Saturday, September 10, 2011

Everyone in the country with a concealed carry permit will be packing tomorrow

Here's hoping not a single person in the country is an idiot on September 11. Probably not an easy day to be a practicing Sikh. My apologies to those who are. And of course, here's hoping nothing happens at all, although it would be unlikely that car bombs can kill more people than highways.

And FWIW, I agree with Deltoid's assessment some years back - gun control seems to have little effect positively or negatively on gun violence.

UDATE: looks like we made it.


Anonymous said...

"gun control seems to have little effect positively or negatively on gun violence"

Certainly, social factors are more important than availability or not of guns: see, eg, Switzerland (many guns, little violence) and Somalia/Afghanistan/etc. (many guns, much violence). One thing I always wonder about when people claim that "more people carrying will deter crime" - and yet, my understanding is that a fairly large number of gun deaths come from gang-on-gang violence, which means that in fact, the people with guns are selectively going after other people with guns. So I think gun deterrence is certainly a myth. (see, again, Somalia/Afghanistan/etc.).

However, I continue to believe that gun control, on a large enough scale, could be useful, if appropriately targeted. My ideal gun control law: make six shooters and hunting rifles legal. Make them straightforward to purchase. The theory is that these are all you need for run-of-the-mill self-defense and for hunting purposes. However, they suck for large scale massacres and against cops wearing body-armor. And if this was true country-wide, then the only way to get large clip, fast firing guns would be to import them. Which is the opposite direction that guns are currently flowing in (we're currently supplying Mexico, after all).

Drawbacks: there's a large, existing supply of such weapons which would be hard to eradicate. Also, it would mean that a criminal wearing body armor would be hard to take down without cops around (but, honestly, that would be true even in most highly armed societies). The worst drawback is that it would probably create a black market for weapons, and I generally dislike creating incentives for black market creation, but there are always things that will be illegal, so the decision is whether it is worth it or not. (eg, marijuana, not worth it, some other drugs, perhaps).

Alternatively, I'd just want every gun to include a hidden serial number. When that gun is used in a crime, the company that made it is penalized 7.4 million dollars per life taken with the gun. Then leave it up to the gun manufacturers to figure out how to keep their guns out of the hands of people who will use them to kill other people.


David B. Benson said...

If wishes were horses...

David B. Benson said...


Brian said...

M - I'd agree with everything except the liability. Also each bullet should be serialized.

David - Sikh men wear turbans. They were attacked by a few yahoos in the days following 9/11.

Martin Vermeer said...

> "gun control seems to have little effect positively or negatively on gun violence"

Yep -- gun bearing is a feedback, not a forcing. Just another symptom of a highly violent, sick society -- like also capital punishment.

J Bowers said...

"Certainly, social factors are more important than availability or not of guns: see, eg, Switzerland (many guns, little violence)"

Possibly because Swiss gun owners have to undergo strict military training in the use of firearms, as the firearms are their original militia service weapons which have been converted from automatic to semi-automatic or self-loading. The weapon also has to remain sealed, and regular inspections take place to make sure they haven't been used. The Swiss seem to have the same reasons for their gun laws as the USA, but also seem to be closer to the original intent than the US Constitution than the US itself. Weird.

Lionel A said...

One trouble with owning a gun is that there is always somebody with a bigger or faster firing gun than the one you are holding with that one being being an excuse for the other to use theirs against you.

How many innocents have died from accidental discharge through the ignorance of a sibling or a young friend?

How many have died from accidental discharge when a weapon was being cleaned?

Seriously when food and other supplies get short (How long now I wonder?) the US is primed for the formation of gangs of horders. I figure that some are already stocking their arsenals with extra supplies and weapons and recruiting hard-balls to form their militia and depot guards.

I remember novels, when I used to read them long ago before my interests became more serious, that described post apocalyptic scenarios where small bands of the less violently inclined tried to hold out against gangs of marauders.

guthrie said...

Writing as Briton, with gun control laws which are among the stricted in the world, I sort of disagree with the last sentence. Seeing as the worst massacres in our history have been by people using legal guns, by restricting them you reduce the number of such massacres and possibilities of them happening.

Now, too many people get hysterial and paranoid and seem to think that all guns can be controlled by gun laws and expected that guns used by criminals would be affected. Of course, they were wrong, possibly the media didn't help. Anyway, unfortunately we've now got a situation where (Despite some definite mistakes) we expect armed police to get it right every time. And they can't. So we had a bona fide gangster with a gun in a sock shot dead a few weeks ago, yet people keep saying he was a nice guy who was a great father. Yes, so great a father he had a long criminal record and was carrying a loaded gun. Hmmmmm.
So we have cultural issues as well. This is related to the good old days a mere 20-30 years ago. Back then in hard parts of SCotland such as Glasgow and north Lanarkshire, a real man fought with his fists, and you could get injured, but the intent was not to kill but merely sorting out pecking order etc. But there's been a change such that teenagers nowadays carry knives, which they don't know how to use, and kill each other on a regular basis almost by accident.

The culture has changed, leading to more deaths. It is a good thing we don't have such a culture with more open American gun access, because we'd have many many more deaths.

Anonymous said...

The other thing about Switzerland is that yes, everyone has a rifle at home, but ammunition is strictly controlled. The ammo is distributed in a sealed container that is only opened and inspected at your annual shooting practice. The idea that Switzerland is an example of "many guns, little violence" doesn't hold water. (I've lived there.) No one would dream of using a gun for self-defense on the street or in their house. That's just not what those guns are for.