their victims will always be defenseless.

    What the left wants is more victims. Then they can advocate for even more government control over our lives.

  • http://www.traveLightgame.com/ ljcarolyne

    HuffPOS is meaningless. I never go there, don’t care, just like I don’t care to listen to the UsurperPOS. What a disgrace for America – GRRRRR

  • GarandFan

    People who visit Huffpo aren’t exactly known for their intelligence.

  • ackwired

    Few statistics are meaningless. This one means just what it says it means. It gives the total number of gun-related deaths. Those gun-related deaths are the price of freedom on a gun society such as ours. We also have large numbers of alcohol-related deaths and drug-related deaths. That is also the price of a free society. Prohibition of any of the three causes more problems than it solves. But to try to ignore that the deaths occur, or to assert that they are meaningless, is to stick your head in the sand and ignore reality.

    • Conservachef

      ackwired,

      I think the point being made by David was that this statistic is so broad and vague that it is virtually useless. You could be lumping the “good” instances (self defense) in with the “bad” (crime) and it comes out sounding like all instances were “bad.”

      • ackwired

        Possibly. It is also possible that the people using the statistic wanted to point out the total number of deaths that occur as a result of guns being a part of our culture.

        • Vagabond661

          Guns are just a tool to the real problem. You don’t blame money for banks being robbed. You don’t blame cars for being the getaway vehicles. You don’t blame masks. You don’t blame pantyhose. You blame the criminals. It is because we have criminals as a part of culture.

          • ackwired

            This may be the argument that they are aiming at. It is not a matter of blaming the guns. It is simply that without guns the gun-related deaths would not have occurred.

          • Vagabond661

            The reason we are discussing it is because one can only guess, I guess. Maybe they are not looking for an argument as much as they are looking at a discussion.

          • jim_m

            BS. You cannot say that people would not chose to murder someone just because they do not have a gun. The Rwandan genocide was committed primarily with edged weapons.

          • ackwired

            It is reasonable to think a few of the murders would have occurred anyway. But it is so much easier to kill with a gun. The same day as Newtown a crazy man went into a school in China using a knife instead of a gun. He stabbed twenty some students. They all survived.

          • jim_m

            It is simply that without guns the gun-related deaths would not have occurred.

            I’m sorry. That just sounded like you meant that none of the murders would have occurred. And as the examples of the UK, Venezuela and elsewhere have shown us, banning guns actually leads to an increase in murder not a decrease. Your claim is utterly without foundation. It is a fantasy and you are wrong for trying to get people to believe in a lie.

          • ackwired

            Take another look at the subject, Jim. They are discussing ALL gun-related deaths, not just murders. Now pour yourself a glass of wine and try to relax. You are dealing with reasonable people here. No need for all of your juvenile insults.

          • jim_m

            I wasn’t being juvenile but I will now a-hole. I addressed what you said and I did so in a direct and serious manner until you denied your own words.

            Your statement was plain that without guns there would be no murder. You can either admit that you misspoke or you can continue to double down on your lie. Or are you now going to play a juvenile word game and claim that they wouldn’t have been gun related deaths without the guns? Ha Ha.

            [edit] Oh, and I drink Macallan

          • Rob

            Jim is right. This IS a cultural problem. It’s not about the tool. It’s about the TOOLS like Jim who see all these deaths, whether they are 26 years old or 6 years old, as being the “price to pay” for our “liberty” and “right to bear arms”.

            The problem with our culture is that we have become so afraid to act in the face of a growing problem, NOT on emotion, but on the facts and common sense, that any damn attempt to do so is a “violation of our second amendment rights” that NOTHING can ever be done.

            The position you take is that because criminals don’t follow laws anyway, why have any laws on the books. And hell, why not arm every man, woman and child to boot. Let God sort it all out.

            It’s brilliant in many ways, but perhaps the most important is in it’s simplicity.

          • jim_m

            That’s nice. Your answer is to oppress the people who are not responsible for the problem and to do nothing about the culture where the violence is actually occurring.

            What idiots like Rob fail to realize is that you ban guns and the criminals, who are already breaking the guns laws, will continue to violate the gun laws. SO your ideologically based cure for violence is nothing of the sort. The people you are thinking will be prevented from committing acts of violence are already immune to whatever you propose.

            Crime is actually declining and gun ownership is actually increasing. The problem is fascists like Rob who think that the answer is to usher in an oppressive dictatorship by negating constitutional rights and confiscating the guns that keep our government from becoming the mirror image of Venzuela that obama wants it to be..

          • herddog505

            Don’t you love his appeal to “act on the facts and common sense”? He sounds like that idiot Cuomo in [EDIT] NY [EDIT] who bragged about how he’d passed his gun law based on “facts and common sense” and now has to beg to repeal it because it doesn’t work.

          • jim_m

            It isn’t about how many people will we allow to be murdered for our freedom. It is the fact that you so called solution will not save them either and will only succeed in taking away our rights and endangering our democracy (but that latter part really is your aim isn’t it).

            Politicians have already admitted that the assault weapons ban would have done nothing to reduce crime (in fact we already have evidence from the previous ban that it did nothing). We also have admission from the gun control community that nothing short of confiscation will satisfy them. Your nonsensical solution is to pass additional laws that will not reduce crime in any manner because “doing something” is just “common sense”.

            And as has already been stated on this thread the confiscation of guns from the law abiding has been followed by an increase in crime and in murder. So the real question is how many more people will need to die to satisfy your need to take away my rights?

            Your solution is to use the deaths of these people as an excuse to force a fascist agenda on the rest of us. No thanks. If you are looking to find a heartless bastard in this I suggest looking in the mirror. You will find that person standing on the dead bodies of murder victims as he uses them to force his agenda on the rest of us.

          • Jonathan

            Sorry you can’t just go on doing that. Repeating a falsity doesn’t make it true. For the violent crime figures from England, look at http://www.citizensreportuk.org/reports/murders-fatal-violence-uk.html. Overall crime rates are decreasing. The numbers are really pretty low. There is no great desire among conservatives in Britain to repeal gun regulation. Almost nobody believes it would make the country safer. It is simply not a big issue for people. Remember the population of England & Wales is about a sixth of that in the US. There may be lessons in the E&W data that you can use to fit your argument, but don’t do it by abusing the data or making it up.

          • jim_m

            Overall crime may be down but gun related crime is actually up in the UK. In 2009 it was reported that gun crime had increased by 89% in the last decade.

            I am not repeating falsehoods. The fact is that the gun ban has had no effect on the use of guns in crime other than actually increasing the use of guns in crime.

          • Jonathan

            You referred to /murders/. The number of murders is decreasing, not increasing.

          • jim_m

            Fine. But the evidence that banning guns lead to an increase in crime is indisputable for anyone who doesn’t have their head up their ass

            The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundredsof thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.

            [...]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.

          • Jonathan

            You’re absolutely right. The amount of gun crime rose in the late 1990s. There’s no getting away from it. At the time, everybody thought it was pretty ugly. Funny thing is, there weren’t and still aren’t a great number of voices in Britain demanding more guns as the answer. Quite the reverse. I guess that just shows that even Tory voters are slaves with their heads up their own arses… Or perhaps it’s because we have a different value system and like a different way of life. After all, it was that well-known pinko progressive Margaret Thatcher who initiated ‘the most draconian firearms act ever adopted in Britain’ after a famous mass killing. No semi-automatics since then.

            But your figures are pretty old and flaky now you know. To be consistent, how do explain the fact that gun crime has been falling consistently since about 2005?

            There’s an important difference of scale between the US and the UK. In the US, you have a lot of guns. We really don’t have that many in comparison. And yes, as the numbers of illegal weapons increased from not that many to quite a few, the numbers of gun crimes increased. In this country, unlike yours, a few more guns in a smaller criminal world makes a very big difference, and greater proliferation means more guns turning up in connection with other misdemeanours — including people simply being found in possession of illegal guns, of course… (I’m not sure that there really could be more guns in criminal hands in the US could there — not so as to make any kind of difference anyway). In the UK, things look a little different now.

            There’s quite a good collection of figures at http://www.politics.co.uk/reference/gun-crime. Maybe if you look about you’ll be able to find something to suit your own interpretation. But why you should need to shore up your opinions like this beats me.

          • jim_m

            The reality is that gun crime rates have returned to approximately the rates of before the gun ban. My point being that there still is not evidence that the gun ban succeeded in doing anything but taking away rights from people who weren’t committing crimes in the first place.

            What you haven’t done (and that’s because no one else has ever done it) is to show that banning guns actually takes guns out of the hands of criminals. OK, to be fair I do believe that the support for the argument that banning guns does nothing to take guns away from criminals is pretty clear.

          • Jonathan

            No you are wrong. Again. The /reality/ is that the amount of gun crime is about 20% lower than it was immediately before the Conservative party’s draconian gun legislation was introduced. Murder rates with guns are about the same or a little lower than they were in the early 1990s.

            These are the official parliamentary figures. Do your homework if you are going to invoke statistics. Do not rely on horror stories in the unreliable gutter press. Don’t always trust people just because you /want/ to agree with them. That’s not freedom but self-delusion.

            Make your own mind up about the world you inhabit: keep your guns, and be happy — imagine if you will that nobody else understands that you know true freedom (although you still can’t explain how you’re actually more free than me, except by virtue of the fact that you own a gun): but don’t twist reality, because /some/ of it can actually be measured.

          • jim_m

            Here’s the graph to 2009 for England and Wales for gun crime. http://mygunculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/UK_Homicide_rates_gun_ban3.png

            No meaningful difference

          • jim_m

            Or better yet, the total incidence of gun crime http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/files/2012/09/19_fc_guncrime.jpg

            The gun ban made things worse. You can live in your fascist fantasy world. I recognize that no matter how many facts I show, you believe that your ideology trumps them.

          • Jonathan

            Your second graph shows raw figures only, and does not reflect the changing rates of violence against a steadily increasing population. Some of the figures I’ve supplied in my other answer have the same problem — but in this case with the reverse effect since the trend in gun violence is now downwards, and the rate of descent therefore is greater than the raw figures suggest.

          • jim_m

            Or we can look that the current relative rate of violent assault. http://thepersonalsecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Statistics3-500×454.jpg

            Nice to note that the rates for the UK and most of scandanavia are higher than in the US. In fact the UK is more than double that of the US.

          • Jonathan

            England can be pretty violent. We had a nasty business involving football hooliganism in the 1970s and 1980s, which involved a great deal of gang warfare, some of it international. People died. We’re fortunate that there weren’t so many guns around then, because more people would have died.

          • jim_m

            Yeah it could have been like Chicago where the percentage of murders committed with guns was ~40% before the gun ban and it’s now 80% with a total ban on guns.

            Thanks goodness you didn’t ave guns because he decline in crime would have been disastrous for your ideology.

          • Jonathan

            I think that the official figures I’ve supplied you with show you that the lessons you learn from your situation in the US don’t quite play out in the same way in the UK. You’re accusing me of being led by ideology, but I’m actually only interested in an evidence based approach. I don’t have an axe to grind, except in as far as my faith teaches me that homicidal violence is never simply ‘right’, even if real-world situations sometimes make it unavoidable. That I suppose is what primarily limits my sense of freedom. But I think the same faith brings me other benefits.

          • jim_m

            When you look at gun crime in the UK, Washington DC and Chicago, all of which instituted total bans on guns, you see that the crime rates and the homicide rates increased after the bans were instituted. FACT.

            When you look at the US it is well documented that bans such as the Clinton era Assault Weapons ban have had zero effect on crime or murder. When you look at gun ownership in America you find an inverse relationship to crime. When there is more gun ownership, more lenient carry laws, you see less crime. These are facts.

            As I have said your impression of the US being some violent place is far from reality. Violent crime is isolated to a few localities in inner cities and is rare outside of those areas.

            As for the benefits that your faith brings you I would say they are primarily an acceptance of having no freedom. The UK is a great big surveillance state. I’ll pass on a state where I am constantly on government video and where defending myself is illegal.

          • Hawk_TX

            Jonathan’s evidence based approach is based on a lie the British government has orchestrated to fool their public. The murder rate in England is far higher than government statistics indicate.

            They accomplish this by only counting murders when they get a conviction. Murders that have resulted in an arrest but no conviction are not counted. Convictions that have not been appealed are not counted.This means that if the police have not solved and successfully prosecuted a murder then as far as government statistics go it did not happen. If the U.S. used this trick our murder rate would drop by more than two thirds.

            In addition the Crown Prosecution service only charges somebody with murder if they can show premeditation, otherwise they are charged for manslaughter.

            Also the Statistics released are for England and Wales, they exclude Scotland.

            Here are three websites that have in depth analysis of U.K. murder rates.

            http://rboatright.blogspot.com/2013/03/comparing-england-or-uk-murder-rates.html

            http://extranosalley.com/?p=35909

            http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2013/03/well-damn.html#disqus_thread

            The best estimate is that murder rate in the UK according to US standards is double or higher than their reported rate.

          • Jonathan

            So now you’re arguing that it’s not about criminal culture then? You’re trying to have all sides of this argument, and you’re not very consistent. Your figures show that England can be violent (and this is something that I readily accept: one avoids many town centres at night), but they also show that the frequency of gun violence is comparatively low — even lower than you might expect when you take into account the greater incidence of (reported) less serious violent crime. So now, instead of recognising an interesting an informative disparity in the figures, you are having to argue that non-gun related crime rates would be lower if there are more legal guns about. But what we don’t want in the UK is more /illegal/ guns coming into circulation, as they did in the late 1990s (when those friendly freedom-loving IRA terrorist chappies — who had largely been funded by freedom-loving Americans who believed that paying for other peoples guns was a really good thing to do — were ditching their weapons for profit). And we don’t much relish the idea of an arms race between legitimate trigger-happy gun-owners and the owners of illegitimate guns. And we know all about what happens when people with different opinions of what it is to be free have weapons and the will to use them.

          • jim_m

            I am consistent. Crime is about the culture. When you take away the deterrent for crime you get more crime. Guns do not cause crime. Guns create a deterrent. The fact that crime goes up when guns are made illegal shows that legal ownership of guns is a deterrent for crime.

            Legal gun ownership creates an environment of risk for criminals. Well known studies by John Lott have demonstrated that in the presence of increased legal gun ownership, criminals modify their activity and commit more property crimes and fewer crimes on the person. This has been borne our over and over.

            And don’t go comparing crime to having an active terrorist group inside your country. The IRA is a terrorist group and your country were fools for caving in to them. Yes, there were a small number of idiots in the US who funded them, but we are a nation of over 300 million.

            And finally, I will accept that your ideas of freedom are significantly different from ours, but that is to be expected where you live in a nation where truth is not considered an absolute defense against libel. The idea that I could speak the truth and be punished for it is repugnant. Almost as repugnant as a country where a man goes to jail for defending himself against a violent attacker, which is another problem your country has.

            You call yourself free but you cannot even defend yourself without risking going to prison.

          • Jonathan

            And you favour letting your state execute people even when they’re innocent, and selling everything to the highest bidder, and refusing to give value to anything that doesn’t bring profit (you know, like new antibiotics), or allow anything to be supplied freely that shouldn’t have to be paid for, and you’re yoked to the tyranny of the ultra wealthy who run your country and tell you that you can be one of them too in your daydreams, while they sell you guns you don’t need and tell you it sets you free — more than anyone else in the world (because gun ownership is the only definition of freedom that you’ve come up with) — and you still want more and more and more and more until you grow fat and stupid and childish with them. That probably sounds /exactly/ as dumb to you as your examples sounds to me: and it is.

            As for guns. The trouble is your argument really finally come down to your Constitution. Without that, you’d have more cautious gun regulations like every other western society, and you know it. That’s why you have to bring other countries into the debate and make up stats, or choose the ones from before a change in trend that doesn’t work your way, or make comparisons back to a period where there were looser regulations but still barely anyone actually had one. The trouble is there just isn’t a contemporary grown-up comparison for you out there there in any country that you’d actually want to make a real comparison with. Fine. You’re better than Venezuala and Cyprus. Great! So celebrate.

            The deterrent argument doesn’t work if you follow it through, because it winds up making my point (which has /never/ been take away everyone’s guns), not yours. Yes you’re right that guns in many situations are a deterrent. Duh. But so are weapons in general, we’ve know that since someone first picked up a rock. It’s what these ‘tools’ are for. Like say, nuclear weapons: they’re just tools. They’re not actually for anything. And nobody has anything to fear from responsible owners. I’m really glad we had them during the cold war — because the other guy did. And the other guy thought much the same thing. But you know what? Pandora’s box is open now, and nobody thinks the deterrent argument works except with those who are as responsible as, um, Soviet Russia and the US in all its covert imperialistic pomp. And look how close that got us to landing everyone in shit. The world is not a safer place now that Iran and North Korea and India and Pakistan have the bomb, and it sure as hell wouldn’t make anyone more free of fear if we just gave everyone one. You just make it more likely that one is going to get used one of these days. It’s an inevitability. We’re never going to get rid of them, but we work overtime to keep more from wriggling out the box. Or at least, our tyrannical poxy liberal progressive pinko leftie western regimes do, because you know, they’re tyrants and all.

          • Jonathan

            Oh yes, one more thing. Your ill-informed nonsense about the IRA shows you for what you are: a statist who can’t even recognise it. You can’t always separate a terrorist organisation and popular armed struggle for freedom except by adopting the stance of a centralised government authority that thinks its the only body with the power to define terms. The IRA and the armed unionists who opposed them were backed by large sectors of the local populations (as well as all the Americans who thought they were paying for a freedom struggle). But nobody would have been safer with more guns. More people would have died. There would have been more shooting. That’s why they had to get rid of a many of the guns as possible when things got more peaceful. And quite a few flowed into the rest Britain and fed violence there. You tell me that I’m a victim to fortune because I’m at threat from the tyranny of government. I tell you I don’t want more guns in the streets because my peace would a hostage to fortune, and the tyranny of popular movements by ardent nutters who define freedom in ways that other people find objectionable, and then try to make the case by force. Like if you decided a government was tyrannical and worth fighting, but nobody else agreed.

            You tell yourself you’re a libertarian who knows the taste of freedom, but you are a child with an authority complex, who wants a deluded sense of individuated power at the point of a gun: your own, not someone else’s. That’s a repugnant and morally bankrupt sense of what freedom requires. Your definition of freedom also depends — surprise surprise — on a sense of your own private rights rather than your responsibilities to those around you (I get to do what I want). Which is what you accuse progressives of. Basically you have no logic. You just want guns. And your Constitution is all you’ve really got to back you. I think you should have your gun. But I’m still waiting for an explanation of why there should so few regulations on gun ownership.

          • jim_m

            LOL. Sorry if I find your inability to tell the difference between what amounted to a civil war run by what were essentially terrorist organizations and the British Army and criminal use of guns. Weapons bans aren’t going to stop a civil war, they aren’t going to stop terrorism and they aren’t going to stop crime.

            You call me a statist? THAT”S FUNNY. You want the state to ban weapons in order to control the population. You are the one who wants government control to be able to crush dissent and dictate to the people who will govern them and how. If you want to understand statists start by looking in the mirror. Your whole argument is one of supporting government’s ability to run the lives of the people better than the people themselves.

            I’ll go back to my original statement that you are a little fascist believing that security is only found in a government that exerts ever increasing control over the public by removing ever increasing numbers of civil rights. Enjoy your police state (actually you have already told me that you do)

          • jim_m

            You’ve gone off the deep end. I have said nothing of my opinions on capital punishment, my views on capitalism and wealth. But your comments are deeply revealing of you love of state control of the people, your loathing of the idea of private property, and your contempt for individual rights.

            As for your argument against military power (which is essentially what you are saying in your last paragraph), I suggest that you learn the lesson that Neville Chamberlain did. At least he had the good sense to recognize that he was wrong and work to defeat the Nazi’s. I doubt that you would ever be able to muster the moral courage to do such a thing, I have no doubt that you would have been perfectly content under a Nazi ruled England.

            What is funny is your fantasy that nuclear weapons will never, ever be used again. What reality is is that it is a certainty that they will be used again. It has always been a certainty that they will be used again. The only question is how long we can delay such an event. Your passive, appeasement first, “let me surrender my rights so you won’t hurt me”,attitude is the one that will hasten when it happens. A firm resolve to present a strong military posture toward nuclear expansion has done the job for the last 60 years. The failure of late has been the supine governments both here and abroad, who seek to appease the likes of N Korea and Iran and have succeeded in doing nothing to stop their nuclear ambitions. Military force would have put an end to their ambitions over a decade ago, but people like you are the reason that we face a nuclear future. I know you will never admit that your appeasement of thug dictatorships is at fault. But I also know that you will be happier once you are governed by one, so I hope that your wishes are fulfilled soon.

          • Jonathan

            And enough with the fascism. My father was in the RAF during the war, by uncle in bomber command, my maternal grandfather was one of the boffins who made D-Day /possible/; among my great-grandparents one died in WWI and another was captured at Gallipoli and ended up in a Turkish prisoner of war camp. My wife’s grandfather was killed by the Japanese. You do not have monopoly on fighting fascism you utter ass. Get a grip.

          • jim_m

            Ah. Finally an admission of where you are from.

          • Jonathan

            Or where I live.

          • Jonathan

            Wrong again. Again.

            That graph shows /homicides/.

            For the parliamentary figures, which are the best available, search SN/SG/1940 and see what you come up with. Should be top of the list. Look at page 11. Even these tables are now out of date as they do not include the last year, which saw a continued reduction in numbers year on year. And remember the trend is as significant as the spot figure. There was a bit of a blip with the number of homicides last year: the trend is continuing downwards. Note the parallel trend in the numbers of attempted murders and other serious offences. Check against the figures for the early 1990s, before the new gun laws in 1997. I’ll be happy to concur if you can show me something I’ve not seen in these figures, but it ain’t rocket science.

          • Jwb10001

            If you use this stat to argue that gun bans would stop gun crimes you make the mistake of assuming criminals would comply with a gun ban and that illegal guns could be taken out of society. I doubt that is possible. The only possible outcome of a gun ban in this country would be to disarm law abiding citizens.

          • jim_m

            Of course he makes that mistake. Don’t ask a leftist to take reality into account. Facts aren’t truth. Ideology is truth. His ideology tells him that gun confiscation will rid the nation of crime.

            Don’t expect that once guns are confiscated that he will admit that he was wrong when crime explodes. The answer will be that the measures taken were not extremely left wing enough to have the proper effect.

          • ackwired

            Agreed. But I suspect that the minority of gun-related deaths involve criminal activity. My personal experience involves many more accidental gun related injuries and deaths than malicious ones. I think the key point is that banning guns, alcohol, drugs, or anything else that has become a part of our culture causes more problems that it solves.

        • Conservachef

          ackwired,

          I understand your point. However, I don’t think it’s a very meaningful statistic, because it lacks reference. Knowing how and why these deaths occurred will certainly change how you view the statistic. Otherwise, it just comes across as “ZOMG people died!”

          • ackwired

            Well, we are a gun culture, have always been a gun culture, and will remain a gun culture. They can talk about the cost. But I see it as part of the cost of freedom. I think it is meaningful. But I readily accept it, and would not recommend restricting gun ownership among law abiding, mentally capable people.

  • jim_m

    Hugo Chavez, the darling of the left banned guns in Venezuela. They had 21,000 murders there in 2012, more than all murders in the US. How is it that in a country with no guns that they have so many murders?

  • Henry Smith

    The challenge is to find anything in the Huffingandpuffington Post that is NOT meaningless drivel.

  • Arationofreason

    As of 12/12 162 pages comprising Thousands of
    documented responses of citizen Using gun
    defense responded below.

    http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/armed-citizen.aspx

    NRA-ILA | Armed Citizen

    Screen clipping taken: 12/30/2012 7:50 PM

  • PaulN

    According to Mark Twain: “There are 3 kids of lies, lies, damn lies, and statistics”.
    The most egregious are statistics

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