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Gun Rights: The Honorable Gabrielle Giffords and Gun Control - The Kill Clock: 223,141 Since 1-1-11!

Updated on August 5, 2017
My Esoteric profile image

MY ESOTERIC likes to think of himself as a bit of a polymath with degrees in Statistics, Accounting, Computer Science, & Operations Research


8/1/2017: AT LEAST ONE STATISTIC HAS IT THAT 80 AMERICAS DIE A DAY DUE TO BEING SHOT BY A FIREARM. That is taking the roughly 30,000 deaths a year, regardless of the reason, and dividing by the number of days in a year. My start point was 1/1/2011, the month I wrote this hub. The end point is the date at the beginning of this paragraph.

I have updated these numbers to reflect an increase in daily firearm deaths to 92 per day since 1/1/2013

THINK HARD ABOUT THIS DEAR READERS - Since I started this hub, there are more than 232,000 AMERICANS NOT ALIVE TODAY because a gun was used in a Suicide, Homicide, or simply mishandled. It is all the worse since HAD ALL STATES WITH WORSE GUN LAWS THAN SOUTH CAROLINA IMPROVED THOSE LAWS TO AT LEAST THAT LEVEL, THAT NUMBER WOULD BE NOTICEABLY SMALLER.

Gabrielle Giffords' Official Photo (D-AZ)
Gabrielle Giffords' Official Photo (D-AZ) | Source
Tuscon Shooting Scene Of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)
Tuscon Shooting Scene Of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) | Source

A Brief Comment on the Shooting

Politicians of all stripes have been the target of threats by people unhappy with their brand of politics or decisions that they have made. The vast majority of the threats are ultimately harmless, but you never know which ones aren't. The problem is, you can't run scared and stay holed up in your office but you can't afford the kind of security presidents have. So you take your chances.

I believe that the break-ins to the offices of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the other Arizona Democratic supporters of health care reform are the result of politically motivated violence from high scale Right-wing Authoritarian followers. That kind of action is well within the scope of RWA behavior. I do not believe that to be true in Jared Lee Loughner's attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords however. He was a registered Independent, a loner, railed against government in general, and didn't appear to support a particular cause. He seems to have mentally deteriorated rapidly over the last few years. It just seems unlikely that he had what would be a normal political motivation for assassination.

He did buy the 9mm Glock he used legally from an Arizona gun shop. He also abought a high capacity ammunition magazine legally as well. This enabled him to shoot 20 people of whom, amazingly, only six died. In 2003, this size of massacre would not have happened because high capacity magazines were illegal. The NRA and the gun lobby won its battle to stop the prohibition against the sale of high capacity magazines from being renewed in 2004. The killer also brought the gun to the Congress on the Corner event legally as well ... concealed even though he didn't have a permit.  For Arizona, you see,  specifically passed a law ensuring a permit is not required to carry a concealed weapon.  In fact, there is legisation moving forward in Arizona to let students bring concealed weapons onto school grounds!  How wonderful is that???

Ironically, one of the bystanders who was carrying a concealed weapon was interviewed on CNN and he related that he thought about using his weapon to bring down Laughner but thought better of it.  His reasoning?  He knew that most people around him and in cars nearby probably had guns as well and if he pulled his out, they would take him as a second shooter and take his life.  So he did nothing.

In comments to another hub, I believe it was CMerritt who asked me to offer my thoughts on gun control, so, with the above preamble I will attempt to do so.


Let's Start With Some Statistics (Sorry)

ALL else being equal, objects and substances are controlled or prohibited by society when they have the capacity, when misused, to do harm to society. This is simple common sense that all societies practice, except in America. In America, an exception is made for certain forms of pistols and rifles (guns, for short). When used for the purpose for which they were designed, guns are deadly; they definitely harm society. The fact that they can be used for other purposes is not material. Guns are designed to be lethal, plain and simple. Simple logic, therefore, demands that guns be controlled or prohibited entirely to protect society from misuse by humans.

In America, there has been a two hundred year long battle over how guns will be controlled. In normal circumstances, this should be a simple debate but our founding fathers decided to make things interesting for the generations to follow by including the following somewhat ambiguous words in the Bill of Rights or, more specifically, the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. To wit:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

And the debate was on.

The statistics clearly show that easy access to guns means more homicides. The Center for Gun Violence produced these 2007 statistics:

GUN DEATHS/100,000 


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[Authors Note - (Once a long, long time ago, 1971 I think, one of my concentrations was statistics, so if you were wondering why ...) The numbers presented come from data produce from two primary sources. The homicide statistics were produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Control and Prevention. Their data comes from various National Vital Statistics Reports. One report, Volume 58, Number 1, August 19, 2009, that I looked at verified the number of homicides, 17,520, in 2007 of which 12,129 were by guns that were cited in the data that I used. The % Guns in Home figures came from a Pediatrics article presenting the results from a study titled "Prevalence of Household Firearms and Firearm-Storage Practices in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Findings From the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002". The method used to derive its statistics was: "We analyzed data from the 2002 cross-sectional Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey of 240735 adults from randomly selected households with telephones in the 50 states and the District of Columbia."

With State population figures, the % Guns in Home by State data, the total number of homicides by states data, and the total homicides by gun by State data, the rest is simple arithmetic. The table above is one of the more simple, straight forward statistical tables you come across. The distinction between the top of the chart and the bottom of the chart is dramatic.]

The link between easy access to guns and high rates of homicide by gun doesn't get any clearer than this, at least to a statistician. You have the five states with the highest percentage of guns in the home AND the least strict gun laws having the five highest rates of homicide by gun in the nation in 2007. As a counterpoint, you have the five states with the lowest percentage of guns in the home AND with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation having five lowest homicide by gun rates in the nation in 2007.

Reasonable people should be swayed by this, and this alone, that the case to control, even prohibit gun ownership, is compelling. Right-wing Authoritarians, on the other hand, who make up a significant portion of the gun lobby will believe the data is false, that it can't be true or they will simply ignore it because it doesn't conform to their version of reality. This, however, isn't the end of the story.

Before going on, I want to pile on a bit and toss in a few more statistics.

  • The rate of firearm deaths among kids under age 15 is almost 12 times higher in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • American kids are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun, 11 times more likely to commit suicide with a gun, and nine times more likely to die from a firearm accident than children in 25 other industrialized countries combined. (Centers for Disease Control)
  • American children are more at risk from firearms than the children of any other industrialized nation. In one year, firearms killed no children in Japan, 19 in Great Britain, 57 in Germany, 109 in France, 153 in Canada, and 5,285 in the United States. (Centers for Disease Control)

OK, done with the statistics.

"Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People"

The case, as I say, IS compelling for outright prohibition of gun ownership, but it isn't overwhelming, at least for me. even though many think it is. You also have this small problem of the Second Amendment. What is overwhelmingly called for though is Regulation! But first an editorial on one of the stupidest, knee-jerk arguments so commonly used in defense of gun rights - "guns don't kill people, people kill people".

Besides the Second Amendment, the most widely used catch-phrase "argument" is that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" as if that really carries logical weight. Well it doesn't. It just leaves its utterer open to such slanderous charges that the gun lobby supports pedophiles. WHAT??? Well yes, at least based on the logic the gun lobby wants everybody to buy into!

The pedophile can argue with just as much authority as the gun lobby spokesperson that "pornographic drawings of children don't hurt children, people hurt children". Bull pucky! Pornographic drawings of children do hurt children in just the same way that guns hurt people ... and children. There is no logical difference between the two arguments. All that was done was to substitute the phrase "pornographic drawings of children" (a noun) for the word "guns" (also a noun) and "Hurt Children" for (Kill People). The meaning of sentence didn't change, just the objects it was referring to.

Such horrible drawings do hurt children, in and of themselves, that is why such drawings are illegal to possess. Who of the gun lobby says that people should be allowed to possess such drawings? None, I bet, unless the happen to be pedophiles as well. In the same manner, guns do hurt people, in and of themselves, that is why this argument is so specious.

I am not claiming that people shouldn't be able to own guns. All I am saying is there is no logical reason, beyond the Second Amendment, why the State or the Federal government can't regulate the ownership, including prohibition, of firearms. Said another way, the Second Amendment and subsequent Supreme Court rulings are the ONLY things stopping government at any level from prohibiting ownership of certain types of firearms.


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3/15/2013: I thought it would be useful to offer a few more statistics relating to gun violence and death by gun.

CHART 1 displays where Federal inmates say they obtained their weapons and it surprised me with one of the results of this 1997 survey; that only 4% of them bought their weapons from unregulated gun shows or flea markets. I thought the rate was much higher than that but instead the 4% figure tends to support the NRA's position.

What is very disturbing is the primary source of weapons used in violent crime are from other peoples homes, whether they be borrowed or stolen. A full 47% are obtained in this manner!! The NRA contends the primary source of weapons used in crime come from other criminal activity; but only 24% of their weapons come from these sources.

Finally, 19% of weapons are obtained through regulated sources such as retail stores. That means a whopping 60% are obtained through legal means of which 42% is unregulated!! If a weapon is borrowed in some fashion or stolen from an unsecured location, responsibility today rests with the criminal. That is one thing I would change; I would make responsibility flow to the people to lent the weapon or kept it unsecured.

CHART 2 portrays homicides by weapon type. Clearly handguns are the preferred method of killing somebody on purpose; there are almost more deaths in this manner than the rest of the choices combined. When you add "other weapons", then weapons clearly exceed the sum of the rest.

Currently, the data only goes through 2004, but I have data that will update it to 2009. Just to let you know, there are no drastic changes.

OK, I am not sure what the general perception is of NRA members as to the ratio of criminal deaths from weapons to non-criminal (suicides, accidental, self-defense (about 2 out of each 1ooo crimes), and the like) but it is clear, the main reason for death by gun is not criminal activity. In looking at Chart 2 you can see there are about 11,000 homicides per year using some sort of weapon. The total deaths by gun is around 30,000 per year.

You can do the math, but to make it easier, let me say that there are roughly 8,000 more deaths by gun for non-criminal reasons as there were for criminal behavior. That means fully 63% of all deaths by gun weren't criminally-based! Yes, let's leave guns unregulated.

Another myth put out by the NRA is that if gun ownership was vastly curtailed, then homicides by other weapons would rise to meet the demand of criminals wanting to kill people. Clearly, in looking at Chart 2 and considering that all of the other means require up close and personal contact, the NRA's assertion is laughable.

NOW CONSIDER CHARTS 3, 4, AND 5: The first chart, Chart 3, presents a picture of a representative group nations and the rate of gun ownership. The next two charts provide rates of homicide for the same set of nations; there are two charts because Honduras and Columbia swamp all other nations in homicide rates.

A quick comparison of these charts bust another NRA myth, to wit, that the rest of the industrialized world. which have much more strict regulations regarding personal gun ownership, have just a bad homicide rates as the U.S.; they just use different methods of killing. It is clear this myth is not true; homicide rates in ALL industrialized countries is at least 1/2 that of America, even violent Israel.

It should be noted that of the non-industrialized nations, the only one with a low homicide rate is Saudi Arabia.


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Regulate But Don't Prohibit

PREAMBLE: Since writing this in Jan 2011, I have become painfully aware that those opposing gun control have a very poor grasp of the English language, a very poor grasp indeed. From my review of the comments I have received here and have read elsewhere, they are apparently unable to draw the distinction between words "regulation" and "prohibition". In their lexicon, "regulation" and "prohibition" are synonyms rather than two entirely different words with two entirely different meaning for the rest of us. When I say I am FOR "regulation", I am AGAINST "prohibition" of firearms, that translate to them as "I am FOR the "prohibition" of firearms, period."; which, to any thinking person is obviouly not the case. So, until the those who belong to the gun lobby take their collective blinders off and rejoin the rest of us who use the thinking part of our brains, intelligent conversation and debate is going to be problematic at best.

TO BE BLUNT ABOUT IT, those states with loose gun laws are aiding and abetting in the murder of their own citizens. I don't see how any reasonable, intelligent person can come to any other conclusion after a review the above table. The fact of the matter is, the easier it is to get guns, the more guns there are in circulation per capita, then it clearly follows that there WILL be more deaths by gun per capita, period! Why is that true, because the statistics confirm the reverse. The more strict the gun laws, the less guns there are per capita and it follows that there IS less deaths by gun per capita, period. Unless you are a RWA, it is undeniable. If you are a RWA then 1+1 = 3, if that is what you believe to be true. It is not that, with stricter gun laws that honest citizens can't get guns, if they want them, it is because those who shouldn't have guns find it much harder if not impossible to obtain them, at least in that state; they need to go to states who almost give guns away at birth.

How can the legislature of Louisiana live with themselves knowing that if they only enacted the same gun regulations of say, New York they might achieve a 70% reduction in their rate of death by gun?? The fact that they don't and they know that they could is criminal in my mind. Is it yours?

As you have probably figured out by now, I am not against reasonable gun ownership for sports shooting or even self-protection. My personal feeling is that the latter reason puts more innocent people in harms way than it protects, but what do I know. I don't own any weapons of any sort once I gave up my M-16 the Army lent me.

What I do propose is a heavy dose of regulation and owner responsibility along with some tough love . It breaks down like this:

  1. A person may own virtually any type of weapon that is not prohibited by military necessity
  2. The place of storage, place of use, method of transportation, and amount of security depends on the type of weapon.
  3. Except for personal non-automatic handguns and non-automatic rifles, all weapons must be stored at a state authorized/supervised storage facility located at the site where they will be fired for sport.
  4. Personal non-automatic handguns and non-automatic rifles will be stored, unloaded, in state approved storage containers.
  5. All weapons will be registered with the State and proof of possession be provided annually
  6. Owners of any weapon will be STRICTLY liable for any damage, injury, or death of person or animal caused by any weapon registered to him or her. The only waiver from this liability is through theft if it can be proved the weapon was properly secured in an approved container or storage facility or through recorded resale where title has been properly transferred.
  7. Purchasing a weapon will require proof of citizenship similar to qualifying for a drivers license and a five business day waiting period for a thorough background check from a state registered gun dealer. The purchaser will have to go to a local city, county, state, or federal office to pick up a notice of clean background to authorize the gun dealer to release the weapon.
  8. Only clips or magazines of the smallest available sizes may be purchased
  9. No specialized ammunition that is incendiary, is designed to defeat armour, or is designed to do extraordinary damage upon penetration may be sold.
  10. There would be no limit on the number of weapons that could be purchased at any one time.
  11. The use of a gun in a crime becomes a federal crime, in addition to being a state crime, if the gun can be proven to have been manufactured outside of the state it was used to commit the crime.

None of these provisions inhibit the ownership of a weapons; in fact it expands on them. The Supreme Court is clear in it's interpretation of the Second Amendment; no Federal, State, or local law or ordanence may prohibit or effectively prohibit US citizens from possessing and using certain firearms. The Court is equally clear on two other points:

  1. Their ruling does not cover all weapons but is primarily limited to personal firearms.
  2. Their ruling does not prohibit the Federal, State, or local governemtns from reasonably regulating the ownership of personal firearms

I don't believe any of my proposals violate either of those two points. It does restrict where the most dangerous of the weapons can be stored and used but aren't they being bought just for target shooting? It does make the owners VERY responsible for the safekeeping of their weapons; much more so than it is today and I think that is key. I am not too worried about not limiting the quantity because there is enough oversight where that ought to raise some red flags if an army is being outfitted.

I know I am going to get a lot, and I mean a lot, of howls and screams from the gun lobbiests on these ideas. But all I can say to them is I hope you don't live in those top five states because you have a reasonable chance of getting shot by one of your buddies. Wasn't Dick Cheney shooting in Louisiana?

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

COLUMBINE, NEWTOWN, AURORA MASSACRES all burned in our minds, But it took the slaughter of 20 five-year old to finally get the politicians off of their collective asses and do something. Even though it will be next to nothing, at least it will be something. Most likely, the gaping loop-hole in background checks at gun shows will be closed. The other thing that has half a chance is banning large capacity magazines and clips for assault rifles and machine pistols. Apparently another thing that might make it through is taking the handcuffs off federal and other agencies in tracking weapons captured in the commission of crimes. That will probably be it and even with these, the NRA will have a conniption fit and gun-rights advocates will claim no one will ever be able to defend themselves in America again.

They will also say the background checks are pointless because only non-criminals buy guns at gun shows; real criminals find other sources. My question is why should criminals bother to go the hard route, given gun shows are such easy pickin's? One law that makes sense that probably won't make it either is limiting the number of weapons one can buy in a single purchase. I lived in Virginia where there was no limit. As a consequence, D.C. had an unlimited supply of large quantities of weapons of all types that they otherwise could not have acquired, most going to gangs.

© 2011 My Esoteric


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    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I don't think she disagrees with that observation, I know I don't. But led by Reagan, when he was governor in California, state-run mental health institutions have fallen by the wayside as too expensive and not the business of gov't anyway. Apparently it is more cost effective to let these people sleep on the streets or continue to fly-under-the-radar.

      Besides trying to pass reasonable gun regulations after Sandy Hook, there was a big push to do just as you suggest by the Ds; it didn't go anywhere either in the straight-jacketed Congress.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      BTW, If Gabby Giffords really wants to prevent shootings like the one she endured, she should work on making the legal institutionalizing of obvious loons like James Holmes, Jared Loughner, Seung-Hui Cho, and Adam Lanza much easier.

      The parent(s) of Loughner and Lanza tried to have them institutionalized, but the laws prevented it. Seung-Hui Cho and James Holmes were thought by their mental health pros to be dangerous, but they were intimidated by HIPAA laws.

      Almost all of these mass shooters, including the Columbine killers, were on some sort of mental heath drugs, so why is it so hard to place them in institutions where they can't harm anyone?

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "No law has ever prevented crime???? Laws against murder to shoplifting and most everything in between prevent me from breaking the law, so there is one exception to your rule. "

      So if it wasn't against the law you would murder and steal? I sincerely doubt that.

      Laws tell us what is illegal, but they don't prevent lawbreaking. If they did, there would be no murders and no theft. Why do you think we call them 'law-breakers'?

      "So now, when a crime is committed, police have very few resources to find the guns owner."

      That's simply not true. They simply go to the manufacturer who gives them the retail FFL, and they then find out who bought it.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      You might read this, regarding the role of gov't; I just started it, but it gets into why the conservative Court opinions are fundamentally flawed (in looking though a few rulings, I noticed only conservatives support the idea gov't has no legal role in protecting its citizens.

      What purpose is served to register abortions?

      That is your opinion that abortion kills viable fetuses; many more people hold the opposite view. Until they can survive outside the womb, they aren't alive; they are maturing into life, but aren't there yet and the rights of the mother to control her own body supercede the rights of something not alive.

      Clearly, I can't answer your question because your side was successful in getting a federal law past to ban tracking weapons and their history. So now, when a crime is committed, police have very few resources to find the guns owner. As a result they spend lots of your tax dollars trying to track down the gun's owner. Huge sums are spent on the salary of those involved in the search, almost as much is spent on material and services used in tracking down the guns, and many times crimes have to go unsolved because they fail in their effort.

      I am at least grateful you have objected to needlessly spending your hard-earned money helping the cops do their job and accept that many criminals get-away-with-it as a unfortunate fact-of-life.

      No law has ever prevented crime???? Laws against murder to shoplifting and most everything in between prevent me from breaking the law, so there is one exception to your rule. But I presume laws don't inhibit you one iota from say, murdering someone should you have the urge.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "You may think that who owns a gun is not the business of the gov't, that is your opinion, but not unconstitutional."

      Why is it their business? If abortion is based on a right to privacy, why isn't gun ownership? Abortion has killed 50,000,000 of the most innocent of all people. My guns have killed no one.

      Can you cite cases of unsolved murders because the gun used was not registered to anyone? How often does that happen? Is that really a major problem, or is it just an excuse for government to know who is armed?

      No law has ever prevented crime (other than the death penalty), so can you guarantee that the laws you want will stop gun crime? If not, then no, I am not about to give up my right to privacy for a fool's game.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I read your article and while the ruling seems very callous and counter-intuitive, I nevertheless understand the basis (one Conservatives are ignoring in trying to overturn with Obama's immigration executive order); the long-standing policy of police discretion. The theory, as I see it, is that if the duty to protect and serve were a constitutional requirement, then that opens up a venue for huge abuse by citizens who feel they have been wronged, or just plain don't like the authorities.

      Since the moral and ethical obligation for gov't, and its sub-units, to protect the citizens is only a "goal" enshrined in the Constitution's Preamble, and some of words of the basic document; it is just that ... a goal, a moral and ethical responsibility, not a constitutionally required one. But, simply because protecting the citizenry is a constitutional requirement doesn't relieve gov't of the moral responsibility and obligation to do so. Our way of governance was patterned closely after the philosophy of government laid out by John Locke, and he is very clear that protecting its citizens is the reason why individuals gave up part of their liberty to form a government in the first place.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      "We can already do that. All gun sales records must be kept by the seller." - OK, you have got 15% of the sales covered; what about the other 85%? How about the 9% which are stolen, or the large percentage borrowed from family, friends, and acquaintances?

      You may think that who owns a gun is not the business of the gov't, that is your opinion, but not unconstitutional. I believe the same thing, unless doing so serves a greater purpose, and, in this case, it does. Trying to track a gun after the fact is often impossible.

      If gov't (fed, state, or local) has no obligation to protect its citizens, then why have gov't at all? Shouldn't we just go back to the state of nature and its anarchic Darwinist social structure?

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "...having guns registered would go a very long way to help trace a gun used in a crime and maybe help solve it."

      We can already do that. All gun sales records must be kept by the seller. If that gun is used in a crime, then, and only then, the seller must supply the information to the authorities. What citizen legally owns what gun(s) is not, and should not be the business of government unless a crime is committed with that gun.

      BTW, government does not have an obligation to protect the citizens:

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Of course criminals don't register guns they get (assuming they are in a state that requires it), but they do get almost all of them from sources where they would be registered, if it were required.

      Because 76% of all guns (9% of their guns come from stealing them from legally obtained sources; another 38% are borrowed, purchased, or given to them from family, friends, and acquaintances; an additional 10% come from flea markets, gun shows, on-line sales, and other sources; and finally 15% more from retail stores (where the only background checks are made in most states)); having guns registered would go a very long way to help trace a gun used in a crime and maybe help solve it. Only 24% of guns possessed by criminals come from sources where they are likely not to be registered.

      Yes, but none of those documents you mention bar reasonable restrictions on ownership, and as a point of fact, the Constitution does allow them. And, I just mentioned one of many reasons why you would want to register guns ... to help solve crimes.

      Guns, in their own right, are very dangerous objects which have one primary purpose, to kill. It does not matter that guns have other uses as well, the fact is, they were invented to kill other people, and oh yeah, animals, sometimes for food, oftentimes for pleasure.

      The government has the obligation to protect the citizens who formed it from harm. Registration is one effective way of doing that.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      How would mandatory registration further any of your goals? Criminals obviously would not comply, so it would only affect the law abiding citizens who are not a problem in the first place.

      The Second Amendment protects the preexisting right of the citizen to keep and bear arms, which goes all the way back to the Magna Carta, and its primary goal is to keep government in check, so why would you want that same government to know who has what arms?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      I think Scalia would not oppose the following regulations, each of which are already incorporated in at least one state or another's gun laws: universal background checking. mandatory registration, mandatory proof of safety training, and other such things many states have found helpful. He might or might not have a problem with strict liability for improperly secured weapons (meaning gun owners need to be responsible for their negligence in letting a device whose main purpose is to kill other people get out of their control.)

      Because of McDonald, making these good ideas federal laws should present no legal states-rights problem.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      So what would be reasonable regulation of a Constitutionally protected right that is not already in place?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      McDonald makes sense (although States-Rightists probably hated it), and Heller is fine, even though Scalia created a new interpretation and words to the 2A by specifically adding self-defense; it simply wasn't needed to come to the same answer they did.

      But, keep in mind, Scalia also has no problem with reasonable and necessary regulation ... he says as much in his findings.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      And what would you do about the Second Amendment, Heller vs DC, and McDonald vs Chicago?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      What have criminals have to do with people dying other than they are ONE of the causes; they are not the ONLY cause. In statistics, if you look at only one factor (unless, of course, there IS only one factor), then you get meaningless, often deceiving results. To do proper analysis, you have to include all significant factors.

      I define it the same way the people doing the surveys do - It goes something like "Is there at least one firearm in your home or associated buildings like garages?" This establishes the rate of households where one or more guns are present. It does not establish "how many" guns are possessed by each household; although that would be interesting to add into the analysis.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Define 'rate of gun ownership', and how you would enforce it, since criminals by definition would not obey your law either.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      And those who commit suicide aren't dead?? We have already covered, in my previous answers as well as statistically in other Hubs (see below), that if one lowers the rate of gun ownership in America (I don't care about Japan because that is an entirely different culture) then the suicide rate by gun will be lower but the total suicides may or may not change because the correlation isn't nearly as strong.

      What is certain, however, is that because suicides by other means very likely won't increase simply because suicide by gun went down. See again for the analysis.

      It is also just as certain that stronger gun regulations do decrease the rate of gun ownership for that state. The obvious conclusion that must be drawn then is that stronger gun regulation lower the rate people shoot themselves to death.

      Saying it is their choice whether they kill themselves or not is a meaningless red herring; for the purpose of better gun regulations is to decrease the number of people needlessly dying from their use. Further, suicides are rarely harmless, except to the victim, especially. Many people are harmed, sometimes seriously, because of the action of an unstable, ill person. So, reducing the number of suicides by gun has more societal benefits than just saving someone's life.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "When death by gun in America exceeds all but a handful of third world countries and Russia, that tells me we have a gun crises."

      But who is dying? Most are suicides, and there's no reason to believe that they would not still take their lives if a gun was not available. Japan, where guns are all but outlawed, has the world's highest suicide rate and a gun is almost never the method.

      Most of the rest are the minority gang members killing each other, a situation largely ignored by both the media and those intent on disarming the law-abiding people who are killing no one.

      Factor out the minority crime that other countries do not have, and America is safer than so-called 'unarmed' countries like Scotland, which the UN named as the most violent country on Earth.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 2 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Your focus on crime and my focus on death lead to two completely different outcomes. One cannot draw any statistically significant conclusions regarding how the rate of gun ownership in America affects the violent crime rate, or any of its components. On the other hand, one can draw a strong, statistically significant conclusion that the rate of gun ownership is directly related to death by gun. Further, there is a state-by-state statistically significant inverse relationship between strength of gun laws and rate of gun ownership.

      You forgot the plethora of white mass murderers in your list. But, as I have said before, the issue isn't what the reason was they died from gunshot, the issue is they did. And, there are two FACTS that bear on that problem, 1) the higher the rate of gun ownership, the higher the death rate for all reasons and 2) the worse the gun regulations in a state, the higher the rate of gun ownership.

      What us also a fact is that there is NOT (I wish I could do underlines instead) a 1-for-1 relationship between lack of availability of a gun and suicide by other means. It is clear that the lower the rate of gun ownership in a state, the lower the suicide rate by all methods.

      Now, compare your UN data with per capita alcohol consumption and whether the assaults (their study excluded murder) where between family and friends (while drinking) or between strangers (the real measure of feeling secure). So, are we talking about bar fights here?, Then come back to talk about this deflection away from dying by gunshot. (That is the problem with your comparison, those assaulted are still alive, those killed by gunshot are not; which would you rather be?)

      When death by gun in America exceeds all but a handful of third world countries and Russia, that tells me we have a gun crises.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona


      A jarring, but misleading stat, especially when presented in a screaming, all-caps headline!

      What we were not told is that well over half were suicides, something the left supports. Of the remainder, over 50% of the murders were committed by less than 4% of the population...young black male gang members, and when we add in Hispanic and other minority gang killings, almost 70% are inner city drug murders.

      If you are not suicidal, not a gang member, not a brave police officer, not a criminal, and do not use illicit drugs that force you to deal with criminals, your chances of being shot in America are almost zero.

      Despite all the hyperbole, there is no gun crisis in America, and blood does not run in our streets. You are in far more danger in the 'unarmed' UK, where Scotland was selected by the UN as the most violent country on Earth, and in Britain where knifings are soaring.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

      my sez: The actual detail don't matter

      Jack replies: No truer words were ever posted by a gun controller.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      The only true purpose of guns is to kill, most often people; the fact they may be used for other purposes is beside the point. They are not needed any more for hunting, except in primitive societies deep in the Amazon jungle or New Guinea and the like.

      The reason the NRA gives for so violently and single-mindedly defending the 2nd Amendment is self-defense, i.e., killing another human being (don't get me wrong, I actually agree with the NRA's rational on that point). The actual, prior purpose of the 2nd Amendment while not really personal self-defense, was State self-defense, which is still killing people, not target shooting.

      Since I haven't read the Act that banned high-capacity magazines, @Jack, I will take your word for it that the shooter might have been able to buy the magazines he used legally even if the law had still been in force. That misses the entire point which is "had he not had legal access to high capacity magazines, the chances of such carnage would be reduced." The actual detail don't matter, and whether I have them right or wrong doesn't make the principle in less valid, does it for I could have easily have rephrased the offending sentence to have read something like "In 2003, this size of massacre might not have happened if a legal high capacity magazine could not be found to buy because new ones were illegal to purchase. The NRA made it much easier once again ..."

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

      Eso writes: He also bought a high capacity ammunition magazine legally as well. This enabled him to shoot 20 people of whom, amazingly, only six died. In 2003, this size of massacre would not have happened because high capacity magazines were illegal. The NRA and the gun lobby won its battle to stop the prohibition against the sale of high capacity magazines from being renewed in 2004.

      NSSF replies: "Magazines manufactured before the 1994 ban remained widely available while the ban was in effect."

      Jack clarifies: The AWB banned NEW 30 round magazines. No one know for sure how many were already in the country at that time but a good estimate would be ten million -- EACH ONE freely available to either sell or buy by any legal gun owner or gun shop. Millions of them. Totally legal.

      A fair person would begin asking himself right now just what other information rattling around in his head and accepted as "truth" is really not quite what he suspected.

      A good start would be to peruse the free book at Page after page of documented and footnoted information that would pretty much surprise you with what is at variance with what you think you know.

      As to the M-1 rifle it's odd that you pick that one. You do know that that is a "weapon of war", don't you? Designed for the sole purpose of killing a person across from the battlefield. One of the most efficient killing machines ever made -- with the blood of tens of millions of people on it. Shoot a bullet that will go clean through someone and into the next person, unlike the relatively puny 9mm that was used in Arizona.

      BTW... I would not quite trust YOU to determine just how fast folk can exchange magazines. I think you would be quite surprised about what we can do.

      You do know that the Glock comes with a standard 17 round one, don't you? That is only two magazine changes. And that the 30 round mag that he was using that day is a joke among shooters for its tendency to jam... just what happened in this incident. I would much rather face a shooter with a Glock and a 30 round mag that one with just a 17 round. The chances of coming out alive are much better.

      What if he had a can of gasoline and a match like the Happyland killings. Almost 100 people died because of a disgruntled lover without a gun being involved at all.

      Before you decide just how many bullets people "need" you might want to watch this...

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      @Jack, how is it not true and how is it "verifiable" that it is not true?

      If he had, say an M-1 rifle, would as many people have died? What if he had a say six-round magazine instead of the six-round clip for the M-1 (if memory serves). He would have needed to have five magazines available and taken the time to eject, retrieve, and reload five of them in the time it took him to empty one 30-round magazine. Would as many people have been shot? I seriously doubt it.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 3 years ago from The Midwest

      Eso writes: He also abought a high capacity ammunition magazine legally as well. This enabled him to shoot 20 people of whom, amazingly, only six died. In 2003, this size of massacre would not have happened because high capacity magazines were illegal. The NRA and the gun lobby won its battle to stop the prohibition against the sale of high capacity magazines from being renewed in 2004.

      Jack replies: This is simply not true. It is verifiable false and not even within the ballpark of being factual. Can I say it again? Not. True.

      But it it symptomatic of the author's rush to believe what he reads from others who also publish false material. It's hard to know if it is daylight outside when you start your journey from a 30 foot hole in a cellar that is boarded over.

      Eso can take it upon himself to actually educate himself with facts, or he can continue to post more and more bogus stuff that does him and his desire to good real harm. His choice.

    • profile image

      tmgrmike 4 years ago

      Typical response from the intellectually bankrupt. Not surprising at all.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Spoken like a true believer.

    • profile image

      tmgrmike 4 years ago

      If you "trained" on an M16 and it took you more than a couple of seconds to change a magazine, then you were/are completely helpless. In addition, the shooter in this case wasn't using an M16, he was using a 9mm pistol which has a magazine release adjacent to where the shooters thumb is and is designed for quick mag changes. Again, an untrained person would take only a few seconds to change a magazine on the type of pistol the loon in this case used. To claim otherwise is one more fabrication and another indictment of your credibility...which is zero. Who was going to react? The perpetrators of mass shootings perpetrate them in places where there will be little to no expected resistance...even the shooting at Ft. Hood took place in an area where even soldiers are, by army regulation, unarmed. It was civilian police (contracted to the base) who ended the shooting after (and that is the point here) 13 people were dead and many others wounded. Another knock in your ridiculous position is that someone intent on perpetrating a mass shooting...if faced with a world of limited rounds in a magazine...would bring only one weapon? Do you realize the damage a .12 gauge shotgun with .00 buckshot would do in a crowd...with only 3-5 rounds? The statement you made ( "He also abought a high capacity ammunition magazine legally as well. This enabled him to shoot 20 people of whom, amazingly, only six died. In 2003, this size of massacre would not have happened because high capacity magazines were illegal.") is patentedly false and, unless you are of diminished mental capacity (and, after reading your reply, is a distinct possibility) you know that and are simply stating bullsh*t to embellish a worthless position.

      The "use of facts" is useless when the facts are being used by someone, like you, who has zero credibility. Facts, in the hands of liars, are certain to be misused and misrepresented.

      There is no "well developed logical argument" built on bullsh*t, bias, and misrepresentation. The truth needs no embellishment, bullsh*t, or misrepresentation and stands on its own.

      No need to read any more of the tripe you produce, because the source has been identified as inaccurate. Nothing you write will have any credibility. Garbage in-Garbage out.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 4 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Then the use of facts and a well developed logical argument fall flat with you, bumper-sticker slogans and sound-bites work better? Plato, Reagan, Ryan, burn your books, they are worthless, too many words.

      Chicago, like Washington D.C. sits right next door to a State with little in the way of gun regulation, it is if Chicago had none themselves; in any case, criminals get the vast majority of their guns through legal means, so your point is pointless.

      When I trained on an M-16, it took me more than a "few" seconds to switch magazines. Only those who trained specifically could do it fast enough to prevent a pause long enough for someone to react, if they had a mind to. With a high capacity magazine, there is much less chance for that.

      But thank you for taking the time to read this hub, you really won't like the series on gun regulations, that is six parts long and full of statistics.

    • profile image

      tmgrmike 4 years ago

      To the author, there's a truth in life that goes like this:

      "The worth of a position is inversely related to the presence and amount of bullsh*t used in its presentation or defense."

      Based on the following statement, the value of your position is hovering in the negative territory.

      "He did buy the 9mm Glock he used legally from an Arizona gun shop. He also abought a high capacity ammunition magazine legally as well. This enabled him to shoot 20 people of whom, amazingly, only six died. In 2003, this size of massacre would not have happened because high capacity magazines were illegal. "

      Your statement shows the ignorance upon which your position and conclusions originate. It takes an untrained shooter just a few seconds to change a magazine in a handgun. The size of the magazine had absolutely nothing to do with the amount of carnage wrought by a mentally unstable person looking to do whatever his deranged mind told him to do. Are you suggesting that this loon would only have carried one magazine (had the size of the magazine been limited) with his intent to do harm at a time and place of his choosing? A person so ignorant as to propose that the size of the magazine is directly related to the carnage in such a situation is pretty much disqualifying himself from any serious discussion due to lack of capacity (you won't catch me commenting on ballet because I apparently know as little about that subject as you do about firearms, and I make it a habit to not comment on things of which I am unqualified). See the loons (show me one who isn't...the cat in Colorado, the nut you write about, the unstable clown at Sandy Hook, etc.) choose the time and place of the event, they are in control of the timing and they are the initiator of the event (unless you're extremely dense you'll grasp the tactical advantage of being the initiator)

      Have you noticed (maybe you just ignore it for socio/political reasons) that the mass shootings the liberals seize upon to agitate for more government control of firearms, are virtually all occurring at places where the only person armed are the initiators (they don't choose gun ranges, police stations, etc.)...they know they'll be free from armed resistance.

      If I was pushing an agenda (as you are) that left the public totally unprotected (whether that agenda is the "destigmation" of the mentally know it is mean to discriminate against these guys...or the unwarranted control of firearms), and leads directly to loss of life in mass shootings by people known to have mental issues attacking soft targets, I would surely want to blame the tragedies on someone other than me and those who think like I do. The 9mm handgun didn't shoot anyone, a deranged individual shot people. Had he used a knife (as is very common in mass attacks in China) and had killed only...say 3...rather than 9, would the loss of those 3 lives been any less of a tragedy? Would you be in favor of restricting knife about machetes since they've killed and maimed hundreds of thousands in Africa. Those with the intent to injure and kill will find a way to do it. If you want to agitate against something that will actually save lives, agitate against the lack of a system to identify and manage those in our society known to be dangerous to others.

      By the way, all you have to do is look at the city of by an Obamanian...a city with some of the most stringent gun control laws in this country that leads the country in gun homocides. Here's a hint, it ain't likely the group you label Right Wing Authoritarians doing the killings in Chicago, it is more likely they are the constituency courted by the democrats for votes. Tell me how you can blame the high gun murder rate in Chicago on anyone other than those who've been in control of Chicago...and one is now in the White House.

      Controlling (and prohibiting) ownership of firearms by law abiding citizens means the people with firearms are going to be the exact people most likely to use them to commit murder and other violent crimes. Chicago is proof.

      It is amazing to me that there are people like you who just can't help but share their ignorance as many people as possible. What is scary is that we've raised a number of generations who think facts come from blogs, twitter, instagram, etc. and who know more about kanye west and kim kardashian than they do about the founding fathers of the miracle that is the United States. Ignorance may be bliss...but it is still ignorance.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks for your comment Nick but I might note there are probably about as many people FOR "banning" guns as there are FOR making drugs legal; in other words, not many.

      The issue is what is the appropriate level of regulation, "not" to ban guns. The statistics I present and many others as well, is that, at least to a point, the more regulation, the less death by gun per capita there is ... that is irrefutable.

    • Nick Hanlon profile image

      Nick Hanlon 5 years ago from Chiang Mai

      I think the American people are less enthusiastic for banning stuff now that they've had forty years experience with The War on Drugs.1. It costs lots of money.2.It turns the police force into a para-military force.3.It puts an awful lot of people for non-violent crimes that merely involves buying and selling stuff.4.A lot of people have died in this war.5.People still use drugs-who is to say that the banning of guns will be as a big a waste of time,money and lives as The War on Drugs has been.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting, Jesse. I am curious though, where in my hub do I state that I am against gun ownership? I don't recall having said that, since I am not against it in the first place.

      All that the hub made a case for was 1) the "less" guns are "regulated" in any given state, the higher the incident of people being killed by guns per 100,000 population and 2) guns should be more regulated than they are, a lot more regulated.

    • profile image

      Jesse 5 years ago

      This was seriously one of the worst arguments against gun ownership I have ever heard...Fire arm prohibition... really? I guess this quack needs to open a history book and read up on how well prohibition has worked..Only if you want more gun violence would you support gun prohibition.I was going to make many points on how this person is dead wrong and how their logic is extremely flawed...comparing guns to child pornography.. just goes to show how desperate to support their illogical opinion they are. What it all comes down to is that this person wants security over freedom and doesn't understand how you cannot have both.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thank you for your polite comment, @tim, but humor me; show me where, in your precious Second Amendment, that it speaks to registering or not registering handguns and rifles, let alone machine guns, mortars, anti-tank rockets and any other weapon you care to attribute to the Second Amendment covering. I assume you approve of citizens being able to possess and use unregistered atomic bombs, given the broad interpretation you can give to the word "Arms" contained in the Amendment.

      BTW, keep in mind that the Supreme Law of the Land provides a vehicle such that if the People so ordain it, the Second Amendment can be modified, or repealed outright, via another Constitutional amendment.

    • profile image

      tim 5 years ago

      Absolutely the most pointless and retarded argument for "gun control". As you stated, the USA has a law, the Constitution. All other ideas purported here as good common sense ideas etc etc violate the second amendment. The Constitution also provides freedom of speech. So you get to keep your opinion and we get to keep our guns. God bless America!

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Workhorse, especially with an opposing view, regardless of how rudely stated, just so long as it is not vulger.

      First, which war did you stand a fight in? Mine was as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, where I volunteered to go to when the Army was about to send me to Germany.

      Second, you apparently didn't read my hub thoroughly. If I am not mistaken, nowhere in the hub did I say I was against possessing most weapons, which your whole response was centered around, if fact, I said just the opposite, I am for most weapon ownership; instead, you should have responded to my main thesis, "weapons need to be regulated closely", just like other dangerous things like automobiles are.

      Third, besides being a warrior in one life, I was a statistician in another, go figure. I am well aware of how different segments within a group "can" distort the result, but that depends entirely on the result being sought. In my case, all I am looking at are variations of rates of gun deaths by state and then comparing them to the degree of gun regulation that state has made into law. For your opposition to be valid regarding the skewing of the results, the states would have to vary significantly as to the proportion of criminals in its boundaries; if the proportions are roughly the same, then criminal population size is mute. In addition, when the actual proportion of criminals is small when compared to the total population, then your assertion becomes simply wrong.

      Third, you are correct in saying "it stands to reason that death rates are higher when more law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry weapons." Absolutely. But, that wasn't what the data was showing, given that all states allow law-abiding citizens to carry weapons. Since all states allow it, your statement has no value, vis-a-vis by hub. What the data I present does show is that the states regulate weapons less, have a higher death rate than states who regulate weapons more; a point which you didn't address.

      It would useful if you presented information comparing rates of deaths by guns countries that ban guns entirely when compared to the US as well as rates of deaths caused by criminals in those countries vs America and how they break down by class of weapon.

    • profile image

      Workhorse 95 5 years ago

      Stands to reason that deaths will be higher where law abiding citizens are allowed to carry weapons, why don't you back out the number of criminals that were in those statistics, ie. legal gun use. Additionally, statistical omissions like no CA / TX are generally because they don't support the premise argued, intellectual dishonesty. The whole pedophile rant was ignorant, Let's try another noun Elephants don't kill people, people kill people. Using your crazed logic all cars would be taken off the highways because they kill indiscriminately infants, children, adults you name the group and by the the tens of thousands a year. Also people miss use their autos so they can't be trusted with cars ban immediately. Cars are more accessible too so prohibit them, how absurd. Let's not forget evil alcohol, that ban solved the problem, everybody obeyed the law of course.

      I will tell you something, I stood with a banned weapon at the gates of hell to defend your freedom in service to my country and still do today, and by God if I want to protect my family with that same weapon why is that your concern, all I have ever done is protect you. Oh that is right because some of you I protected are stupid, to bad for me and my family.

      I appologize if I was some what rude but the apathy in the presentation above is offensive to me, and endangers my freedom.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Mr Esoteric

      Thanks for the detailed reply.

      I agree that we need others to jump into this discussion. That lack of participation from the entire hub population is really a global problem of apathy on important issues.

      BTW you neglected CA.


    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Hopefully some other readers will jump in to the discussion besides the five of us. You are so correct in turning a questioning eye to any statistical presentation and make the presenter support their numbers/methods. In terms of methodology, however, ultimately one must take some producers of data and surveys as correct on their face. These would be organizations who have proven themselves to be relatively unbiased and rigorous in their data collection techniques, and methodologies. For, these would include such organizations as Gallup, the CDC, the major news organizations, etc. It doesn't include such organizations who have a dog in the fight such as the one I use here, the Center on Gun Violence. So I looked behind their numbers and find they are based on CDC surveys and a well known professional publication, "Pediatics". That gives a much higher level of comfort.

      Now to the rest of your comment. (We are talking about both state and federal regulations. Some states have regulations only because the feds make them.) In this comment and the ones before, you make reference to the trees within the forest. You have brought up the impact of gangs, counties, morons, untrained police, cities, and many other demographics. All of these things are important in answering certain questions that concern the details of the problem but don't really bare (bear?) on the hypothesis I am putting forward.

      I assert that those states which don't control the acquisition and possesstion of weapons as strictly as other states will experience higher death rates per 100,000 population due to guns regardless of the reason they died by gun. All I care about is that a gun was used to kill another human being. If my assertion can be proven to be true, then logic says public policy ought to changed in favor of increasing the regulation of weapons more toward those states who experience lower death rates. It is simple as that. You end up with less people dead due to gunfire whether it be by accident, gangs, bad cops, or whatever.

      Now, having said all of that, I guess I need to cover one assumption I haven't talked much about that the table doesn't show directly. That is catagorizing a state as being liberal or strict regarding gun laws. Now for many states, that is simple common sense. Alaska is liberal and New York is strict. More people by far per 100,000 die in Alaska due to gunshot wounds than in New York. (Alaska does have a lower homicide rate by gun than New York even though it's overall homicide rate is higher.) I don't think anybody would disagree that the states in the bottom five regulate guns much more strictly than those in the top five. Common sense bares this out as do the % Guns in Homes statistic. It stands to reason that the easier it is to acquire guns, the higher the percentage of the population that will own guns.

      So, regardless of the answers that might be obtained from the questions you ask, the answer to the assertion won't change because all of those questions are susumened in the overarching inquiry ... except one.

      Your last question hits the nail on the head; as gun deaths go down, do other forms of homicide go up. (Thank your for that because I got to do some math I haven't done for several years.) I took some information from some other statistics I had (see the Wikipedia link I put in the Related Links section) that had information on number of homicides (a subset of deaths) by gun, knife, and other reason, by state. The result of my number crunching is that if you look at the top 25 states ranked by rate of gun homicides per 100,000 (3.13 to 10.13) you see that the rates of homicide for All Other Causes ranges from a low of 1.51 homicides/100,000 to a high of 2.66 with an outlier of 4.44 (New Mexico). Compare that with the bottom 25 states (.43 to 3.01) that have rates for All Other Causes between a low of .64/100,000 and a high of 2.27 with an outlier of 3.04 (Alaska). There was no descernible pattern to the rate per 100,000 for All Other Causes among the states in either group. Taken together, this tells me the rates of All Other Causes of homicide do not appear to increase as the rate per 100,000 of gun homicides declines.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Mr Esoteric

      I am all for regulation to exclude the criminals and the morons, but I still can't make a straignt line in your conclusion of regulation versus deaths. These are different states with different cultures, and therefore apples and oranges.

      Are we talking about federal regulations, and or state regulations on gun control.

      The stats not only don't register CA but also TX and AZ where concealed weapons are allowed, if not encouraged. Californina has been the scence of many shootings by gangs, and morons, as well as not too well trained police.

      As you can tell I am not a fan of pure statistics, and my initial reaction is to challenge them.

      I would first include all non lethal shootings to compare with the gun deaths. I would also like to see the demographics of the counties and cities where these gun incidents took place.

      Then compare them against the other weapons that caused injury or death.

      For example, when the gun deaths or injuries went down did other weapon incidents go up, down or stay the same?


    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      You are welcome OpinionDuck and real dialogue is wonderful because it brings out great questions like yours and CMerritt's and hopefully rational responses.

      Remember, my stand is not against gun ownership. My stand is for strong gun regulation which is what my statistics support. The table I present, and others I viewed show basically the same thing, is "rank ordered". The numbers on the left is the rank which is ordered by the rate of gun deaths per 100,000 population in that state. The national averge, btw, is 10.34 and CA ranks 33 at 8.93 gun deaths per 100,000. What I presented was the top and bottom 5 out of the 50 states. The other 40 States, which you can get to from the link I provided under Related Links, are ordered in between these two extremes.

      So I have to repete, we have 50 data points which clearly show the following is true: the more guns are regulated, the fewer deaths by guns. This is why I am in favor of strong regulation of guns. I think I will expand a bit more my reasoning in the body of the hub.

      CMerritt - You might find the Wikipedia article on how the Second Amendment came to be and the battle to define it once it was ratified very interesting. It is amazing how many ways those simple sounding words can be turned, even by their creators, in trying to derive its meaning. That said, early on it was clear that the Federal government was prohibited from prohibiting personal gun ownership. It still can outlaw machine guns and the like. What most of the fight is what can the States do. Here, the Conservatives have to step away of their principals and support Federal domination over the States, by demanding the Supreme Court apply the Bill of Rights, a document intended to limit the role of the Federal government and its existance is the ONLY reason we have a United States today, to the States and force the States and local governments not to prohibit gun ownership as well. (Boy, can I create a sentence or what!) Anti-Federalists must be turning over in their graves over this ironic turn of events, lol.

      I am sorry you reject my counterpoint of how dangerous guns are to children to the point of how safe they make carriers of guns feel or actually be. A positive benefit was being given so all I was doing was presenting a worse negative consequence and asking, all else being equal, which carries more weight. If my proposals we fully implemented, in time the number of children killing each other by accident, I believe, would drop dramatically. It is an unfortunate fact of life that you can't stop people from being fools, which they are in unbelievable numbers, but you certainly can take that fact into account in your decision making.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Mr. Estoic, I really do appreciate your classy approach to debate and your Hub, it has sparked my interest to research this subject even further. Only one comment that stuck with me as I read this this morning was regarding children who have been killed due to guns in the home. It is this type of senerio's that feed into the "law making" business that offends me on many levels. Though I have deep sorrow everytime I hear of such a tragedy, I tire of laws being made to protect the "stupid" if you will. ANYONE who has an ounce of brains, that owns firearms, knows all of the precautions to prevent these horrid events from happening in the first place. I am tired of loosing freedoms at the cost of morons.

      As far as the Constitution, I really don't see any ambiguity in it's intent.

      "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"

      It is quite clear. I have no problem with laws (as you presented) to prevent those who have "lost" their privileges and rights due to federal crimes or those who have been declared "mentally unstable". But to the rest of the health, law abiding citizens, they should be able to obtain firearms of their choice without interference. If such firearms are then misused, then severe penalties should be in place to take proper action.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Mr. Esoteric

      Thanks for adding more information on the statistics.

      I appreciate your attempt to respond to my comments, but I guess I fall into that category of unreasonable people.

      I cannot conclude from those statistics that guns should not owned by law abiding citizens.

      The use of a limited number of diverse states is like comparing dollars to donuts. California is not included in that list and there over 37 million people and it is the home of the driveby and freeway shooters.

      The bigger question is how many of those gun deaths wee committed with legally owned guns and those of illegal possessed ones.

      In other words if we had taken all the legal guns away what would those death statistics look like?

      How many accidental shootings versus intentional shooting were there?

      How many people in those stats were intended victims, how many were collateral damage, and how many of them were shot and killed while having their own gun either in use or ready?

      These are all factors that are not present in the stats.

      In intentional killings it is truly the person that is doing the killing and the gun is just the means.

      There really are a lot of sick people in this country and in the world and guns are just one of many means that they can use to kill and wound other people. The focus should be one them and not the tools.

      Gun control is a red herring to distract and look like something is being done about crime, but it is an ineffective method IMO.

      There are no statistic to support a one to one correlation with gun control and the number of homicides. The bad guys are always going to have and use guns, and it is no more expensive to get illegal guns than it is to get illegal drugs, or illegal sex.

      As for the Constitution there is no prohibition in possessing or owning a gun. There are a lot of laws on the misuse of guns but not in the constitution,

      Thanks for the dialogue.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Unfortunately, CMerritt, only the first two points, citizenship and background, are covered by the States and only because the Federal government is making some of them do it. The backgound check, in many cases is rushed, so the sale can be the same or the next day. I have to wonder how much information regarding mental state is in an FBI instant background check; I suspect not much. Even limited to those three items, how each is implemented varies widely from state to state and that is why you see such a dramatic difference in the table. The States at the top of my chart simply prefer not to enforce the rules energetically while those at the bottom of the list do. The rest of my suggestions aren't implemented anywhere, as far as I know, especially the concept of "strict liability", which is pretty harsh if you lost your weapon through carelessness.

      As to the Supreme Court simply upholding the Constitution, it is quite that simple, as I found out in my research. There was quite a bit of back and forth debate with many revisions of the version of the amendment that finally made it into the Bill of Rights. In fact, the version that made it into the Bill is really legal, technically. It seems the House inserted the words "to the security of" in place of the word "for" in the phrase "... militia being necessary for a free State ...", which was the version the Senate sent, without sending it back to the Senate to vote on again! The letters that circulated amongst all those involved showed clear differences of opinion. Then you have the issue of semantics that had to be considered. The Court had to take all of this into account before deciding what the writers of the Amendment really had in mind.

      I will grant you that there have been cases of crimes prevented, possibly even murder, because the victim was carrying if you will grant me the fact that a few children are killed month in and month out because they or their sibling or friend found a loaded gun laying around and died as a result. The question each person must answer for themselves is which carries the greater weight, preventing a crime against your person or preventing children from killing each other by accident due to gross negligence of some adult; maybe the one who is carrying to protect themselves. I know which side I come down on.

      OpinionDuck - I added some words regarding the statistics up in the main body if you care to look. I also added your thought on training, I missed that. You probably already read my comment to CMerritt on concealed weopons. I didn't say I am against it, but I sure can't use it as an argument for the net positive benefits of hand guns. To me, having guns in the hands of humans will always have a net negative benefit.

      I am of several minds regarding the police. As a rule of thumb, I don't trust the police anymore. I do believe their motivation is honorable when they join but it soon becomes corrupted. Now, ask me if I really blame them and I would have to tell you that I must really ponder that. They do not have an easy job and the public generally treats them like s... it rhymes with merde. I will need to write a hub. What I can tell you though is I have no respect for the District Attorneys. I think they, as a group, make the principals behind our Constitution a joke. They would be more comfortable practicing their profession in a country that does not have freedoms. That way they don't have to live with being hypocrites.

      I didn't forget you HS: I agree with all you said except I think it will be awhile yet before I will stop being surprised by Sarah Palin, lol. As I was commenting to CMerritt, the intrigue behind the formulation of the 2nd Amendment is quite involved. I was rather surprised. Here is the URL to the Wikipedia article I got my info from. I only skimmed it but must go back and read it through.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      if we merely left those you described below:

      - Prove they are a citizen

      - Prove they are truly law-abiding

      - Have no record of mental instability

      - Except strict responsibility for owning a device whose sole, original purpose is to kill other humans

      - Agree to follow safekeeping regulations

      Which is pretty much already in place...I am in agreement.

      The Supreme Court is merely upholding the Constitution...exactly what they are suppose to do.

      Something else to consider, how many crimes were thwarted because of folks who was able to utilize their guns and chased off would be “killers/robbers”? We do not hear about these, many people never report these incidents to the police, and even if they did, our media has a tendency not to make a big deal out these type of events.

      but they do happen, and NRA has hundreds of testamonies of such people.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Mr. Esoteric

      Not what I said, I said that only law abiding citizens should be able to apply for them, and then they can go through the investigation process, and a required training course on gun safety.

      This is much like getting a Driver License or a Liguor License.

      That is basically what your opinion is in the second comment.

      Again none of this would have helped to stop a random act of violence like the one in Tucson.

      We also have terrorists getting real close in this country, and they are not using guns, they are using bombs. I believe bombs trump guns. With bombs you only have to get close to the target.

      I have known several women that keep small caliber guns in their purse for personal protection.

      Any thoughts on that?

      You also didn't comment on my statement on bad shootings by the police.



    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 7 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Excellent comprehensive Hub as always Myesoteric. It is unfortunate that the founding fathers worded the 2nd amendment so ambiguously. As a result, the NRA and other gunsupporters are always going to have the upper hand on the constitutional argument. I agree with you that it leaves a lot of room to sensibly regulate which the NRA fights at every turn. I cannot add anything to your list of regulations. They all make sense and I would be thrilled if they just started implemently a few of them. The Supreme Court is way off currently on this. I also believe legislatures who regulate this via legislation should be more careful in their wording and avoid language banning all guns. That will be struck down every time. Unfortunately in this political climate even with this massacre, gun control is fighting upstream against a mighty current. Thank you for this great Hub which may get the ball rolling on this. Maybe we need to put gun control in our "crosshairs". Sorry I couldn't resist a shot at Sarah Palin. I just saw her 8 minute statement regarding Tucson and I am outraged against her even more. I didn't think that was possible.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      While I am cooling my heels in the Drs office, let me expand a bit on my last comment. I am not opposed to law-abiding citizens from possessing and using guns. What I do propose is that it be well regulated in order to save lives. All I am suggesting is that the law-abiding citizen:

      - Prove they are a citizen

      - Prove they are truly law-abiding

      - Have no record of mental instability

      - Except strict responsibility for owning a device whose sole, original purpose is to kill other humans

      - Agree to follow safekeeping regulations

      - Periodically prove they still possess the gun

      Is that too much to ask?

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks once more OpinionDuck. Ok, let's go down your line of reasoning for a moment, leaving then 2nd Amendment out of the equation because it doesn't bear on this logic.

      The essence of what you suggest is that it is OK for any law abiding citizen to possess any object without restriction and use it so long it's use is not illegal. Have I got that right or are there exceptions? I will await your response before proceeding.

      As to your question: It depends, lol. If the gun laws of the country are changed to match those of say Japan or England, then yes we would have a safer society in time. If the gun laws remained unchanged, then no, having all law abiding citizens turn in their guns would not make society safer, but then I am not advocating that.

      I will answer your statistics question when I get back to my computer, this my iPad.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Tony missed my point completely.

      It doesn't matter whether something is made to kill or not if it can kill. The difference is who is using the gun or the vehicle or the knife.

      The goal should be to try to keep the people that a criminal or reckless from getting the guns or driving the vehicles, and not to punish the law abiding citizens.

      BTW, you can kill more people faster with a vehicle than with even an automatic weapon. Also in the 911 attack no guns were used.

      I agree with CMerritt.

      We can't pro0tect against random acts of violence. It is like when we have 99.99999% of airline passengers go through invasive and degrading security processes to protect against a few bad guys.

      There are many more windows into airport security than just the airline passengers.

      The bottom line is what are we doing to disarm the known bad guys? Like the gangbangers, the drug cartels and the "criminals"? The answer is very little, in the border area of Arizona, the police and the border patrol are outgunned by the drug gangs.

      Here is the big question, Do you think that we would be safer if every honest law abiding citizen would turn in all their guns? I say law abiding citizens because there is no way that the criminals or criminals to be would turn in their guns. So at the end the law abiding citizens would be disarmed and at the mercy of the bad guys that would get guns.

      Should we take all the guns away from the police because many of them have shown reckless and deadly results in using their weapons doing their job.

      The biggest misuse of guns by the police was during the SLA Patty Hurst incident when they thought they had the SLA trapped in a house. And in the course of several hours they fired, I believe in excess of fifteen thousand rounds, and no one got hurt.

      I am sorry if I don't understand your point.

      I disagree with your last comment.

      As I have said statistics are made to be useful to anyone that uses them, they however do give enough details to make them valid.

      Four out of five doctors endorse drug A. Why not 80 out of one hundred, or 800 out of a thousand.

      Do we know what questions these five doctors were asked, and how they answered them.

      Did they ask more doctors and selected five from them.

      Do we know what kind of doctors that were asksed and did they have experience with other drugs that competed with drug A.

      There are so many other questions that we don't know about this survey, but we really do need to know the answers before we validate the 4 out 5 doctors statistic.


    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Hi CMerritt, Thanks for your comments as always! I was wondering when DC was going to brought up. It certainly did have the most stringent gun laws in the US until it lost it's case in the Supreme Court. I think it's new law is being challenged now as well. That said, DC and, for that matter, MD have the unfortunate situation of being in direct proximity with Virginia; one of the most gun friendly states in the Union. Every day the bad guys are going from DC and MD to VA gun stores and gun shows and buying up dozens of guns at a time and taking them back. VA's ID

      checks, when I lived there were minimal and background checks were nonexistent. That has

      changed somewhat today but not a whole lot. There is at least an instant background check the

      federal government requires over the very loud objections of the gun lobby. So yes, it is not

      surprising to me or anyone else who lives there that the DC area has been known as the murder capital of the world.

      I hadn't heard about Laughner's repeated arrests but for whatever reason he passed the instant background check. That is why I favor of a more extensive check. You are also right that if he wanted to kill Congresswoman Gifford's, he would have found a way to do it and maybe a few more with her but I doubt the size of the massacre that took place.

      But that is not really the point. Nor is it the point that violent crime, and maybe even crime with

      the use of a gun, may be at an all time low. The real point, don't you see, is what the stats

      clearly show - the stricter the gun laws, the less deaths per capita by the use of guns. To translate that to your comments, if those state with more liberal gun laws adopted the set of gun laws used by New York state ( not city), then violent crime and death by crime would be at even lower rates than they are now. Wouldn't you agree?

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      For arguments sake, gun Laws or no gun laws, if Loughner wanted to commit the crimes he did, he could by a 9mm Glock off of the streets. Same as drugs. Those who wish to utilize a particular weapon for a particular crime are wise enough to obtain this weapon vie the black market is needed. Also, he could have just as easily carried three or four hand guns with eight rounds and done as much damage.

      The real problem here is, Loughner had been arrested reportedly several times. Why had the AZ authorities not been made aware of this? Maybe the sales of this gun could have been halted if we had better record keeping.

      Also for arguments sake is that gun ownership has risen to an all-time high while violent crimes has fell to a 35-year low. coinsidence?

      One more thing to add while I am on it, Wasington DC has a 31.2 deaths per 100,000 (#1 in the Nation) with firearms, and they have some of the most stringent gun control laws in the land. (mostly uncostitutional too)

      your statement "easy access to guns means more homicides" may not be all so true.

      Also, many of those state that have higher amount of guns, also are states where hunting is more prevalent, which may or may not be a factor, I really don't know.

      just putting my two cents worth in here.

    • My Esoteric profile image

      My Esoteric 7 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL

      Thanks OpinionDuck and Tonymac for your opinions and comments. Tonymac covered some of my response in terms of the difference between guns and cars plus adding a new one I should have thought of (new hub coming).

      In addition, I would agree with your comparison to alcohol prohibition if I were endorsing the prohibition of guns. It would be unenforcable. As to the statistics, unless they were falsified they are pretty damning in their simplicity and clarity. Death by gun is death by gun; the reason for the death is not material. A statistic I didn't report is that the percentage of homicides by gun goes down as the rate of total homicides go down. For States above the median, the average looks to be around 65% of all homicides (a subset of deaths) were caused by guns while those States with homicide rates below the median homicide rate per 100,000, the rate looks to be around 45% (these were eyeballed). It isn't a coincidense that most of the States below the median are States with stricter gun laws and those above it have more liberal (ironic isn't it?) gun laws.

      You are certainly correct that Loughner could have used a knife or hammer on Congresswoman Giffords, he seemed intent enough to be that personal, but he couldn't have gotten to the other 19 victems; only a gun with a high capacity magazine alowed him to do that.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      The position that OpinionDuck takes on the argument about guns not killing is not logical. Guns are designed to kill, that's what they are for. There is really no other purpose for which a gun is used. A killing by a gun is not usually "accidental" - that is what the gun is for, so except in the relatively rare instances of a gun going off "accidentally" death by gun is always purposeful. Car deaths are accidental - cars are not designed to kill (in fact much effort is taken in the design and building of cars to make it less likely that they will kill) and so when someone is killed by a car that is really accidental. We don't buy a car to kill people or other animals. But what do we buy guns for? We can dress it up in fancy terms like "self-defence" or "sport" but in the end it comes down to killing.

      Guns also contribute to a culture of violence and make killing easier and for some, more glamorous.

      Thanks for sharing this.

      Love and peace


    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Mr. Esoteric

      I have to totally disagree with you here.

      Gun control won't work any better than Alcohol Prohition.

      You didn't separate gun possession by good people and the bad guys.

      You also didn't separate gun deaths by their cause, whether they were accidental or criminal.

      Statistics can be manipulated by the person using the statistic. The raw data with all of its details and particulars is the only way to make a real valid conclusion.

      Gun control can be done at the same level as driving, you need to meet the requirements for getting the license.

      It doesn't mean anything that the car wasn't designed to be lethat, but the fact is a car can be lethal, and it probably causes more deaths than gun.

      But we don't stop driving cars because of its lethal capability.

      In Tucson Rep. Gifford could have just an easily been attacked and wounded or killed with a knife, or even a hammer or other tool because of the close range of the attack. Yes, it would have been difficult to stab that many people but I am sure several could have been attacked.

      Your example of pornography is not valid because there is no precise definition of pornography.

      Some of the most dangerous people with guns are the police, as they have needlessly contributed to many bad shootings.

      Sorry but that is my opinion.