If you want a factual and research-based explanation of how to reduce gun violence, please read the informative article below.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics … c24213c694
An excellent example of just how pervasive the spin is, and how otherwise knowledgeable and intelligent people fall into the trap. From the article:
"the data we do have shows that lawmakers can act to save lives from gun violence"
"banning these weapons probably won’t do too much to curb overall gun deaths"
"Gun homicide rates declined during the ban, but they also fell after the ban expired in 2004"
"But banning so-called assault weapons was never meant to reduce overall gun deaths. It was meant to reduce gun deaths from mass shootings — even if these represent a small portion of gun violence."
"But even if this step reduced shootings by 1 percent"
"One small study found that over seven years, 37 percent of gun deaths could have been prevented by smart guns."
"The more guns there are, the more gun deaths there will be."
"And across states. One 2013 study from Boston University found that for every percentage point increase in gun ownership at the state level, there was a 0.9 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate."
" Harvard University researchers found that the gun homicide rate dropped 42 percent in the seven years following the law and the gun suicide rate fell 58 percent."
I could go on, but the point should be clear: the article isn't about saving lives as you say it is - it's about not having bodies with bullet holes in them. There is almost nothing said in the article about saving lives; only in preventing gun deaths, with the reader left to infer and assume that if a gun was not present no one would have died. A false premise that is seen from all over the world, including the experience of Australia in their gun buy-back program of 1996.
If you want to show that gun controls, up to and including buy-backs or outright bans, save lives you're going to have to compare those controls (or ownership rates) to homicide rates instead of using gun homicide rates with an implicit assumption that without guns killers won't kill. Can you do that?
Nice cherry picking and taking phrases out of context.
What's out of context? And I CAN provide more if you think I've cherry picked. Or can you point to anything in that article claiming lives were saved with gun controls? Not, mind you, something limited to [b]gun[/i] deaths, but deaths from any and all causes?
I submit that a gun extremist who does nothing but spew NRA talking points and takes comments out of context is unfit to have a rational discussion about gun control.
In your case, if you want to have a conversation about specific ideas and statistics raised in the article -- 1 by 1 -- I'm happy to oblige.
Can we start with your claim that gun controls save lives vs the article statement that "the data we do have shows that lawmakers can act to save lives from gun violence"?
One is a open ended statement that lives will be saved, the other a statement that any bodies will not have bullets in them. Your comment? That it is not rational to question the assumption that killers require a gun to kill with?
I didn't make the claim. I simply posted the article headline.
For the sake of progress, can we please start with a small idea?
"Another study from the federal government shows that 68 percent of school shootings are perpetrated by shooters who obtain a gun from their homes or the homes of relatives.
"In Massachusetts, which has the strictest safe-storage laws in the country, guns are used in just 9 percent of youth suicides, compared with 42 percent nationally. The suicide death rate among youth in the state is 38 percent below the national average."
Do you believe that gun safes with tamper proof locks should be used in homes with children?
OK - 2/3 thirds of school shooters obtain a gun from their homes. Are you making the assumption that if they can't do that they won't kill? THAT's the question, and one that is consistently overlooked and ignored.
Although I'm not prepared to agree that a large effort needs to be made by all gun owners to protect a handful from themselves, I DO support gun safes. Or other means - trigger locks, gun biometrics, etc. This is not nearly as much about suicide as it is theft as far as I'm concerned. I find the topic of suicides to be nearly separate from that of gun control - I am not responsible for seeing that my neighbor does not suicide. I would very likely make an effort that it not happen but that does not mean that I should be forced to do so.
I'm glad we at least agree on gun safes, especially with children in the home.
I also agree you are not responsible for seeing your neighbor doesn't commit suicide.
I do think we are responsible for pushing laws that reduce easy access to guns for people who shouldn't have access to them, such as children / teens, felons and mentally ill people.
Guess there is common ground between us. I know you don't like the NRA, but it is an organization with a long history of teaching gun safety. I am often shocked by what a non-NRA member doesn't know about gun safety. It's an organization where gun owners can go and learn about the best gun safes, trigger locks, etc for the specific weapons they own. I was taught at an early age to lock up guns. I believe this is important. The problem is we're back to square one, how to get all gun owners to be responsible. Should there be a law? Many states currently have child access prevention laws in place. A person once suggested the federal government offer a tax write off for gun storage and safety equipment. That's an idea. I just don't think there is an easy way to change people and their habits. Here are a list of states with child access laws.
http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/LAW … onLaws.pdf
Mike, I respect the part of the NRA that focuses on gun safety. I oppose NRA leadership that fights every attempt at laws to limit gun violence.
I have read that even NRA rank and file don't agree with the leadership on their extreme opposition to finding a solution to gun violence.
I saw recently that the Republican Virginia legislature killed a law to make parents more responsible for locking up guns in their home. That's the kind of opposition I don't understand.
Do you examine and understand their reasoning for opposition, or just write it all off to gun nuts?
For example - locking up guns at home. I don't know their "why", but it might include the inability to use those guns for home defense. It might include cost - requirements to buy a gun safe could well price a gun out of the reach of many. It can include enforcement, for we have far too many laws that are not enforced now, and how do we check that guns are locked away?
I don't know that any of these are the reasoning used to oppose gun safes, and I'm sure there are others - do you make an honest effort to understand whatever is stated or just write it off as NRA propaganda, worthless in any real discussion?
No need for inflammatory rhetoric such as "gun nuts" or especially your last sentence.
I'm trying to keep this conversation between us civil. Please try as well unless you are trying to pick yet another fight.
I complimented the NRA for gun safety and simply said "I don't understand" why the legislature killed the law.
Again, you're assuming, and I believe wrongly so, that passing more gun laws will decrease gun violence and there is absolutely no proof of it. As with the child access laws, there are hundreds of them on the books and they don't stop anything. If you pass some more child access laws, do you really think it will change anything? I think it's foolish to focus on the AR15 when there are rifles designated as hunting rifles that can do much more damage than the AR15 but are just designed differently. You can't legislate moral behavior, it has to be done from the individual.
Can't really speak for gun laws decreasing gun violence, but CAN corroborate that removing guns from a population DOES reduce the homicide rate by gun. The problem, of course, is enforcing those gun laws designed to limit ownership or use, but if guns are actually taken away and destroyed, as Australia did, then the homicide rate from guns does fall.
Unfortunately it does not reduce the overall homicide rate; killers that can't get the gun they want will used a different tool. Or at least that's the conclusion I draw when gun homicides go down, other forms of murder go up and the overall rate is unchanged. It's just a little too coincidental (for me) to think that when all three happen right after taking guns there is another reason.
The article is full of statistical evidence showing a reduction of gun violence because of SOME laws. For gun safes:
"In Massachusetts, which has the strictest safe-storage laws in the country, guns are used in just 9 percent of youth suicides, compared with 42 percent nationally. The suicide death rate among youth in the state is 38 percent below the national average."
I don't understand the claim that laws are useful for everything in this country except for guns.
My argument, again, is, we have thousands of gun laws currently on the books. If thousands of laws can't stop gun violence, why would you think a few more would do anything to stop them. There are currently many child access prevention laws in place in most states and there have been for years, yet, people still get guns. So, why would anyone believe a few more laws will change anything?
Why is the US the only place where this recurrent problem continues to happen?
Because we have a powerful and wealthy organization that opposes any and all solutions. I don't know of any organization like it in other countries.
Dianetrotter, from the British shores American’s liberal and widespread ownership of guns with little control is seen as just sheer insanity. Every other free democracy has far stricter gun controls than America, and correspondingly, less gun violence.
Britain has the 2nd most stringent gun controls in the world, with Japan being the most stringent. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to get hold of a gun in Britain; so much so that not only don’t our police carry guns in Britain but neither do the Criminals.
Whenever I think of a robbery in a shop (Store) in the USA (rightly or wrongly) I have a vivid image of an armed robbery. In contrast, when thieves try to rob a jewellery shop in England their choice of weapon is more likely to be a sledge hammer rather than a gun; as demonstrated in this video:- https://youtu.be/ySBxMMidbEg
To me the figures speak for themselves:-
• In 2015 in the UK just 26 people were killed by gun violence; compared to 33,636 people killed in the USA by gun violence.
• In 2015 in the UK the police killed just 3 people; compared to 1,166 people being shot dead by the police in the USA.
However, I know from previous, similar debates, that there are some who don’t accept the reality; demanding that it’s not gun deaths that count but total homicides (excluding suicides, accidents etc.) that’s important.
In this respect, for a fair comparison e.g. per capita the Data published for 2014/2015 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), given as deaths per 100,000 of population per year is as follows (for simplicity I’ve included just the data for the four countries quoted in these discussions e.g. USA, UK, Australia and Japan):
• USA: 3.5 gun homicides and 1.38 non gun related homicides = total 4.88 homicides per 100,000 of population per year.
• Australia: 0.18 gun homicides and 0.33 non gun related homicides = total 0.51 homicides per 100,000 of population per year.
• UK: 0.06 gun homicides and 0.86 non gun homicides = total 0.92 homicides per 100,000 of population per year.
• Japan: zero gun crime; and 0.31 homicides in total, per 100,000 of population.
Germany has about 5 times the gun ownership rate of England and Wales, but only 2/3 the homicide rate. Greece has 3 times the guns ownership rate but about 2/3 the homicide rate. Iceland has 6 times the gun ownership rate but only half the homicide rate of England and Wales. Romania has 1/9 the gun ownership rate but nearly half again the homicide rate as England and Wales.
Using your logic this definitively proves that more guns = fewer homicides. Right?
Wilderness, before answering, I wish to stress that coming from a country where we don’t have gun violence I have no invested interest in whether America comes to it senses and impose gun controls or not.
However, I do find the sheer volume of senseless deaths from gun violence in America horrific and saddening.
In answer to your response: Firstly, I don’t think you meant Romania as its homicide per capita is actually much higher than the UK. Secondly, no two countries are identical so you can’t make direct comparisons without taking into account other factors e.g. the inherent level of violence within a culture (for whatever reason) and the existing gun laws.
For example, the two countries you quoted who do have a high levels of gun ownership, but low homicide rates i.e. Germany and Iceland; unlike America do have high levels of gun control:
Although 30.3% of Germans own guns, Germany's weapons laws are among the worlds’ strictest, and considered sufficient for safety. Unlike America, in Germany, gun ownership is purely for recreational use only including the use of historical guns and weapons in festivals; and guns for private self-defence is restricted.
Likewise, in Iceland, where gun ownership is also 30.3%, gun control laws are very tight. Acquiring a gun in Iceland is not an easy process; steps to gun ownership includes a medical examination and a written test.
As for Romania, although gun ownership is very low, there is an inherent high level of violent crime due to the socioeconomic problems of many parts of the countryside including high poverty, poor education, and high unemployment.
Although there isn’t a direct correlation between the level of gun ownership and homicides, because of other factors including how tight gun control laws are, there is however a trend which can be charted. In countries like Britain, Australia and Canada where gun controls were significantly tightened when gun control got out of hand, historical data always shows a peak in gun violence over the first few years after gun controls are tightened, but thereafter gun violence drops of significantly.
I’ve charted the relevant data for 2015/2016 for each of the eight countries mentioned in these discussions in Microsoft Excel and used Excel to automatically generate a flow chart comparing gun ownership with total homicides.
In the flow chart below (as any statistician will recognise), there is a distinctive trend between gun ownership and homicides e.g. a general decline in homicides corresponding with lower gun ownership. The blip in the red line being that of Romania (for the reasons given above); otherwise, all the other countries on the chart (including the UK) have very low homicides rates per capita (less than 1 person in 100,000 people); except for Romania (as explained above) and the USA where homicides are extremely high.
8 Countries is just a small sample; but I’m confident that if I spent the time and effort to plot all free democracies in the world to give a larger sample that you’d see a similar general trend.
"Although there isn’t a direct correlation between the level of gun ownership and homicides, because of other factors including how tight gun control laws are, there is however a trend which can be charted."
There is the first point of contention. The statement there is no correlation between gun ownership and homicides is absolutely correct. The statement that there is a trend which can be charted is belied by that statement, for if there is a trend there is a correlation. As gun ownership rises, homicide rates rise, then falls, rises again, falls again, rises a third time and falls a third time. There IS no "trend" there, and I'm not basing it on the experience of 8 countries but on that of several dozen.
"In countries like Britain, Australia and Canada where gun controls were significantly tightened when gun control got out of hand, historical data always shows a peak in gun violence over the first few years after gun controls are tightened, but thereafter gun violence drops of significantly. "
True, at least for Australia (the country I investigated because of their specific time line on their buy-back). What isn't being mentioned is that there was already a slow decline in the homicide rate before the buy-back; a decline which basically continued unchanged for another decade after taking the guns away. It is thus not possible to credit the buy-back with the decline, for it was happening before taking guns from the people. Or course I'm not interested in gun homicides, but in homicides from all causes; while you began speaking of homicides it deteriorated here into talking of gun violence and it is a no-brainer that if a killer cannot get a gun he won't shoot someone. He can (and will) still kill, but the body will not have a bullet hole in it.
"8 Countries is just a small sample; but I’m confident that if I spent the time and effort to plot all free democracies in the world to give a larger sample that you’d see a similar general trend."
You may be confident, but until you do it, you will not know. I did it (the results are on my profile) and I DO know. You will not see a similar trend - instead (eliminating the tall spikes like Romania, Mexico, the middle east, etc.) the graph is a series of ups and downs with no trend at all. I will add that the "trend" you mention is pretty much a straight line through points 2,3,4, split 5 and 6 and end halfway between 8 and 2. Ignore point 1 and 7 (and possibly 8) as being from some anomaly that is not understood, or IS understood and makes the point invalid in a study of murders vs gun ownership.
Finally, the social/cultural/environmental differences between countries is absolutely what causes the difference, not the number of guns in a society. If it were different there would be a trend, but there isn't, so guns are not and can not be a causal effect on homicides. Logic 101:
If X then Y (true statement)
Not Y (observation)
Not X (logical conclusion)
As I previously indicated; gun violence in America isn’t my problem. If that’s the way Americans want to live then that’s your choice; I’m just grateful for living in a country where we don’t have such senseless violence.
No there isn’t a direct linier correlation between gun ownership and homicide, especially when you try to compare different countries with each other without taking variables into account e.g. how tight the gun control laws are within different countries.
For example, although both Germany and Iceland have a high gun ownership of 30.3%, both (unlike America) have very tight gun controls:
• In Germany, strict criteria and licencing laws, with strict restrictions on semi-automatics, and with fully automatics and pump-action shotguns being prohibited.
• In Iceland, not only are the gun laws very tight, but also to get a gun licence includes taking a medical examination and written test.
If only gun controls were as tight in America as they are in Germany and Iceland then there is little doubt gun violence (and homicide in general ) in America would be significantly lower; and perhaps closer to what they are in the rest of the world.
Your perception that if people didn’t have guns they would still kill as many people is flawed in that with a gun (especially a semi-automatic or pump action gun) a person can kill dozens of people within minutes; as frequently happens in America.
Whereas, armed with just a knife, a person can only kill one person at a time, and even then they have to be in close physical contact with that person to thrust the knife into them (rather than indiscriminately kill from a distance), plus a person being attacked by a knife stands a much better chance of fending off his or her attacker.
The whole purpose of tight gun control laws is to reduce homicides, and in countries where tight gun controls have been introduced, although trends in homicides do fluctuate from year to year (as they do in any country) the levels of homicide never go back to what they were before the introduction of strict gun laws.
I know you don’t like talking about all the suicides and accidental deaths resulting from gun ownership, but it is another factor that shouldn’t be swept under the carpet and ignored as tens of thousands of Americans kill themselves each year with a gun. Many who attempt suicide can and are helped, with some going on to lead normal lives; guns are so decisive and quick that those picking up a gun (in a moment of desperation) never get a second chance.
America is the only country in the world that has more guns than people. I’m not suggesting that you go as far as Britain and Japan where it’s almost impossible to own a gun; but If America adopted stiff gun ownership laws like in Germany and Iceland then not only would the range of guns be limited to less lethal weapons e.g. by prohibiting semi-automatics, but also fewer people would qualify to hold a gun license which would make America a much safer place to live.
1. The Harvest Music Festival: 58 killed on 1st October 2017
2. Pulse night club: 49 killed on 12th June 2016
3. Virginia Tech: 32 killed on 16th April 2007
4. Sandy Hook: 27 killed on 14th December 2012
5. First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs: 26 killed on 5th November in 2017
6. Luby's Cafeteria: 23 killed on 16th October in 1991
7. McDonald's in San Ysidro: 21 killed on 18th July 1984
8. University of Texas: 18 killed on 1st August 1966
9. High school in Parkland, Florida: At least 17 killed on 14th February 2018
10. San Bernardino: 14 killed on 2nd December 2015
11. Edmond, Oklahoma: 14 killed on 20th August 1986
Above are 11 mass shooting in the USA of which 9 have been within the last ten years, where a total of 299 innocent people died; innocent people who would still be alive today if it wasn’t for the horrific gun violence that’s so prolific in American Society.
Gun violence in America is not the choice of rational, open-minded people.
It's the choice of extremists who happen to have a lot of money that they use for propaganda and politician campaign contributions.
We are becoming less of a democracy every day.
President Pranky Spanky Pants in coming unhinged. He is saying things that are blatantly untrue. He is attempting to anger people. Some idiots will respond with violence eventually.
"If only gun controls were as tight in America as they are in Germany and Iceland then there is little doubt gun violence (and homicide in general ) in America would be significantly lower; and perhaps closer to what they are in the rest of the world."
And we know this because? Because if we pick the right two countries to compare it works? Go up a few posts and you will find absolute proof, using the identical logic, that more guns prevents homicides.
"Your perception that if people didn’t have guns they would still kill as many people is flawed in that with a gun (especially a semi-automatic or pump action gun) a person can kill dozens of people within minutes..."
And we know this because when the Aussies took semi-automatics away there was no change in the rate of decline in homicides? That kind of thing is how we know it? Because not a single country can show that taking guns has resulted in a lower homicide rate?
"America is the only country in the world that has more guns than people. "
And also one of the highest homicide rates in the developed world. Therefore guns are the cause of the homicide rate, right?. It's a convenient method of rationalizing disarming a citizenry...except that correlation does not indicate causation - something that is commonly forgotten in a great many arguments.
"Above are 11 mass shooting in the USA of which 9 have been within the last ten years, where a total of 299 innocent people died; innocent people who would still be alive today if it wasn’t for the horrific gun violence that’s so prolific in American Society."
That's what the Aussies thought, too...and watched as the number of people dying in mass murders (massacres in Australia) did not change when the killers turned to matches. The assumption that an insane killer won't kill if they can't get a gun is alive and well even after being proven to be untrue.
Hi Wilderness, the only reason I focused on Germany and Iceland is because you cited them as two countries where gun ownership is high, while homicide rates are low. In response I pointed out that in these two countries (unlike America) ‘Gun Control Laws’ are extremely tight, and therefore a good reason why gun violence would be significantly less.
As regards Australia, the fact remains that following the stiffer gun laws in 1996 gun deaths dropped off significantly and have remained low since (as shown in the chart below).
If you look at those figures closely you’ll note that gun deaths in Australia after falling back from the high of 1988 steadily rose over a four year period from 549 deaths in 1989 to 608 deaths in 1992, then stabilised at around 516 deaths a year for the next four yours. However, within a year of the new stiff gun laws in Australia deaths plummeted to just 312 in 1998 and have since slowly declined; to me that is significant.
In my view Japan is a ‘model’ country in that it has the tightest gun controls in the world, and consequently the lowest gun crimes. In contrast America has the most relaxed gun controls in the world and consequent one of the highest homicides rates in the world. I don’t think these two facts are just coincidence, as elaborated on in more detail in this article: - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38365729
There have been just 14 massacres in Australia in the last 20 years (since gun laws tightened), ranging from just 3 deaths to 15 deaths in any one attack. This pales into insignificance compared to the USA where in the last ten years the nine most significant massacres have ranged from 14 deaths to 58 deaths in a single incident; so your claim of massacres in Australia is somewhat overstated.
Besides, you’ve still avoided the main issues:-
1. How many people can you kill with a semi-automatic, compared to a knife
2. How far away can you be to kill someone with a gun, compared to a knife
In answer to both questions: The massacre at the Harvest Music Festival in the USA, where 58 innocent people were killed in just one massacre using a gun from a distance, demonstrates how far more lethal and effective guns can be in killing people on mass. There is no way a person wielding a knife could have killed so many people so quickly at such an event; at best just a handful of people at close range before he would either be overpowered or the crowed disperse to out of range, until the police intervenes.
"As regards Australia, the fact remains that following the stiffer gun laws in 1996 gun deaths dropped off significantly"
True. Take guns away and gun deaths will drop some. Homicides don't though - the number of bodies remains the same, they just don't have bullet holes in them. It is always amazing, and somewhat disappointing, when a discussion of guns vs homicides suddenly becomes guns vs gun homicides, as if that point is relevant somehow. It isn't; the whole discussion concerns "Do fewer guns (which is the point of gun laws) produce fewer homicides, and looking at a subset of homicides is not relevant.
"There have been just 14 massacres in Australia in the last 20 years (since gun laws tightened), ranging from just 3 deaths to 15 deaths in any one attack. This pales into insignificance compared to the USA where in the last ten years the nine most significant massacres have ranged from 14 deaths to 58 deaths in a single incident; so your claim of massacres in Australia is somewhat overstated."
Wikipedia lists 18 "massacres", and that's the figure I used. One more death and one more massacre than in the 20 years preceding the buy-back. But again, what does that have to do with guns vs homicides? The insinuation that more guns in the US is causal is unsupported and thus not relevant. Plus, of course, we've already determined that different countries and cultures are quite likely to be the cause of different homicide rates while the difference in gun ownership is known to have no correlation to homicide rates anywhere in the world.
"1. How many people can you kill with a semi-automatic, compared to a knife"
Who cares (although the biggest mass murder in Japans history was a knifing, killing 19)? How many people can you kill with a semi-automatic compared to a bomb is a more relevant question. Or maybe with an airplane. Pretending that if no gun is available a killer will default to a knife is another red herring and again completely irrelevant.
"2. How far away can you be to kill someone with a gun, compared to a knife"
Same thing. A gun must be within a few hundred yards, while a bomb can be from the other side of the world. Again, pretending that only knives will be used when there are no guns is a red herring. The second biggest massacre in Japan was accomplished with Sarin gas - do you really want to encourage a shooter to use war gases instead of bullets?
"The massacre at the Harvest Music Festival in the USA, where 58 innocent people were killed in just one massacre using a gun from a distance, demonstrates how far more lethal and effective guns can be in killing people on mass."
The mass murder by Tim McVeigh killed 168 people...with just one bomb. A handful of terrorists killed thousands with 2 airplanes. Are you sure you want to drive killers to use more deadly tools rather than bullets? Because a mass murderer is rather unlikely to default to a knife; far more effective to use a bomb, poison or other more deadly tool.
Actually, your statement about Australia is wrong. When you in include all homicides, total homicides in Australia have actually fallen by 22% since the introduction of stiff gun controls in 1996.
Regarding your second point about the relevance of quoting massacres in Australia, I would like to remind you that it was you who bought up the subject by highlighting that since the introduction of strict gun controls in Australia in 1986 most massacres have been via arson. Plus your statement that “the difference in gun ownership is known to have no correlation to homicide rates anywhere in the world” isn’t a fact e.g. Japan with the tightest gun controls in the world has one of the lowest homicide rates and the USA with the highest level of gun ownership has one of the world’s highest levels of homicides can’t be dismissed.
Your flippant statement of “Who cares” [how many people can you kill with a semi-automatic]; I’m sure the grieving relatives of the 58 dead from the Harvest Music Festival massacre do care.
Also, the biggest mass murder in Japan of 19 being knifed to death (which you mentioned) doesn’t match the scale of some of the gun massacres in the USA e.g. 58 killed at the Harvest Music Festival last year and 49 killed at the Pulse night club the year before. Few knife massacres match such a scale, but many gun massacres do.
Also, if guns are not easily available killers result to using bombs and airplanes isn’t a valid statement. Plenty of evidence shows that when guns are hard to come by the knife becomes the first choice of weapon e.g. the UK and Australia etc.
If you look at where and when bombs and airplanes are used as a weapon, regardless to whether it’s in the USA where guns are freely available or the UK where guns are not easy to come by, it’s almost always the terrorists who are interested in using bombs and airplanes as their first choice of weapon.
Point in question, Tim McVeigh was an American Terrorist, and as such using a bomb was his first choice of weapon; even though there was nothing stopping him using a semi-automatic gun because such guns are so freely available in the USA.
In fact, since 1995, when Tim McVeigh carried out his terrorist act, far more people have been killed in the USA by terrorist using bombs and airplanes (a country where guns are freely available) than the total number of people killed in the UK (where guns are hard to come by) by terrorist using any means available to them, which more often than not these days tends to be a knife or vehicle rather than guns or bombs.
In the homicides in the USA where guns are used to kill, the massacres are only part of the picture; the vast bulk of innocent Americans are killed by Criminals and in domestic disputes etc. A criminal robbing a drugs store isn’t going to use a bomb if guns aren’t available, they’d more likely use a knife or sledge hammer (as in the UK). And likewise, someone in a domestic dispute isn’t going to use a bomb in a moment of uncontrollable anger against a family member or neighbour if he doesn’t have a gun handy; in many cases he’s more likely to result to verbal abuse or hitting the other person with his fists (as is the usual case in the UK), and which is usually less fatal.
UK Cops Disarm Man Wielding a Machete: https://youtu.be/9mzPj_IaMzY
"When you in include all homicides, total homicides in Australia have actually fallen by 22% since the introduction of stiff gun controls in 1996. "
Very true. But somehow the fact that no change in the homicide rate was observed for 10 years after the buyback is ignored while we assign the cause for the decline, the same slow decline that was already being seen prior to 1996, to the buyback. How does that work? The buyback caused a decline for years before it happened?
"Japan with the tightest gun controls in the world has one of the lowest homicide rates and the USA with the highest level of gun ownership has one of the world’s highest levels of homicides can’t be dismissed."
That's what you said about England, and when given two more countries with the opposite results you've ignored it. Nathan, you simply cannot cherry pick two countries experiences and derive any meaningful conclusions from the results; you must examine them all and then begin making conclusions from what you know. And when that is done it is quite obvious that there is no correlation between gun ownership rates and homicide rates. But more examples: Austria, with 50X the guns of Japan has only 1/10th the homicide rate. Denmark, with 20X the guns of Japan has only 1/10th the homicide rate. Once more, the country you hold up as an excellent example of "no guns = no murders" is a failure.
It is this simple fact, that for any country you can name as a shining example of "no guns = no murders" (simplistically; we both know that the "no" part is an exaggeration") I can give two more that show it false is why there is no correlation. One might say that the opposite is true, that "more guns = no murders", but that is just as false, for I can do the same there as well, showing that "no guns = no murders". The single exception is the US, and even then many of the countries of South America show more murders with fewer guns. Without a correlation, there can be no causal effect; the inescapable conclusion is that the number of guns in a society cannot be used to predict the homicide rate (high or low) and thus cannot be causal to that homicide rate.
"Plenty of evidence shows that when guns are hard to come by the knife becomes the first choice of weapon e.g. the UK and Australia etc."
What evidence? Mass murderers turned to matches, not knives, after the gun buyback; look at the wiki list of massacres and the tool used before and after 1996. Of the 13 attacks prior to 1996, 13 of them were via gun. After the buyback, of the 13 attacks, 5 were via gun, 4 were arson and 2 were via knife. That hardly agrees with your statement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_m … _Australia
"Point in question, Tim McVeigh was an American Terrorist, and as such using a bomb was his first choice of weapon;"
LOL Labeling a killer as a terrorist has absolutely nothing to do with what weapon (s)he might choose. You cannot deflect the truth by using labels as a diversion, and the truth is that bombs are far more dangerous than guns. Take the guns and there is little doubt that killers will find bombs (or something else that is worse, like Sarin gas) within a fairly short time.
"A criminal robbing a drugs store isn’t going to use a bomb if guns aren’t available, they’d more likely use a knife or sledge hammer (as in the UK). "
A good point and very true. What does it say about the concern that semi-automatic weapons can kill so many more people so much faster...when there will only be one or two bodies in any case? Not very relevant, is it, and even tends to say the weapon doesn't matter at all...unless the goal is simply to kill random people rather than rob a store or hurt a specific person. Only when the insanity of a mass murderer comes into play, producing a tiny percentage of the total bodies, is the weapon relevant. Although we might be more concerned, thinking that an arsonist out to kill their spouse is quite likely to kill many more in an apartment fire...
But it DOES bring up another point; it isn't so much domestic violence or robberies that produce bodies (though they certainly do); the majority come from gangs and their actions and from the world of illegal drugs. Don't join a gang, don't live where they are active, and don't become part of the drug scene, and your chances of being murdered in the US drop to just slightly more than anywhere else in the (developed) world. Puts a different picture on the American homicide rate, doesn't it?
A final point, and I'll close this too-long post. I found it fascinating to look at the US homicide rates over a long period of time. There was an immediate and huge rise in homicide rates when prohibition (ban on alcohol) went into effect. A huge rise, followed by an immediate huge decline when it was rescinded. We saw another big rise with our "war on drugs", followed by a more gradual decline when the laws on marijuana slowly began to be relaxed. Coincidental? I doubt it, and it is but one more indication that guns aren't the cause of high homicide rates - something else is.
The steady and sustained decline in homicides in Australia was within 6 years, not the 10 years you quoted; it’s obvious that we are both entrenched in our views on the significance of Australia, and given the current evidence; neither of us is going to change our minds. Therefore, I suggest people read this article and let them make up their own minds:- https://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/gun-c … a-updated/
FYI information England does have very tight control law and low homicide rates, I referenced Japan because their record on gun control is outstanding and their homicide rates are very low.
I’ve got no idea of results you claim I’ve ignored because I’ve responded to every ‘new’ country which you’ve introduced to make your point? And neither have I cherry picked, I’ve given some countries as examples, just as you’ve done, and just as you are doing in the above response, which I’m currently replying to e.g. you’re now introducing Austria and Denmark and comparing them with Japan!
In actual fact the homicide rates for 2015 in Austria is 0.51 per 100,000, and in Denmark is 0.99 per 100,000; which contrary to what you claimed, is actually significantly higher than Japan which is only 0.31 per 100,000. I think you may have used actual figures rather than per capita e.g. the population of Japan is significantly more than in Austria or Denmark.
I don’t think anyone has said that “no guns = no murders”, we’ve both said that if people can’t use guns other weapons will be used instead; I’ve maintained (from my experience in England) that in the absence of guns, knives tend to be the first choice of weapon; whereas you seem to have the view that bombs and airplanes would be the preferred choice!
I agree that the number of guns in society cannot be used to predict homicide rates (I thought that I made that clear at the start of this debate). However, guns are one of the factors, and there is little doubt in my mind that the more guns in circulation in any country (without adequate gun control laws) the higher homicides will be. Exactly how much higher homicides will be in any particular country due to guns being more freely available without tight gun laws does also depend on other factors; as I think most of us agree!
FYI the evidence that in the absence of guns, knives become the first choice of weapon is well evidenced in the homicide figures e.g. mass murders, which you cited as proof that knives are not the 1st choice after guns only accounts for a small fraction of total murders:-
Homicides in Australia 2013 (latest published figures)
• 38% knives
• 24% Hand and feet etc.
• 15% Arson and Poison etc.
• 13% Guns
• 10% Others and Unknown
Homicides in UK 2016 (latest published figures)
• 36% Knives
• 30% Hands and feet etc.
• 6% Arson and Poison etc.
• 4% Guns
• 24% Others and Unknown
Homicides in USA 2016 (latest published figures)
• 73% Guns
• 11% Knives
• 4% Hands and Feet etc.
• 12% Others and Unknown
The fact remains (contrary to what you claim) that when guns are harder to get hold of as in England, Japan and Australia etc., the vast majority of murders (deaths) are from knives and not bombs (as shown in the published statistics above) e.g. mass murders only account for a small percentage of homicides in any free democracy; the vast majority of homicides in the free world (democracies) where guns are not readily available is from knives. In England, where it’s difficult to get hold of a gun (contrary to what you suggest) people don’t resort to using bombs, they most commonly use knifes.
So your idea that bombs are more dangerous than guns (especially semi-automatics) just isn’t supported by the stats e.g. the vast majority of homicides in the USA (where guns are freely available) are by gun, and the vast majority of homicides in the UK (where guns ownership is heavily restricted) are by knife.
Yep, as you quite rightly point out, you seem to have lots of ghettos in the USA, which no doubt is where a lot of the crime is. So one way or another, the USA faces a lot of problems that are not going to go away unless, and until, Americans decide enough is enough, and steps are taken to start to sort out these problems. Doing nothing is going to solve nothing.
Your statement “…don’t live where they [drug gangs & gangs] are active…” suggests you have lots of ‘no go’ areas in America. How did America get into such a mess?
"The steady and sustained decline in homicides in Australia was within 6 years, not the 10 years you quoted; it’s obvious that we are both entrenched in our views on the significance of Australia, and given the current evidence; neither of us is going to change our minds."
That's because you keep saying "homicides declined and that proves it worked" and I keep saying "the rate of decline did not change and that proves it did not work". I fully agree that homicides declined, but that isn't the point. The point is that the rate of decline was the same before and after the buy-back for some 10 years; that rate, whether 1% per year or 10% per year, cannot be attributed to something that didn't happen yet. When a country is disarmed in the span of one year with no change in the rate of decline of homicides that decline cannot be attributed to the disarming. If it could be the rate would have steepened considerably within a year or two and it didn't. Take a ruler, lay it across the points from 1992/92 to about 2006/07 at http://crimestats.aic.gov.au/NHMP/1_trends/ (first link in your link). It's bumpy, but a pretty straight line with no sudden, sustained decrease in the rate of decline. If it were not for the big spike in 01/02 it would be much smoother. No change in rate of decline = no proof taking guns helped. Just that something was going on in Australia that was producing a reduced a homicide rate, and had been doing so before the buy-back.
Your article doesn't even address that point; only that homicides declined. In that, it does a great disservice to readers for it is that point that matters, not that homicides declined - while the decline can be touted as proof positive that taking guns helped it actually shows no such thing because homicides were already on the decline Taking the guns changed nothing.
"I’ve got no idea of results you claim I’ve ignored because I’ve responded to every ‘new’ country which you’ve introduced to make your point? And neither have I cherry picked, I’ve given some countries as examples, just as you’ve done, and just as you are doing in the above response, which I’m currently replying to e.g. you’re now introducing Austria and Denmark and comparing them with Japan!"
I'll try again. For every country you might choose as an example showing low gun ownership produces a low homicide rate I will provide 2 more that show the opposite, relative to your example. You compared Japan to England (I think); I gave two more showing Japan as a good example of "fewer guns produce more homicides". The opposite can be done as well, of course, and that means that there is no correlation between guns and homicide rate. When you say that "However, guns are one of the factors, and there is little doubt in my mind that the more guns in circulation in any country (without adequate gun control laws) the higher homicides will be." you are basing that opinion purely on logic, which is in turn based on faulty premises. Whether you have little doubt or not, experience and history tells a different story; it is this insistence that gun ownership rates can be used to predict homicide rates (high or low relative to another country, not specific numbers) that is producing the idea that taking guns will reduce homicides. Not experience, which tells the opposite story.
Guns vs knives: I did say that knives would probably be chosen by a robber or by someone wanting to kill a specific person. I agree with you here, and the statistics tend to support that opinion. But the topic I intended to address was that when an insane killer simply wants to kill lots of people (which happens seldom here and even less often in other countries) a knife will not be the weapon chosen when guns are not available. And under that circumstance a bomb (or several other tools) are far more deadly than a gun, whether a single shot .22 or a 50 caliber machine gun. (Might change that statement if a killer mounted the Navy Phalanx on their truck, though).
How did America get into such a mess? Good question! When we can answer, and address, it we will find the answer to a great deal of the violence in the country. Personally I put a fair bit of blame on a very broken and very dysfunctional welfare system. Although (probably) intended as a very humanitarian, good, thing it has turned into a nightmare for people wanting out as they find themselves virtually chained to the largess of politicians wanting their votes. It has become, IMO intentionally so, as a way to keep the poor in poverty with virtually no chance to get out. Poverty (and free time) breeds violence, and the result is violence in the ghettos. Couple that with a refusal to actually punish younger criminals and there is a problem.
(stats: all my figures for individual countries are from a UN study in 2007 done by the small arms survey. I compiled them as the best and most current I could find when I wrote the hub on gun controls and am too lazy to look them up every time I quote guns vs homicide rates; I just go to the hub and look at it. But I also don't see that as particularly relevant; while the numbers have no doubt changed I don't see the patterns and conclusions changing.)
*edit* Thanks for the link - I had linked to the Aussie govt. for their graph but they moved it and I couldn't find it again. No more bad link in the hub!
Wilderness, as I stated last time, we have opposing views, and nothing is going to change that. You’re convinced that because there is no obvious dramatic and immediate decline in homicide rates shortly after gun controls laws are tightened that there is no relationship between how freely available guns are and total homicide rates.
My view is that when guns are used instead of knives to rob a shop, or guns are used instead of knives or fists in a domestic dispute, then the situation is far more dangerous and innocent people are more likely to be killed.
The prime example I gave previously was of a grandmother in her 70's in England, attacking six thieves with her handbag, who were trying to rob a jewellery store with sledge hammers. A very brave person, but her actions stopped the thieves in their tracks, and in the confusion onlookers overpowered two of the thieves who failed to getaway on their mopeds. No one was hurt and four of the thieves were eventually locked up in prison.
Now if this had been America, the thieves would have had guns, and if anyone had tried to intervene then there is little doubt that they would most probably have been shot dead.
In England, Granny Attacks Thieves with Handbag: https://youtu.be/ySBxMMidbEg
The other point I previously made was that in the UK neither police nor criminals carry guns. Therefore, when the police do confront a dangerous assailant wielding a knife the assailant is almost always tasered with an electric shock that doesn’t kill, but disables the assailant.
Now when this happens in America, all too often the assailant is shot dead by the police regardless to whether he’s carrying a gun or a knife.
UK Police Arrest Knife Wielding Man Without Firing A Shot: https://youtu.be/7fvbcBZQ_9c
The other factor, which we’ve both steered away from in our discussion, is the ‘initial’ reason why countries like Australia (and Britain) tighten their gun laws e.g. to make it harder for other mass shootings to happen again in the future. In the case of Australia gun laws were tightened in 1996 in response to the Port Arthur Massacre where 35 people were killed.
Likewise, Britain tightened its already tight gun laws in 1996 following the Dumblane school massacre in Scotland, where 16 children and 1 teacher were killed; with the new tighter laws making the prospect of similar massacres in the future less likely.
Perhaps if the USA tightened its gun laws after mass killings e.g. tighter controls on semi-automatics, then massacres likes the Harvest Music Festival, where 58 people were killed and 851 people were injured, 422 of them with gunshot wounds, would become less frequent and less likely.
When you state ”For every country you might choose as an example showing low gun ownership produces a low homicide rate I will provide 2 more that show the opposite”. Yes and in every example you’ve given your reference has been to actual numbers (ignoring the difference in population size). However, when you take account for the differences in population size (pro rata), then Japan’s total homicide rates are significantly lower i.e. just 0.31 people per 100,000. Whereas in the countries you’ve cited the total homicide rates are much higher i.e. Iceland (0.91), Germany (0.85), Austria (0.51) and Demark (0.99).
As regards your points concerning an insane killer wishing to kill lots of people, and that when guns are not readily available such killers will use bombs. For Your Information, bombs are not more deadly than guns.
Taking Britain as a prime example, where gun laws are extremely tight and guns are difficult to get hold of. In the past 10 years there has only been three bomb incidences in the UK, of which there were no deaths for the first two incidences, and the 22 fatalities (and 250 injured) in the 3rd incident, which is still a lot less than the 58 people killed and 422 others with gunshot wounds in the Harvest Music Festival in the USA where semi-automatic guns were used.
• 2007: Mike Cooper sent 7 letter bombs, no deaths.
• 2010: Car bomb in Northern Ireland, no deaths.
• 2017: Manchester Arena Bombing (ISIS Terrorist Attack), 22 killed, 250 injured.
So the first point is, restricting access to guns does NOT increase bomb incidences (the three incidences in the UK in the last ten years pales into insignificance compared to the regular mass shooting in the USA).
The second point is that just as many (and often more ) people can be killed at mass shootings as by bombs, as the top five gun massacres in the USA over the past 10 years demonstrate e.g. Harvest Music Festival mass shooting with 58 killed in the USA, compared to the Manchester Arena Bombing in the UK where 22 were killed.
"You’re convinced that because there is no obvious dramatic and immediate decline in homicide rates shortly after gun controls laws are tightened that there is no relationship between how freely available guns are and total homicide rates. "
Not true, for gun laws have varying results. But when the guns are confiscated over the course of one year, not merely made tougher to get, it's a different story. Without those guns in circulation there should have been an immediate result, and there wasn't.
Yes, Australia and Britain tightened gun laws in response to mass murders. But that says absolutely nothing about whether they were effective! That's what we're trying to determine, after all - do gun laws (which are designed to remove guns from society, always) have a positive effect. That we made that effort in the hopes it would does not mean we were successful.
"Yes and in every example you’ve given your reference has been to actual numbers (ignoring the difference in population size)."
Not true. I get sloppy, and I apologize for that, but whenever talking homicides it is always homicide rates, not the number of homicides in a country or time period. I may say that homicides fell, but what I mean is that the rate fell - the homicides per 100,000 population. Again, I apologize for my sloppiness.
"However, guns are one of the factors, and there is little doubt in my mind that the more guns in circulation in any country (without adequate gun control laws) the higher homicides will be."
I'd like to discuss this statement, for it is at the crux of our disagreement. But not from a logical progression of assumptions - from the viewpoint of hard numbers and experience and as much of both as is available. You see, I agreed with you; guns are more deadly and obviously will produce more bodies. Until I gathered the data and actually looked at a sample size big enough to be useful instead of choosing a country or two to base the opinion on.
I just tested, using a method I hadn't considered before, when I wrote my hub on gun controls. The data there is from a UN commissioned survey on small arms. The Small Arms Survey that conducted the research produced no conclusions, just data in it's raw form; perfect for someone wanting to make their own decision. It consisted of the gun ownership rate in each country, the gun homicide rate in each country and the overall homicide rate in each country. (Hold my feet to the fire here, for I really do mean rate not simple numbers).
Using the first and last (gun ownership and overall homicide) figures, I picked 25 countries I consider as similar to the US as possible. I'd like more, but there isn't a lot to choose from: we want as similar a culture as possible, as similar population density as possible (which isn't very), as similar in religion, beliefs, socialistic attitudes, etc. as we can get. Obviously, we aren't going to find very many out of the 200 in the world, but I chose 25, without regard to the numbers they carried with them. In fact, I covered those numbers up so there would be no undue influence, though I DID include both Japan and the US, knowing they are at or near the far ends of the spectrum.
I then listed them, in no particular order, along with the numbers from the survey, and numbered them. Next, consider #1 and look at #2; if both the gun ownership and homicide rates are higher or lower in #2, then #1 gets a check mark - a "point" indicating that that specific comparison indicates that more guns = more homicides (rates!). Then look at #1 and #3, then #1 and #4. Continue to the end.
Start again with #2 and compare to #1 (yes, I know this produces identical results; bear with me). Continue to the end and begin again with #3 and #1. Continue until only one country is left, but don't compare any to itself. When you are through you will have examined 600 pairs of countries to see if more guns = more homicides (rates!) (24X25 pairs). Every time you found two countries that support the hypothesis you will have recorded one "point".
We've now collected data to reason from (something more than "guns are more deadly than knives"), but we have to make sense of it. If the total score was 600 that would be a 100% correlation that guns = murders. Not going to happen, not in the real world. If the score is 0 that would be a 100% correlation that guns do NOT = murders. Also not going to happen. If the score is 300 (half the tests indicate true, half indicate false) there is no correlation at all. The gun ownership rate has zero bearing on the homicide rate. Not going to happen, not in the real world.
So what is reasonable? Given the small sample size of 25 countries, I would probably choose a 2:1 ratio (400 to 200) points as being reasonably significant - enough so to try taking guns away and see what happens. Don't forget that we're talking of the US, where gun ownership is really, really important to some people; enough so that it is included in our most sacred document. Given that, a result of over 300, but statistically insignificant, is not enough.
So what were the results? There are several. If a country collects 12 or more points (half the possible amount) then it shows evidence the hypothesis is correct; that more guns DO indicate more murders. Out of the 25 countries tested, 9 of them do that; 18 do not. Less than half, and one of those is the US. A 2:1 ratio, against the hypothesis
(A word on the US; it is so far removed from the norm, from the average, that no statistician would ever use that data point. I did so because it IS the country I'm most interested in, and did it knowing it would skew the results toward the guns = homicides end.)
But there is more. Out of a possible 600 points, 267 point to the hypothesis being true. Out of 600 tests, 267 suggest that more guns = more homicides (rates!). But that leaves 333 that show the opposite; that more guns = fewer homicides.
THIS is the kind of reasoning I'm insisting on. It isn't making statements I cannot prove (guns are more deadly in the real world than bombs, knives or anything else, or that taking guns will "obviously" reduce homicides). Instead it uses real data, historical data collected from experience and not a logical progression of assumptions that may or may not be true.
Where does that leave your statement? That statement can be written in a logical conditional statement:
If more guns = more homicides, then countries with high gun ownership rates will have high homicide rates (True statement, but understood is that "high" is relative only)
More guns = more homicides (assumption)
Therefore, countries with high gun ownership rates will have high homicide rates. (conclusion)
From the date we collected it becomes:
If more guns = more homicides, then countries with high gun ownership rates will have high homicide rates (understood is that "high" is relative only)
NOT countries with high gun ownership rates will have high homicide rates
Therefore NOT more guns = more homicides.
(Take note that this does not mean high guns = low homicides. It means that the statement may be true some of the time but that it is definitely false at least some of the time.)
So have at it: show a logical fallacy in the conclusion that the assumption is wrong or in the final conclusion. The data set is available on the hub on my carousel, and the list of countries (and point count) I can give you. But if you can't, then accept that the statement that more guns = more homicides is false, or at best unproven. You don't have to understand the why's and wherefore's, just that it is not true.
(But for God's sake, let's shrink these posts! )
Thanks Wilderness for your comprehensive explanation for your carefully considered and detailed analysis. You are now speaking my language, so I can follow and understand your train of thought, and appreciate that you do have an analytical mind; which I respect.
On appraising your analytical methodology (as far as I can see) for as far as it goes it’s a good approach to analysing the data. It’s the sort of approach I would use myself if I had the time and interest (inclination) to study the subject in such depth; but of course I don’t have such an inclination because gun violence isn’t an issue in the UK because it’s almost non-existent here, and because violent crimes and homicides in the UK are reasonably low.
However, with the work you’ve done, there is one thing that ‘bothers’ me. The one thing that I have become more aware of during our discussions isn’t just ‘gun ownership’ by itself but also ‘the level of gun control laws’. For example both Germany and Iceland have very high levels of gun ownership, but they also have very tight gun controls governing the types of weapons prohibited/restricted and the screening process required before a gun licence is issued. However, although gun ownership in both Germany and Iceland are identical e.g. 30.3% the gun laws in these two countries are not identical.
I know it would be an erroneous task studying the gun laws for each of your sample 25 countries and creating a matrix to weight the different gun laws. For example, countries where semi-automatics are banned and or where stiff requirements have to be met before gun licences are issued, would have a higher weighting against violence e.g. Iceland, where a medical examination and a written test are required as part of the process for a gun licence, which should prevent a lot of the criminally minded and mentally unstable people from being allowed to legally own a gun.
In contrast, if the gun laws were more relaxed in a country with a similar gun ownership to that of Germany and Iceland then (within an excepted margin of error) and all else being equal, I would expect to see homicide rates higher in that country e.g. because (if for no other reason) gun access for criminals, cranks and other unsuitable people would be that much easier.
If such data were to be computed and added to your existing weightings e.g. factor in how tough the gun controls are, I wonder what difference that may make.
In any event, I agree, “we should shrink these posts”. We both know each other’s views and I think we can agree that neither of us ae going to change our own views on this topic; so I see little mileage in us going around in circles arguing over the same points.
Couple of comments. As far as I can see, and by my understanding, all "tight" gun laws are designed specifically to remove guns from the population, presumably in the hopes that homicide rates will drop. The few that aren't about removing guns aren't designed to reduce homicides, either.
The law requiring registration of a gun will not save a single life; it is designed to aid police in finding a murderer, nothing more. The law in some countries requiring gun safety classes will not save a single life...from a murderer. It may save a life, but not a homicide; if anything it will cause a murder under the theory that a murder on the way to kill may (unsafely) shoot himself first, thus preventing the murder (don't we wish! ). The law against bump stocks (new in the US) might save lives if it can successfully prevent ownership of an item easily produced with a common 3D printer...but far less so than if the gun wasn't there to put it on.
The others are about preventing gun ownership; lowering the gun ownership rate. "For example both Germany and Iceland have very high levels of gun ownership, but they also have very tight gun controls governing the types of weapons prohibited/restricted and the screening process required before a gun licence is issued. <implying that a license may not be issued>" - this is all about lowering gun ownership rates. They all are.
But lowering the gun ownership rate does not prevent murders. The inescapable conclusion is that "tight" gun laws will not, either, for they cannot possibly be as effective as removing guns. This goes right back to "My gut tells me if we take guns (or institute 'tight' controls) the homicide rate will fall, so we have to take guns to save lives". The only caveat I would entertain here is that if guns are hard to get (and we assume a killer won't kill without one) the balance of gun owners that will kill with it and those that will not could shift towards "will not". Meaning that self protection will take on a greater role, but few gun haters will acknowledge that that is even possible; any gun owner that attempts to protect themselves with a gun will only shoot themselves.
And of course the only "tight" gun controls to one who hates (or fears) guns is to ban them all. Nothing else is sufficient, nothing else is required to end the violence.
Wilderness, well actually no, quite often tighter gun laws aren’t necessarily introduced to reduce gun ownership but to limit the type of gun permitted.
Take Britain as a case in point: In the UK there have been six Firearms Acts, as follows:-
• Pistols Act 1903. An attempt to regulate the sale of Pistols (a firearm whose barrel did not exceed 9 inches) by introducing a requirement that pistols could only be sold to a person in possession of a gun licence. At the time just about anyone could get a gun licence from the Post Office just by filling in a form, unless they were under 18; so all it did was to make it a little more difficult for children under the age of 18 to get their hands on Pistols, but children over the age of 14 could legally own other types of guns.
• Firearms Act 1920. This Law amended the “Right of Individuals to Bear Arms” under the 1689 Bill of Rights, by making the ‘right’ conditional subject to Police approval. So from 1920 onwards, you can only obtain a gun licence with the consent of the police. Under this new law, the new firearm certificates now issued by the police had to be renewed every three years (subject to police approval), not only specified the firearm but also the amount of ammunition the holder could buy and possess. Under the new law, the Police would only issue you with a firearm certificate if you could convince them that you had a good reason to own a gun. However, ownership of smooth-bore guns, without the need of a licence, was still permitted. Also, using a gun for self-defence was still legal.
• Firearms Act 1937. This law raised the minimum age for which children could own permitted guns from the age of 14 to the age of 17. Included shotguns and smooth-bore weapons with barrels shorter than 20 inches into the types of guns requiring gun licences e.g. previously no requirement to licence these type of guns. This law also made machine guns illegal; and changed the law so that use of a gun for self-defence became illegal.
• Firearms Act 1968. This law incorporated long-barrelled shotguns into the requirement of being licenced e.g. previously no licence was required to own this type of gun. This law stipulated (as part of the firearms licence issued by the police) that firearms had to be locked up, with the ammunition being stored separately and being locked up in a different cabinet to the gun. This Law also banned anyone sentenced for three months to 3 years from possessing firearms or ammunition for 5 years, and anyone with a prison sentence of more than 5 years being banned from owning a gun for life. Also, under this Act and Amnesty was used for the first time, so anyone in possession of an illegal gun could hand it to the police with ‘no questions asked’.
• The Firearms (Amendment Act 1988). Under this Amendment, semi-automatics, pump-action and other similar types of guns became illegal.
• 1997 Firearms (Amendment) Act. Short firearms were added to the list of prohibited weapons, which from that date onwards effectively makes it almost impossible to legally own any handgun; and to be in possession of just about any type of gun these days, even if there is no intent to use attracts lengthy prison sentences.
So as you can see from above, it’s not all about removing guns from the population it’s also about controlling what type of guns are permitted and who can own them.
I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you on your assertion that “gun registration will not save a single life”. In Britain, the 1920 Act made it a requirement that all gun licences are issued by the police, subject to you satisfying them of a valid reason for having a gun licence; and from 1937 self-defence was not a valid reason. Over the past 98 years in the UK there will be a lot of nutters, criminals and other unsuitable people who the police have refused to grant a gun licence to; so you can’t tell me that that hasn’t saved countless lives.
As regards the rest of your comments, I’m sorry, but I’m in total disagreement with you.
For example, making semi-automatic and pump action guns illegal doesn’t prevent people from owning guns. Just as many people can own guns as before, so it doesn’t lower the gun ownership rate. It just means that the guns in circulation are less lethal, thus making any future mass shootings similar to the Harvest Music Festival less devastating e.g. a nutcase with a rifle that fires just one bullet at a time wouldn’t be able to kill as many people as a nutcase using a semi-automatic.
"pistols could only be sold to a person in possession of a gun licence."
No license, no pistol. Limiting gun ownership (or simply raising cash, but I doubt that was the reason).
"This Law amended the “Right of Individuals to Bear Arms” under the 1689 Bill of Rights, by making the ‘right’ conditional subject to Police approval."
No police approval, no gun. Limiting gun ownership again.
"This law raised the minimum age for which children could own permitted guns from the age of 14 to the age of 17. "
Limiting gun ownership to only those 17 years of age.
"This law incorporated long-barrelled shotguns into the requirement of being licenced e.g. previously no licence was required to own this type of gun. This Law also banned anyone sentenced for three months to 3 years from possessing firearms or ammunition for 5 years, and anyone with a prison sentence of more than 5 years being banned from owning a gun for life."
Limiting shotgun ownership to those with a license. And limiting gun ownership by felons.
"Under this Amendment, semi-automatics, pump-action and other similar types of guns became illegal."
Limiting gun ownership of those guns. To zero.
" Short firearms were added to the list of prohibited weapons, which from that date onwards effectively makes it almost impossible to legally own any handgun"
Limiting (banning) ownership of handguns.
"So as you can see from above, it’s not all about removing guns from the population it’s also about controlling what type of guns are permitted and who can own them."
Which is exactly what I said. Sometimes it's all people, sometimes it's just some people, but it's always about limiting the right/ability of at least some of the population to have a gun. Lowering the gun ownership rate of the population, whether by targeting specific people or targeting specific weapons. And 100% of the evidence I can find says it doesn't prevent murders.
"Over the past 98 years in the UK there will be a lot of nutters, criminals and other unsuitable people who the police have refused to grant a gun licence to; so you can’t tell me that that hasn’t saved countless lives."
If there is anything at all that my example of research and conclusion should have said it is that making statements without being able to show their truth is a poor way to draw conclusions. You can't show anything at all here, and indeed that same research gives very strong evidence it is false. Gut feelings don't count, not when drawing conclusions, and to conclude that because guns were taken lives were saved has absolutely nothing to support it but gut feeling that it just has to be right.
Nathan, you are going to continue to insist that because it sounds right that it has to be right - that taking guns will prevent homicides and hang the evidence to the contrary. You're going to insist that you don't need evidence - that "common sense" produces more accurate answers than experience and history, and if that evidence doesn't agree with your common sense then the evidence shall be ignored as invalid. It's not an uncommon reaction, but when you say " Thanks Wilderness for your comprehensive explanation for your carefully considered and detailed analysis. You are now speaking my language" I didn't expect you to immediately revert to "I'm right in spite of the evidence because my gut says so". You were right - there is nothing more to say.
Another day, my friend, and another topic. I've enjoyed it and even found things I can add to the analysis in my hub. It needed updating anyway - it's been too long since I did so.
I’m sorry Wilderness, although your analytical approach is commendable for as far as it goes, it is flawed in that it doesn’t go far enough e.g. you’ve made detail comparisons (using pro rata figures) between 25 countries based on just two key points, gun ownership and total homicides, without any attempt to consider any of the other variables that will skew the data.
Variants in demographics and the urban culture of cities in different countries is one factor which will influences homicide rates; and it is a major factor, but not the only factor e.g. gun control laws will also have an influence. The differences from one country to another in what type of gun is permitted and which types are prohibited will also skew the figures because in countries where more lethal guns like semi-automatics are legal more people are going to be killed. For countries where licensing laws exclude groups of people who are more likely to use guns irresponsibly or for criminal activities, homicide rates will be lower because those people who are most likely to use guns to kill have a greater restriction on getting those guns.
Therefore, if all else is equal, in a direct comparison where gun ownership between two countries is identical e.g. 30%, if one of those countries permits semi-automatics and pump action guns and the other doesn’t then one would expect homicide rates in the latter to be lower. Your research is flawed because it doesn’t go as far as making that comparison. Therefore, by ignoring variables like this you end up with a load of data that proves nothing.
You’ve created a theory (concluded) that because the data you’ve compiled proves there is not relationship between the level of gun ownership and homicides that any logical or common sense thought that is contrary to your theory is wrong e.g. in your mind, restricting gun access to mentally unstable people (people who are more likely to use guns to kill) will not result in less homicidal deaths.
Likewise, based on your theory, allowing anybody to own semi-automatics and pump action guns will not result in more homicidal deaths. If you believe that allowing criminals and mentally unstable people a legal right to own semi-automatics and pump action guns isn’t going to result in increased homicidal deaths then I suggest that your methodology for data collection and analysis is either flawed and or incomplete. Because there is no way you can convince me that handing any gun, let alone a semi-automatic or pump action gun to mentally unstable people isn’t going to result in them using those weapons to kill people.
One issue you should be wary of when using pro rata data for comparison is the granularity. For example, pro rata data uses the standard of 1 in 100,000 = 1.00, so that 1 in 10,000 = 0.01 (the smallest division used in data sets). Therefore although 1 in 14,000 = 0.014, in reality it would be rounded down to 0.01 (two decimal places).
Therefore, for a country as large as the USA (with a population of 325,700,000), if theoretically 23,264 lives per year were saved because of some minor tightening of gun laws in America, it wouldn’t even register in the pro rata figures so the current figure for the USA of 4.88 would remain static at 4.88 e.g. it would not be shown as 4.876 but would be rounded up to 4.88.
So when drawing your conclusions based on your research, to get more clarity on whether your assumptions are right or not you will need to take an awful lot more into account than just straight comparisons between total gun ownership and total homicides e.g. the subject matter is far too complex with too many variable to be able to draw any conclusive evidence that there is no link between the level of gun ownership and homicides rates by making just simple comparisons, and by not looking deeper into the other issues and factors.
The first criterion for a scientific theory is:-
“It makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry”
It's a criterion that keeps the scientists on their toes, and as far as I can see your methodology is too focused on just two key factors, and ignores all the other variable which will skew the data, and therefore risks formulating conclusions based on incomplete research.
BTW, I’m not Nathan; King of the Britons might be closer to the mark.
"The differences from one country to another in what type of gun is permitted and which types are prohibited will also skew the figures because in countries where more lethal guns like semi-automatics are legal more people are going to be killed."
We know this because when Australia took all the semi-automatics the Homicide rate continued the same slow decline it was already on. Or because countries with very low gun ownership (virtually no semi-automatics in the country) have higher homicide rates than countries with lots of guns of all types. I don't think so.
Arthur (sorry about that!), you continue to make such statements in the face of evidence to the contrary - when you can produce real life data to support the claim you will have something, but until then it is an opinion based on faulty logic and/or premises. An unsupported opinion, based on flawed or incomplete assumptions, will never trump real life experience; an hour researching historical data is worth a life time of rationalizing ones way to a conclusion that "feels" right but is not supported with fact.
Yes, culture plays an enormous part of homicide rates - I very highly doubt that you will find anyone denying that. But when you continue with "in countries where more lethal guns like semi-automatics are legal more people are going to be killed.", well, some factual experience is necessary. An opinion, no mattered how well reasoned, is virtually worthless because you will never have the data to form that opinion without doing the research.
Frankly it baffles me that you can accept that removing nearly all guns from nearly all of society, say to the level of Japan, is not an indication that homicides will fall, but at the same time maintain that taking them from a portion of the people, or taking a portion of the guns, will somehow produce that effect. Either you are denying the lack of correlation or simply putting that gut feeling ahead of historical data. It's as if you feel that if you take all the guns, find it produces no results (in accordance with historical experience), you can now give some of them back with the expectation that homicides will fall when you do because the net effect was to only take the semi-automatics or only took them from mentally ill people! The flaw in that reasoning should be readily apparent, but you keep making the same error.
I’m sorry wilderness, but I find your complete denial that liberal gun controls, especially for semi-automatics, doesn’t result in any additional bloodshed.
Each time I’ve mentioned the Las Vegas Music Festival Mass Shooting, where 58 people were killed in ten minutes and 851 injured by a gunman on the 32nd floor of a hotel using semi-automatics, you’ve completed avoided the issue.
It’s a fact that the USA which has by far the most liberal gun laws and the highest gun ownership than any other western democracy also has by far the highest number of mass killings; all of which in America are exclusively shootings. For example, between 1966 and 2012, 292 public mass shootings (defined as four or more victims and excluding gang killings or domestic violence) occurred across the world. 90 of these (31%) of the total were in the USA.
You claim (quite rightly), irrespective of the level of gun laws, that homicides around the world (including the USA) are falling, and having been falling for a long time. According to some experts this has been attributed to better policing, a better economy and environmental factors.
However, in sharp contrast to this, firearm injuries, suicides and mass shooting are all on the increase in the USA, with the rate of mass shooting in America tripling since 2011. 14 of the deadliest mass shooting in USA history have all been since 2000, in just these 14 massacres, all of which involved semi-automatics, a total of 319 people were killed.
I’ve compiled the data for all mass killings this century from three countries. UK (my own country, where gun control laws are tight and gun ownership quite low), Australia (because you like to focus on it for your proof that tightening gun laws don’t work), and Japan because of their very tight gun controls, very low gun ownership and low homicide rates).
As you will see from the data and analysis, none of these three countries have had more than a grand total of 7 mass killings over a 17 year period. And on converting the data to the standard pro rata rate of n in 100,000 the total number of deaths from these mass killings for the UK and Japan is around 0.01 per 100,000, and for Australia its closer to 0.02 (slightly higher).
However, I couldn’t do the same direct comparison for the USA because there are just far too many mass killings (all mass shootings, and most, if not all involving semi-automatics, pump action or similar gun types).
Therefore I took just the most recent year for the USA e.g. 2017 as being representative of an average year since the dramatic increase in mass shootings in America since 2011.
In contrast to Australia, the UK and Japan, the pro rata figure is a staggering 0.06 per 100,000 (over 5 times higher than the other three countries I compared); and which represent 191 deaths from mass shootings in the USA where the weapon was almost exclusively semi-automatics.
Although this is the loss of life of a significant number of innocent Americans, killed by the use of semi-automatics, unfortunately for your stats in your analysis, where you rely solely on the pro rata figures for total homicides, this information is almost lost in the data e.g. if all these mass killings didn’t happen in the USA the homicide rate would be 4.82 and not the 4.88 per 100,000 that it is.
And for Japan, Australia and the UK where mass killings are infrequent events the homicide rates at the granularity of 100,000 hardly change at all.
So your assertion that tighter gun controls and banning semi-automatics would wouldn’t mean less mass killings and that the mass killings would be more devastating because bombs and arson would be used instead of semi-automatics doesn’t hold water e.g. far fewer mass killings with significantly lower deaths pro rata in Japan, UK and Australia, where gun control Laws are tight, than in the USA where there is little in the way of gun control laws.
Also, your assertion that banning semi-automatics wouldn’t save lives is a fallacy when presented with the stark facts that there are far more mass killings in the USA every year than there are in countries like Japan, UK and Australia over a 20 year period; and that virtually every mass killing in the USA is with a semi-automatic.
UK Mass Killings (4 or more) from 2000 to 2017
Population 65 million
Country Year Deaths Cause Weapon
UK 2005 52 Terrorist Bombs
UK 2010 12 Killer spree Gun
UK 2017 6 Terrorist Knife
UK 2017 23 Terrorist Bomb
UK 2017 8 Terrorist Vehicle and knife
Yearly average over 17 years = 5.94
Pro Rata = 0.09 per million
per 100,000 = 0.01
Total homicides = 0.92 per 100,000 (exclude mass killings it might drop to 0.91)
Australian Mass Killings (4 or more) from 2000 to 2017
Population 24 million
Country Year Deaths Weapon
Australia 2000 15 Arson
Australia 2009 10 Arson
Australia 2009 5 Blunt Instrument
Australia 2011 11 Arson
Australia 2014 5 Gun
Australia 2014 8 Knife
Australia 2017 6 Vehicle
Yearly average over 17 years = 3.52
Pro Rata = 0.15 per million
per 100,000 = 0.02
Total homicides = 0.51 per 100,000 (exclude mass killings it might drop to 0.49)
Japan’s Mass Killings from 2000 to 2017
Population 127 million
Country Year Deaths Weapon
Japan 2001 4 Knife
Japan 2001 8 Knife
Japan 2001 44 Arson
Japan 2008 7 Knife
Japan 2008 16 Arson
Japan 2016 19 Knife
Japan 2017 6 Arson
Yearly average over 17 years = 6.12
Pro Rata = 0.05 per million
per 100,000 = 0.01
Total homicides = 0.31 per 100,000 (exclude mass killings it might drop to 0.30)
USA Mass Shootings in 2017
Pro Rata = 0.58 per million
per 100,000 = 0.06
Total homicides = 4.88 per 100,000 (exclude mass killings it would drop to about 4.82)
Hey wanna play a game ,Let's compare a ghost town to a real town or city full of the actual people, you know , for the end game of violent crime that you are comparing .
Only took me two lines .
"Each time I’ve mentioned the Las Vegas Music Festival Mass Shooting, where 58 people were killed in ten minutes and 851 injured by a gunman on the 32nd floor of a hotel using semi-automatics, you’ve completed avoided the issue."
LOL The response was, and remains, that Timothy McVeigh killed 168 in a fraction of a second without using a gun at all. That you chose to apply the label "terrorist", as if that means the event didn't happen, doesn't change that. The assumption that a gun will kill more people than a bomb is proven false with just a single event. While guns are certainly more popular than bombs, bombs can be far more deadly and when you encourage (force) killers to use that method rather than guns a higher death toll can reasonably be expected.
And that doesn't even address using war gasses, biological weapons, poisoning the water or air supply, airplane "accidents", arson, etc. When it comes to indiscriminate killing, a mass murder by an insane person that has planned it for months or more, guns pale in comparison to what can be done with other weapons.
Great! Let's look at your figures, but without the assumption that guns are more deadly and without the assumption that guns cause murders.
The UK had 101 deaths from mass murders, of which 75% were from bombs.
Australia had 60, of which 60% were from arson.
Japan had 104, of which 63% were from arson.
But the conclusion is that guns will always kill more people and thus need removed? I don't think so - instead your numbers seem to show that if guns aren't available another weapon will be used. You can assume (and we all know what assumptions are worth) that fewer murders were committed because of no guns, but we would need "before and after" figures to show that to be true. Fortunately, Australia is just such country, where virtually all semi-automatic rifles were confiscated in 1996. In the 20 years prior to that year there were 76 dead in mass murders, in the 20 years post 1996 there were 80 dead in mass murders. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_m … Australia. "Tight" controls on semi-automatics doesn't seem to have accomplished anything at all, unless you want to say that the additional 4 dead indicate that lack of those guns caused more deaths. I don't.
Now add the US, with it's 191 deaths all presumably from semi-automatic weapons. Some observations concerning that number:
The gun ownership rate in the US has not grown significantly in the last few years, so the assumption that the huge increase in mass murders comes from guns doesn't make a lot of sense. We likely have seen a growth (percentage-wise) in the number of "assault rifles" in the country, but if you're going to claim that painting a gun black makes people commit mass murder with it, well, you've just plain left me behind. There must be another cause.
Of the 13,455 Us murders in 2015, 252 (<2%) were committed by any rifle, which of course includes the sub set of those semi-automatic guns you're blaming for the high homicide rate. 3 times as many were killed by knives, and twice as many by hands a feet. You even indicate that US homicide rate would fall by .06/100,000 if mass murders (with semi-automatics) were removed; a drop of 1.2%. Semi-automatic rifles do not add significantly to the homicide rate; there must be another reason for the high homicide rate. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/20 … 1-2015.xls
Of the 13,455 US murders in 2015, you show 191 of them (1.4%) to be mass murders, and then try to extrapolate an assumed cause (semi-automatic rifles) to apply equally to the rest of them. This is a gross fallacy, and the chart in the link shows that with 6447 deaths from handguns, not semi-automatic rifles. Even if we add in all shotgun deaths (assuming that all shotguns are pump action; another fallacy), the figure for all long guns is still less than 4% of the total murders: those "tight" laws can't help even if we assume (another fallacy) that the killer won't kill if he can't get the specific type of weapon he wants. There must be another reason for the high homicide rate.
You are trying to equate "correlation" with "causal", and you are doing it with a known anomaly - a bad error both logically and statistically. We haven't mentioned homicides in Mexico, in Columbia or Syria. All these countries have very high homicide rates, but we know the cause (Mexico and Columbia have a huge drug problem and Syria has a war) and we know that using such data is worthless as a result. The US is another anomaly - it has both homicide and gun ownership rates off the charts compared to the rest of the developed world and should never be used for comparison purposes as a result. South Africa (37.0/100,000), Brazil (22.3), Panama (13.3) and Peru (10.4) are some more with huge homicide rates, far above the US even though gun ownership rates are far lower, that make them unsuitable for this discussion even if we (I) don't understand the reason for those rates.
Second is that "correlation = cause". Not sure if I mentioned it before, but...in the case of US school shootings:
Every one (100% correlation) has had a dog living withing 1,000 yards or so. Solution: remove all dogs from within one mile of every school and the shootings will stop.
Not a single episode (100% correlation) has happened with snow on the ground. Solution: install snow makers at every school and keep 6" on the ground at all times.
Foolish, right? Neither one will have any effect at all. But you're using the exact same logic when you compare the anomaly of the US to (some) of the other countries in the world and say "See? More semi-automatic rifles and shotguns cause more (compared to most of the world) mass homicides!". Finding a correlation (dogs, guns) does NOT indicate causality and without causality (dogs, guns) removing those things cannot predict what the results will be. It doesn't matter whether you understand why there is a correlation or not (or why the correlation works for a single country if we disregard the other abnormal countries); it cannot be used to draw conclusions from until causality has been shown. All the rationale in the world cannot override even a single piece of evidence to the contrary.
Finally (getting too long again), some help if you can. I cannot find anything, through several pages of both Google and Bing, listing mass murders by year in the US. Page after page of mass shootings but nothing at all on mass murders. It would likely show nothing but that killers prefer guns, but it might not, too, and should be included in any discussion of "Do guns cause murders". Your limited data, from but 4 countries, says "No", but it is so limited as not to be of much real value, not when a quarter of the data is from the single country with the most gun ownership in the world and the highest rate of whackos determined to kill anyone they can in the world.
Firstly, wilderness, you yourself admit that the data you’ve gathered doesn’t show any correlation between the level of gun ownership and total homicides. It doesn’t prove that higher gun ownership will mean lower homicide rates any more than lower gun ownership would mean less homicide rates. Therefore, it’s obviously not a reliable tool to determine whether tightening gun controls would have any negative or positive impact on homicidal rates.
Secondly, homicide rates are not static from year to year when there are no changes in gun laws. Currently the general trend is downwards, which many experts have contributed to better policing and general social improvements; but even so some years are still higher than the preceding year. Therefore, with small but significant changes to gun laws, such as banning semi-automatics any benefits or otherwise are going to be lost in fluctuating statistics e.g. semi-automatics (as far as I know) tend to be predominantly used for mass murders and therefore only account for a small percentage of overall homicides. So although you cite Australia as proof that banning semi-automatics has the adverse effect you miss the point that by removing them they can no longer be used in mass shootings.
Your proof that bombs are more deadly than guns is flawed. If you look at the terrorism in the UK over the 30 years between the early 1970s and late 1990s the IRA frequently used bombs, yet deaths then (as now when bombs are used) are frequently a lot less than many of the high profile mass shootings that regularly take place in the USA.
To me life is precious, and if anything can be done to save a single life then it’s worth the effort. In that context, not only do you ignore suicides and accidental deaths from guns, but you also refuse to acknowledge that the Las Vegas Music Festival massacre wouldn’t have happened if semi-automatics weren’t available (and those people would still be alive). Your supposition that the killer will have used a bomb instead is just pure speculation.
I assume that in the same vain you are going to dismiss the fact that in 2017 43 people were shot by toddlers under the age of 4 is irrelevant. Children killing themselves and others with guns in the USA are needless deaths that would never have happened if America had tighter gun controls.
The CNN quoted that about 1,300 children die and 5,790 are treated for gunshot wounds annually in America. I don’t know how accurate or reliable those figures are, but there is no denying that children do die in the USA each year because of the liberal gun laws. These are small figures compared to the overall total of homicides and other deaths caused by guns in the USA every year, so they are not going to make any noticeable difference to the homicide rate figures that you so heavily rely on to prove that higher gun ownership doesn’t result in more deaths.
I'm encouraged to see that the great mass of aggressive young adults who assembled in Washington DC, Seattle, Houston, Boston, Los Angeles, Paris France and all around the globe have serious attitudes. These patriots refuse to accept the same old stale, ludicrous and of course deadly arguments from Mr. Trump and his conservatives who just over one year ago, rescinded a law that prevented mentally ill individuals from buying guns, and they could care less about what the NRA, National Rifle Association says or does to continue to flood the streets with lethal guns, especially AR15's and the rest of semis and automatics.
There is no reason for any individual private citizen to own weapons of war unless they have a specific purpose, like enlisted in the military to protect the United States and the 2nd amendment specifically articulates this restriction. Fewer autos on the road fewer accidents and pollution, fewer bicycles on the road fewer injuries, fewer bomb making material available to the public fewer bombs made, fewer guns in the public domain fewer fatal gun catastrophes. Just the simple facts.
Outside of a handful of collectors, there are no "individual private citizens" that legally own "weapons of war". I understand, for instance, that the civil war Gatling gun is popular, although almost impossible to find, let alone purchase.
As far as flooding the streets with lethal guns, you do understand that outside of plastic cap guns, BB guns, pellet guns, paint ball guns and the like that ALL guns are "lethal"? You are aware that neither Trump, "his conservatives" or the NRA sells guns so can't be "flooding the streets" with anything, let alone automatic weapons (weapons of war)?
An assault rifle is a weapon of war. That's why it's called an "assault" rifle.
Quite true. But having a coat of black paint does not make a "weapon of war". No matter how it's spun that way, it is still a simple civilian rifle.
Well actually Mr. Trump and conservatives lick the boots of the NRA which funnels cash toward wacko conservative politicians who advocate gun ownership with zero restrictions or conditions if they could get away with it so yes, Mr. Trump and his crazy right wingers are directly responsible for flooding the streets with guns including assault rifles.
Criminals , contrary to liberal identity politics , DO NOT pay attention to laws do they?
Consider the rise of knife attacks in England ;
Nice one; using percentages in that way without quoting the actual figures makes it look far more serious that it actually is.
Yep, in the absence of guns, knife is the prime choice of weapon in the UK; and in 2017 there were:-
• A grand total of just 215 homicides in the UK where a knife was used
• Which is insignificant compared to the 15,549 homicides in America in 2017 where a gun was used.
To put it in perspective in 2017; 72 times more people were killed in the USA by gun than in the UK by knife e.g. 15,549 divided by 215.
Even taking the size difference in population e.g. UK population 65 million, USA population 325 million (the USA population is 5 times larger than the UK population); gun homicides in the USA far outstrips knife homicides in the UK.
Therefore 72 divided by 5 still means that gun homicides in the USA is 14 times more prevalent (per head of population) than knife homicides in the UK.
The reality is, is that more people are killed in homicides by gun in the USA every 5 days, than people killed in homicides by knife in the UK in a whole year.
Is there a conclusion to be drawn from this? Maybe "Americans are violent"?
Good point Wilderness; what's your thoughts.
I know a lot of Americans are peace loving people; but not living in America I can only form an opinion based on what I see on the News and on what Americans themselves say on Social Media.
Thoughts are all I have. Just wandering, wondering considerations with no conclusions and nothing to back any of them. Questions, but without answers.
America is a young country, only 2 or 4 generations from the wild west where people administered their own justice and defense. Does it matter?
Although moving in that direction, Americans are still more free than most places and do not depend on the nanny state for nearly as much. Does that make us more willing to become judge, jury and executioner?
A huge majority of our violent death cases come from inner cities where people are crammed in like sardines. Still looser than most other industrialized nations, is it too soon too soon to do that to people whose parents had a 1/2 mile walk to the nearest neighbor (see first thought)?
Is the internet, social media, adding to the problem with the ability to rant and rave anonymously, without fear of (possibly physical) retribution?
America is, more than any other nation, a true melting pot of races and ideologies. As most people are most comfortable with their "own kind" does that add to the insanity?
It's ridiculous to assume that any new law or laws is going to cure gun violence , One near exception being a total ban and absolute confiscation AND extraordinary punishments of all future violence related crimes, yet in reality even that would never end gun violence , Why ?, because none of the above is possible in America . Some number of holdouts are always going to be there . Some number of perhaps military or police firearms will come into contact with the criminal element .
Bans , buy backs , doubling down on the punishing of crimes is highly unlikely , In fact extremely unlikely. Liberal public opinion holds that punishment for crimes of any kind doesn't work , incarceration doesn't work , policing of major crimes doesn't work . In the end , the fad of mass killings seems to be an American thing right ? Wrong ! Mass killings have and will continue to happen anywhere at any given time around the world, if not by civilian criminal elements then by military governments , dictators or politically motivated thugs .
It's fairly well proven that gun free zones only direct gun and assault type crimes to those very area's , No matter how the leftist news media twists these statistics , criminal elements flock to "gun free zones " , The two major ideologies in America had sooner except that crime itself is on a downward spiral in the last thirty or so years in America and , however uncomfortably , live with that.
The constitution isn't going to change ,the second amendment isn't going to change , the law enforcement community isn't going to keep up with it , the schools are never going to be much safer than they are now , the construct of a comprehensive mental health system is far , far to distant a dream. The liberal control of our education system isn't likely to change . So what's next ?
So many here continually and unfairly compare America's crime and especially gun issues to other countries , which in itself is ridiculous . Canada although the same land mass has one tenth the population of America , Same with Australia , which has twenty four million people . Continually comparing apples to oranges only shows us that the depth in understanding of crimes and their comparisons is ignored , Comparisons in stats from country to country with completely dissimilar characteristics is thus rendered useless.
Just a few differences in your comparisons ;
-News Media differences
Save lives ;
You guys are shooting at shadows comparing the three countries US,, Canada and Australia , What serious comparisons can be made where population densities vary by such percentage points ? You could compare cities of like populations perhaps , even that isn't fair however when you consider political climates , constitutional DNA , criminal justice types and media representation. It's too much of a "grey area" leading towards facts to compare a nation that has 10% of the US population.
But I suppose anti-second amendment people know that and couldn't care less.
As usual mass killings, no matter what weapon used, will never end , why ? Because solutions based on popular opinion is as shallow as is the understanding of why these mass killings actually happen to begin with. Forum pages everywhere can fill entire encyclopedias with useless debate and all we do is jump from incident to incident , crime to crime , shooting to shooting .
1-Mental health issues -As the primary cause cannot not be recognized soon enough for serious interventions.
2-Prevention - Apath of law enforcement ,mental health , education system, and the general public , cohesive communications between these entities is non existent.
3-Media -Too busy sensationalizing present day conflict to facilitate solution by and of the importance of communication itself.
4-The present day stigma of most mental health causes prevent "see something ,say something" from ever being effective.
5- Identity politics , while focusing on guns alone ; There are dozens of possible weapons for mass killings.
Fill volumes with anti-gun , anti-second amendment all the left wants ; The second amendment is part and parcel the actual DNA of the US constitution . Why do anti-second amendment lovers think that when all gets sifted out , every single time , when a question of 2nd A gets to the SCOTUS - it always protects the original 27 basic words of the 2nd amendment ?
Because the constitutional protections of the second amendment and so guns aren't going anywhere !
Who ever wrote this , intentionally made it so simple to understand .
So I looked up who exactly wrote the second amendment and apparently James Madison didn't write it as some claimed , It came from the earliest recorded common law and state constitutions , So , It isn't just mixed into all of the DNA of today's constitutional law , it was in the earliest founders and settlers of this country before it was even called America . NRA members today and constitutional lawyers and judges of all time know that it cannot be repealed and one of the the biggest and most important reasons , It would create an unsurvivable civil revolution in America , that's probably why every single time it's brought before SCOTUS it's remained completely unhindered .
The above is the perfect example of why politics will never cure a social ailment .
The courts , the legislators , local ,state or federal have never cured a social ailment , they spend too much time talking about it. Mayor Giuliani significantly dropped gun crimes in 1990's NYC in his terms by cracking down , doubling down on enabling law enforcement to stiffen EXISTING law enforcement procedures , his "Broken Windows " policies for one cracking down on first time gun and other crimes thereby significantly limiting second third and fourth time criminal offences .
Don't need new gun laws if we use the old ones.
How to save lives ?
Approximately 41 % of today's gun related crimes are plead down to lesser charges , in Delaware 70 % ,often to no gun charges at all , can we start there ? Of course that doesn't fit the anti-gun anti 2nd amendment rhetoric.
One thing I enjoy about Wilderness responses , He doesn't debate with those who inject false truths into any political debate , from either party .
Congratulations to Deerfield Illinois for taking their first step in curbing gun violence by banning assault weapons. Owners must forfeit their weapons of war by June or incur daily monetary penalties. This is how we begin to rid our streets of dangerous deadly firearms. Serious times call for serious action by we the people to make our communities safer.
long live the young adults part of the massive resistance who are fed up with the NRA and republican politicians who are fostering a climate of gun violence with their radically insane policies:
https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/05/us/deerf … index.html
Oh great honorable Mayor of Deerfield ;
Of course whatever Deerfield Ill.does , don't stop the criminal recidivism , don't limit violent gang activity , don't stop plea bargaining 70-80% percent of arresting gun crimes down to misdemeanors or less , don't give prosecutors more power to incarcerate repeat offenders , don't acknowledge that most killings are by handguns , don't crack down on second ,third or forth offence criminals. Don't try punishing an actual criminal for once and not the law abiding citizens ? No don't do that ,it might actually reduce gun crimes .
Guess what sheepile , this will not reduce gun crimes in Deerfield , but the kiddies will be happy , a city that lets 15 year olds dictate crime legislation is going to continue downhill ,....... Just stating the facts .
I'm not going to respond to your comment in its entirety, but it's a pretty simple concept. The new ban on assault weapons in Deerfield IL will begin to reduce the number of guns on the streets which will in turn reduce the number of catastrophic gun crimes and that's a goal of the powerful young adults who have initiated this massive worldwide revolution against firearm violence, corrupt conservative politicians the NRA and Psycho 'Spanky' Trump.
"March For Our Lives" Massive Powerful & Strong Protests Continue Against the NRA, Corrupt Immoral Conservative Politicians, Republican Con Man Paul Ryan, Porn Actress Adulterer Mr. Trump & Phony Demonically Possessed Preachers like Jerry Falwell Junior who have sold their Souls to the DarkSide - VIVA Students & Young Adults !!
You're not responding because you can't effectively defend the failures of your authorities one , and two Deerfield has a population of what 18,000 people . Probably a total of maybe twenty AR 15's in town ? Yeaa Jake watch the numbers of mass killings change drastically there .......Not!
Score ,Deerfield -0 ----NRA ----1
I'm not sure what you're getting at, but Deerfield IL is a good place to begin the long term removal of guns from our streets creating a safer environment for everyone including nut job NRA board members and some radical republicans who actually think they are entitled to own whatever firearm they wish which of course is nonsense, and it appears as if the young adults have just begun their rumbling revolution against the evils of our oval office stooge and his abominable charlatan preacher supporters like creep Jerry Falwell Junior.
VIVA Students & Young Adults !!
What real life data can you produce to show that removing guns from a society will result in fewer murders? Not just your unsupported opinion, mind you, but historical data from the real world?
What real life data can you produce to show giving everyone an AR-15 will make us all safer? At this point, the students and young adults could care less about NRA talking points and the old boring stale fallacies they spew like all of Spanky Trump's hate speeches, they demand action and they're getting it.
Less guns on the streets, less crimes committed with guns that's just common sense. and the majority still believes in common sense.
You're making the claim; it is not up to me to disprove.
What real life data can you produce to show that removing guns from a society will result in fewer murders? Not just your unsupported opinion, mind you, but historical data from the real world?
Less guns on the streets means less murders committed with guns, it's simple common sense, but it doesn't really matter at this point, the debate is over and Americans are demanding action, not old wives fallacies that the NRA constantly spews.
Anyway, removing more guns from the streets sure ain't gonna' hurt society so it's worth a try. Then, if mass murders start using other items to commit their crimes, we'll start working on making those items more difficult to obtain.
How exactly does one make sense of Obama's policies of THEN promoting the selling of more AR -15's than the entire gun sales industry in record amounts by the way =equaled to a few small towns and cities NOW banning a couple thousand ?
I think I'm going to look up how many there were Pre -Obama compared to post Obama and let you know what net gain today is .
No, no! I didn't ask for your opinion, your "common sense", but for actual historical data showing that your claim is true. I already know what your opinion is, but without supporting evidence it is worthless. (And I didn't ask for a rationale that there will be fewer bodies with bullet holes; I asked for evidence that there will be fewer bodies. A big difference.)
What real life data can you produce to show that removing guns from a society will result in fewer murders? Not just your unsupported opinion, mind you, but historical data from the real world? (Third time of asking - can I assume you have no answer, haven't studied the problem at all and therefore aren't worth a discussion on the matter?)
Yeah, I know Americans are demanding action. Children that haven't learned to think rationally but make conclusions based on their emotions and "common sense" - probably the most uncommon thing there is.
I'll provide you with that data after all assault weapons are turned in and off the streets. Until then, you'll need to use your common sense and accept the fact that these guns are weapons of mass murder and need to be outlawed then collected for destruction.
Sorry, I prefer research and historical data to making things up.
I presume this means you don't have anything to offer. Except your unsupported opinion based on imagination and "common sense". As I said it idoes seem to be one of the most uncommon things around. But if you have nothing but empty opinion to offer I'll leave you be - as I say, I prefer factual data to form conclusions from and if you don't have any then you have nothing of value to me.
That's fine, and the overwhelming majority of Americans prefer a drastic decrease in the amount of guns on our streets which will make our schools and children much safer as they attend class.
The data will be available for all to see after the number of firearms have decreased. How can you have accurate data until the gun reduction goal has been accomplished? Doesn't really make much sense to try and willy nilly predict what will happen until the gun reduction has occurred does it?.
Wonderful. We'll decide whether to take people's rights from them based on popular opinion of people that have no idea what they're talking about and haven't done any more research than you have.
How to get data? I'd personally look at some of the other 195 countries in the world that have already done what you're suggesting and see what happened there. Australia, for instance, took all the semi-automatic rifles (not just the ones painted black) and the existing trend in homicide rates continued the exact same path it was already on. There isn't a single country in the world you can point to and say "See? Every time I compare two countries the one with the lower gun ownership rate has the lower homicide rate, too."
Things like that are available if you're willing to put some effort into it. Or you can just make up a conclusion based on a dislike of guns rather than experience. Works every time...if the goal is to get rid of guns instead of save lives.
But the 'people' don't have a right to own assault rifles so that's not an issue and the young adults by the millions who are demanding action via their gargantuan gun control revolution don't really care about NRA talking points or stale propaganda, they simply demand that guns be removed from our streets so they can attend school in a safer environment.
If you were a teacher would you score your students exams before or after they complete them? You'll never know the score or be able to analyze the data until the test is complete.
The people DO have a right to own "assault rifles " as you call them .
Your entire war on guns is as dead as ever one , and two as ineffective as it always is in short term public hysteria , look at the history , the trends , Your war is changing nothing . Same old B.S.
Horse is right - of course they have a right to own a black hunting rifle. The people have a right to do or own anything they want that doesn't hurt someone else. One of the biggest problems we face today as a nation is the number of people that would limit others simply because they don't like what some is doing; if I don't want to do it, you can't either. Whether it be abortion, gay marriage or owning a gun when it is banned simply because a majority don't like it they have crossed the line between freedom and unnecessary control.
And that's exactly where you and those children stand; "I don't like guns so you can't have one". No more reason than you don't like it. Sorry, but that's not nearly enough, IMO, to deny people what they want - our free nation isn't about controlling what other people can do. It's about allowing the freedom to do whatever they want.
You can make all the claims you want to - thousands of them if you choose to do so - but until you can show a high probability that removing guns will make us safer not a single one of those claims holds any water at all. You say you can't do that, so your claims of safety aren't worth the seconds to listen to them.
So this is what scares non-gun owners so much the mage of the "Assault weapons "?
No difference from the first to the second , unless illegally and internally altered .
The second one has a pistol grip, a barrel shroud and perhaps a folding stock. These things make it far more deadly, and are what make it used by military forces everywhere () and thus the term. Oh, and it's painted black - a requirement of every army in the world as soldiers aren't smart enough to use black spray paint on the first one.
Wilderness , Automatic Assault Weapons ,I love the hysteria that comes from the left , assault weapons being something new and all right .......I mean Right ?..........:-]
Some people just need to get over themselves ?
That's all true Wilderness .... how in the world they compare Canada or Australia for instance , my two favorites, to America is beyond understanding . I mean the best anyone can do is compare similar cities for statistics and even that is pretty sketchy given differing legal systems , policing , trials differences , etc. For instance to compare Australia with 10 % of America 's population is just plain wrong.
Mass killings by other choices than firearms is far more effective and less studied to date by statistics than firearms I'm sure no matter who says differently .
-The Boston bombing
-Explosive vests in the middle east
-You mentioned bio weapons
When insanity choses to harm the great amounts of people possible it will succeed by almost whatever means chosen , You mention bio-chems. That is one choice we haven't even seriously seen yet and when we do it will make a firearm crime look like a jay walking charge.
Two things just announced !
One South Carolina legislators just filed legislative bill to secede from the U.S. IF the federal government messes with the second Amendment .
Two, Deerfield Ill. is Now being sued in courts by gun at least two rights groups to fight their illegal assault weapon ban . Ready to pay the attorneys bills residents ?
"....and the overwhelming majority of Americans prefer...." Citation requested, and one from a legitimate source.
"...which will make our schools and children much safer as they..." Citation requested, and from a legitimate source.
"...after the number of firearms have decreased." What are you smoking, can I have some?
The Gatling gun circa 1861 , more of an" dangerous assault weapon" than the AR -15 today !
Gotta getcha one .
"Pawn Stars" Rick tried to buy one once. He didn't get it - as I remember the price was in the hundreds of thousands.
But it was in great shape and they got to shoot it to boot.
(I see one is for sale on the 'net for only $124,000, but it is only a .45 caliber, not the .58, and does not have the original stand. Looks kind of scarred and rusty, too.)
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