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  1. #31
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    OTOH, when Kennesaw, GA required by law that all heads of household (with some exceptions) own a gun, crimes against persons decreased by 74% the first year, and by another 45% the next year.

    I know it's a trite bumper sticker, but when you outlaw something, then only outlaws have it. People who want guns to do criminal behavior will always find them. So when you outlaw guns, you don't solve a thing, you simply keep law-abiding citizens from having them.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojohaligo View Post
    Regardless of my opinion here - if that's true then the US would have lower rates per capita for muggings and stranger rapes compared to countries where people are carrying less guns. Do they? Seriously.
    There are MANY differences between countries, rendering comparisons of that sort basically irrelevant. The US has greater social and ecconomic diversity than most countries. We have a different history and culture. We're a different people. Those differences matter.

    Switzerland has the 4th highest per capita gun ownership in the world. Much higher than New York City (which isn't an unreasonable comparison, size wise). In 2006 (most recent year I know) the whole country had about 34 homicides involving guns...fewer than involving edged weapons. What is different, besides Switzerland having fewer people and more guns?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanieL View Post
    I know it's a trite bumper sticker, but when you outlaw something, then only outlaws have it. People who want guns to do criminal behavior will always find them. So when you outlaw guns, you don't solve a thing, you simply keep law-abiding citizens from having them.
    i think this is true. outlawing guns wouldn't do a ton to stop violence. but, in spite of your other statistic, i don't think arming everyone else is the best route to ending gun violence. i think we just need to stop making handguns. legal or illegal doesn't matter if new weapons aren't available except in extremely controlled environments (police, military). hunting rifles and shotguns provide the same level of protection for a person's home, but don't create as many incidental deaths.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    i think this is true. outlawing guns wouldn't do a ton to stop violence. but, in spite of your other statistic, i don't think arming everyone else is the best route to ending gun violence. i think we just need to stop making handguns. legal or illegal doesn't matter if new weapons aren't available except in extremely controlled environments (police, military). hunting rifles and shotguns provide the same level of protection for a person's home, but don't create as many incidental deaths.
    That doesn't work. Handguns are very simple mechanical devices. They can be made with hand tools. People do this today. Even if you totally disregard the problems with the idea of blaming a device (handgun) for a subset of the actions taken with the device, prohibition just doesn't work.

    Governments can't keep people from making liquor, or drugs, or fatty food... how could government possibly keep people from making guns?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him View Post
    That doesn't work. Handguns are very simple mechanical devices. They can be made with hand tools. People do this today. Even if you totally disregard the problems with the idea of blaming a device (handgun) for a subset of the actions taken with the device, prohibition just doesn't work.

    Governments can't keep people from making liquor, or drugs, or fatty food... how could government possibly keep people from making guns?
    i'm sure a handgun is a fairly simple thing to make. the government can't, and shouldn't, do anything to prevent that. but, making a dozen handguns to sell in every walmart across the country is something that can be restricted.

    like i said before, i don't think there is an easy or obvious solution. if i had one that nobody thought of before, i'm pretty sure i would be president right now. but even if i was, i still think it's better to shift the mentality around handguns before shifting the policy. the problem is, that's an incredibly tall order. it starts with a dialogue. unfortunately, not everybody wants to contribute, and even fewer want to listen.

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    Here's what it comes down to, from my perspective:

    People are dangerous.

    Some people are predisposed to be even more dangerous. This is a touchy topic but consider the MAO-A gene issue ... long story short: People with a variation on this gene AND exposure to violence as children are statistically significantly more likely to be convicted of (and by implication commit) violent crime. Children without both of those factors are MUCH less likely to be criminally violent. Monoamine oxidase A - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Commercially, professionally, built Guns really aren't dangerous. A gun is just an object, and commercial guns are designed to be very safe objects all things considered. I would argue that a glass bowl is more dangerous than a gun.

    On the other hand, home-made guns are notoriously chancy devices. They blow up, injuring the owner. They fail to operate, getting the owner into trouble, they just aren't very good.

    So what's the right thing to do? Whose interests are most important?

    Personally, I think the interests of people who haven't done anything wrong are most important. That would be law-abiding gun owners AND people regardless of how their genes are expressed. As such, I think we have an obligation to take on some extra risk in order to ensure that we aren't harming those people unfairly. That risk mostly comes in the form of accepting that infelicitous MAO-A expression may lead to unfortunate results. That's just how it is, and I wouldn't participate in or countenance any solution to that problem (whether eugenic or gene-therapy based). At the same time, I wouldn't expose gun owners to lower quality guns (just as I wouldn't choose to expose recreational drinkers to unknown-quality moonshine) on the off chance that it might lower the odds of someone choosing a gun as the tool for their violent rampage. After all, you aren't going to stop the expression, just change its form (and cars are MUCH more capable of harm than guns).

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    I think there's also the issue of what I call, "Daddy government." IOW, whenever a law has to be made that controls an object or substance, rather than behavior, we've suspended our rights as thinking adults and handed them over to (of all things) politicians.

    Open container laws, drug laws, prostitution laws - all laws that demonize things while diminishing our ability to think for ourselves and control our own behavior.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him View Post
    There are MANY differences between countries, rendering comparisons of that sort basically irrelevant. The US has greater social and ecconomic diversity than most countries. We have a different history and culture. We're a different people. Those differences matter.

    Switzerland has the 4th highest per capita gun ownership in the world. Much higher than New York City (which isn't an unreasonable comparison, size wise). In 2006 (most recent year I know) the whole country had about 34 homicides involving guns...fewer than involving edged weapons. What is different, besides Switzerland having fewer people and more guns?
    That's a good point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him View Post
    Personally, I think the interests of people who haven't done anything wrong are most important. That would be law-abiding gun owners AND people regardless of how their genes are expressed. As such, I think we have an obligation to take on some extra risk in order to ensure that we aren't harming those people unfairly.
    that's a good point.

    i imagine a lot of people can get behind the idea of access for those law-abiding citizens. it's the access that the law-breaking citizens have that causes most people trouble. or, maybe through better education, minds can change...get us little more like switzerland, from your earlier post.

  10. #40
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    Here's my whole thing with this topic:

    No matter how you feel about guns, the absolute bottom line is that they're not going away. It's logistically impossible. There's one way, and one way only to get rid of them, and that is via forced, door-to-door, totalitarian confiscation. And even that most likely wouldn't do it. And as soon as that starts, we're no longer America.

    So we need education and personal responsibility. Period. There's absolutely no other way to deal with it.

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