Category Archive 'Gun Control'
06 Nov 2017

Tweet of the Day

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01 Nov 2017

Regulate Assault Trucks!

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The investigation of the New York terrorist attack will find that the Home Depot rental truck used to conduct the mass killing was equipped with an automatic transmission of the same type found upon military assault vehicles. When will we adopt common sense truck control laws with at least a waiting period and background check for truck rentals?

More:

The truck used in NYC to kill eight people was muffled. This is a technology whose only purpose is to prevent people from hearing it coming. Automakers, already with blood on their hands, are now starting to produce almost completely silent electric cars which, at the price of fuel today, serve only the purpose of killing pedestrians silently. How many people will die before we adopt common sense muffler reform?

27 Oct 2017

The Other 1%

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Science20:

There is a different kind of 1 percent, and it isn’t people who can afford to buy organic food. It’s Americans who carry a handgun on a daily basis.

It’s not a surprise, given American history and horrific events like a psychopath in Las Vegas wounding or killing 500 people while police waited 70 minutes to attack him. A nearby hotel guest with a gun could have ended that more quickly.

Up to 7 million have concealed carry permits while up to 9 million might carry a handgun on a monthly basis (not all states require a license for a concealed weapon). That is alarming to Northeastern epidemiologist Professor Matthew Miller and colleagues, who published their survey results, funded by two anti-gun groups, and extrapolated figures for the country, in American Journal of Public Health. “We’re talking about several million adult handgun owners carrying a loaded firearm on their person every day,” Miller said. “That’s a sizable number of Americans.”

RTWT

13 Oct 2017

Gun Control and Magical Thinking

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Bretigne forwards a brilliant commentary by Michael Owen on the Gun Control debate.

No amount of statistics or facts will sway either side in the gun control debate, because they are all looking for simple solutions to complex problems. The facts of those complex problems are uncomfortable and nobody really wants to come to grips with them.

For example, we don’t really have a single America with a moderately high rate of gun deaths. Instead, we have two Americas, one of which has very high rates of gun ownership but very low murder rates, very comparable to the rest of the First World democracies such as those in western & northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea. The other America has much lower rates of gun ownership but much, much higher murder rates, akin to violent third world countries.

The tough questions are those like, why do we have these two Americas? But that’s an uncomfortable discussion to have. So instead those on the left favor simple minded restrictions that target first world America, with its high gun ownership but very low murder rate, but don’t address the root causes of third world America’s violence at all. Meanwhile those on the right correctly feel their civil rights are constantly threatened, so they are constantly in a state of “better stock up before they finally ban it” and the guns and ammo fly off the shelves. The left’s constant gun control rhetoric is the greatest thing ever for arms manufacturers.

Meanwhile, over the past 40 years, while the number of guns in private hands has doubled, the murder rate has dropped by half. The left are constantly prattling about “assault weapons” which are almost never used to commit murders (about 1% of gun murders; all rifles combined are around 3%). More murders are committed with baseball bats than “assault rifles”; the vast majority of gun homicides are committed with handguns, but it’s easier to sell restrictions that target “assault weapons”, even though such restrictions, even if 100% effective, would make no detectable change in the murder rate (especially because of substitution effects). They favor ridiculous measures such as bans on “high capacity magazines”, as if magazines weren’t cheap and easily swapped out in a fraction of a second.

The uncomfortable fact is that roughly 80% of the US homicide rate is associated with the drug trade, and the drug trade is violent because the drug war reserves it for violent criminals. We have a system in place where the government subsidizes poverty in urban areas, imposes economic blight in those same areas through heavy taxes and regulations, renders the residents permanently unemployable via the “criminal justice” (sic) system, and creates a lucrative black market in drugs by restricting supply (not to mention increasing demand as people are desperate to escape their circumstances by getting high), meaning the only game in town is often entering the drug trade. The drug trade is violent because those in it have no access to courts to settle disputes. Powerful industries lobby to keep the drug war going; the top spenders are law enforcement unions, the prison industry, big alcohol, tobacco, and pharma.

Guns are not the proximate cause of gun violence in the US. Childlike magical thinking and simple “fixes” to complex problems will not work. But it is comfortable, and self-righteousness feels so good. So I expect it to continue indefinitely.”

11 Oct 2017

Fully Automatic Establishment Gun Control Demands

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Matt Purple, managing editor of American Conservative, responds to recent demands for Gun Control from sort-of-conservatives Brett Stephens and David Frum writing respectively for those famous conservative organs The New York Times and the Atlantic.

Stephens and Frum aren’t technocrats calibrating the machine of progress; they’re Wayne Wheeler and Carrie Nation, throwing open our saloon doors and smashing our tumblers. Theirs is a moral crusade against what they perceive to be a national vice. America is sick and only they are enlightened enough to make it better. Perhaps that’s a bit flippant—some of our nation’s best (and worst) work has been done by those who set out to mend grand societal ills—but we should at least stop pretending that the kids-cup prescriptions of a Senator Chris Murphy can ever accomplish his jumbo-size ends. This is a nation with one firearm for every citizen, a thriving outdoorsman culture, a history of violent lawlessness, a frontier, a Second Amendment. Jamming those spokes is going to require a far larger stick than anything that fits through the ludicrously exaggerated “gun show loophole.”

The reason many of us take the (authentically) Madisonian view—in addition to our leeriness over a total government monopoly on arms—is that we reject such a crusade as impractical. We see it as premised on a fundamentally false conception of America, one that glosses over her indelible traditions of individualism and defiance. We worry it will result in more polarization and violence rather than less. We observe, too, that the public has lately grown weary of elite designs on their values, their pronouns, their national anthem—enough to elect Donald Trump in the hopes of making it all stop. Presumably an additional betterment campaign against their guns would be met with the same aggravation and pushback. It’s your move, gentlemen, but is this really where you want to go right now?

RTWT

10 Oct 2017

The Second Amendment’s “Resistance to Tyranny” Intent Is Not Obsolete

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One of my liberal Yale classmates recently sneered at the idea of the armed citizen making any difference: “The notion that automated weapons are going to fend off an oppressive federal government or foreign invader is complete nonsense in the 21st century.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty, at National Review, had the perfect response.

Who exactly do you think has stymied the U.S. in Afghanistan for 16 years? The Taliban is made up of Afghan Bubbas. The Taliban doesn’t need to defeat nuclear weapons, though they are humiliating a nuclear power for the second time in history. They use a mix of Kalashnikovs and WWII-era bolt-action rifles. Determined insurgencies are really difficult to fight, even if they are only armed with Enfield rifles and you can target them with a TOW missiles system that can spot a cat in the dark from two miles away. In Iraq, expensive tanks were destroyed with simple improvised explosives.

If the U.S. government (and the American people behind them) doesn’t want to use nuclear weapons on foreign fundamentalists in Afghanistan, why does anyone presume they’d use them against Americans in Idaho?

It is not just our fecklessness. All great powers take into account the moral and manpower costs of implementing their rules and laws on a people. And an armed citizenry, especially if they seem to have a just cause to rally around, will dramatically raise the price of ruling them. The British Empire controlled one quarter of the world’s territory and ruled one quarter of the earth’s population in 1922. In that very year, they were forced to make an effective exit from the main part of their oldest colony, Ireland. Why? Because a determined group of Irish men with guns made the country ungovernable. The British technically could have deployed their entire navy, blockading the restive island, and starving any rebellion into submission. But they were unwilling to pay the moral price, or the price in blood. It was precisely this foreseeable event that had caused the British to ban Irish Catholics from possessing firearms hundreds of years earlier.

And just as in the 1770s or the 1920s, governments in similar positions today or in the future would have a difficult time maintaining military morale while trying to impose rule on a people who resist it manfully.

You can acknowledge this and still deplore America’s gun violence, as I do. You can wish and even work for an American future where there are fewer weapons in untrained and unsteady American hands. And, we all should wish to maintain a law-governed and orderly society that doesn’t inspire thousands or millions of Americans to resist its government in an insurgency. But in the meantime, don’t do violence to history itself. With just the moral support of the society they are living in, and a number of rifles, a small group of men can make it impossible for tyrants to rule.

RTWT

06 Oct 2017

Prohibition Must Be the Answer!

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06 Oct 2017

Murder Rates and Politics

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Top: murder rate / county
Bottom: 2016 election returns /county

04 Oct 2017

A Young Statistician Looks at the Gun Control Debate

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Leah Libresco Y ’11,, a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site, looks rationally at Gun Control arguments.

Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns. …

As my co-workers and I kept looking at the data, it seemed less and less clear that one broad gun-control restriction could make a big difference. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them. I couldn’t even answer my most desperate question: If I had a friend who had guns in his home and a history of suicide attempts, was there anything I could do that would help?

However, the next-largest set of gun deaths — 1 in 5 — were young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides. These men were most likely to die at the hands of other young men, often related to gang loyalties or other street violence. And the last notable group of similar deaths was the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.

By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

Instead, I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions.

RTWT

03 Oct 2017

Dems Exploiting Las Vegas Tragedy to Push Their Gun Control Agenda

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Daren Jonescu explains that that is what Progressives do.

Within hours of a man carrying out a horrifyingly successful mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which the death toll as of this writing is almost sixty, Democrats are out in public demanding gun control legislation. As disgustingly cynical as this is, it is not in the least bit surprising. Many more will join the chorus in the coming days, while a complicit news media will keep the horror fresh to facilitate the Democrats’ exploitation of sadness and pain.

Never wishing to appear to their neo-communist handlers as weaklings inclined to put humanity before politics, or willing to pre-empt the revolution out of respect for human suffering, progressive politicians at America’s moment of “fundamental transformation” seem to want to look callous and inhuman, even as they claim to represent the interests of the suffering and downtrodden.

Rahm Emanuel’s infamous cat-out-of-the-bag moment – “never let a crisis go to waste” – has quickly evolved from an awkward instance of progressive self-revelation into the proud mantra of the American left. Leftists are no longer even ashamed at the old accusation of “politicizing a tragedy.” Tragedy – the bigger, the better – is the grease in their wheels. Politicizing hardship has always been their stock in trade, and now, through years of practice, they have trained to the public to regard this extreme cynicism as the norm, so that the accusation no longer carries any meaning.

RTWT

03 Oct 2017

Tweet of the Day

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04 Apr 2017

The Japanese: Nuked Just Right

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30 Mar 2017

Gun Free Zone

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Brazilian 3:18 video mocking liberal thinking.

30 Nov 2016

The Non-Shootings at Ohio State

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