Friday, January 14, 2011

Tucson debate
Limiting clip size won’t lower crime -- if only criminals get higher clips, they have an advantage.

    • The "opinion", which mostly cited anecdotal evidence, was in the NYT. But so were several others, on the other side of this debate. I liked the position by James Fox, "More Guns Means More Guns" at which seems more reasonable from more of an authority.

    • Thanks for mentioning that, Jim. Armed resistance may not dissuade criminals (tho overwhelming statistics say it does--Fox must be very selective to deny that), but the writer also conveniently fails to mention one of the heroes was armed when he made the tackle. Perhaps the fact he was armed gave him more confidence to stop further killings. More reprehensible is Fox's implication that there was something wrong with non-law enforcement being involved in maintaining law and order: "it wasn't clear which one was the perpetrator among those struggling for control." Sorry no uniformed cops were there, so "we the people" did the job. Obviously this kind of thinking is utilized by gun control advocates. Fox did rightly note the importance of Luby's Cafeteria and that AZ has ironically (in name) "liberal" gun laws. I frequent that store with my children, and I'm glad to have the option of defending myself and them...

      • I could relate to John Cory's comment at that "nothing protects innocent life like a mob of armed citizens shooting back and forth at one another." That image is particularly poignant right now here in Seattle where a well trained police officer has been accused of unjustly shooting and killing a street person. If a well trained police officer can't always make the right decision, I'm not sure the help of several other armed citizens would help.

      • Jim, that's sheer "Wild West" propaganda. Please let me know where that has occurred since Florida's 2005 passing of the Castle Doctrine and consequent exponentially increasing gun sales. No, instead we see plummeting of violent crime rates. We have a saying: "When seconds count, police are only minutes away." For all the violent crime reported in the mainstream media, too bad they don't report the crimes which are stopped by armed citizens. Of course no news is good news. I encourage you to peruse "The Armed Citizen" for a few months and let me know what you think of this topic:
        about an hour ago
      • I did do a little independent research to try and verify some stats prepared by the Violence Policy Center at What I found was that it's a supercharged topic and there is very little rational thought or reliable statistics on either side. No doubt there are some real "facts" but I haven't found any I trust yet. Meanwhile I do trust my own experiences based on my third world travels, life in inner city neighborhoods, work with delinquent youth and my left wing anti war past. I have found that guns are an attractive nuisance - more likely to be involved in suicides and accidents than helpful in protecting against assault or home invasion. And as for the Second Amendment goes, I agree with the intent but it's way out of date. With my pistol or shotgun I wouldn't stand a chance defending against an oppressive government armed with assault rifles, infrared detection and long range listening devices backed up with helicopter gun ships and drone missiles. I'd be more likely to be shot if I did have a gun.
      • about an hour ago

        Jim, it could be argued that 3rd world countries became that way at least in part via the disarming of the populace: thus the overt intent of our 2nd Amendment. However, what is not stated, but found in innumerable other accounts by the founding fathers—as well as “common sense” until late-20th Century America--is the indisputable right to defend oneself and responsibility to defend one's family. This is how I see this argument: one either believes we the people are sheep under the protection of the government-shepherd, or we are responsible for ourselves and the government is our servant. You likely see that as a false do you see our relationship vis a vis the gov't?
        about an hour ago

      • Maybe like you, Clint, I see the relationship between the people and the government as adversarial. I'd go a step farther and argue that it's even worse than that - it's an adversarial relationship between the people and the combined power of the government doing the bidding of the corporations. That's by definition, fascism.

        So, for me owning guns or not is a matter of tactics. Americans still believe in fairness and we have a government with the trappings, if not always the reality, of rule of law. And we have a media which, while increasingly subjective and polarized, at least in theory shines the light and keeps a check on corporate greed and overreaching government.

        In Somalia or Afghanistan, where guns are plentiful and government corrupt and rule of law non-existent, owning a gun might be your only defense. You would still be up against armed bands out to kill you and it might, even in that situation, be more effective to work toward peace, disarmament and an effective government as is being attempted now in Sudan. By the way your premise that "3rd world countries became that way at least in part via the disarming of the populace" is just not consistent with the facts.

        In America we are not badly off yet. We still do, as I say, have the trappings, if not the reality, of rule of law. I think a non-violent approach modeled after Gandhi or MLK would be far more effective and successful than arming ourselves and waiting for the SS comes to get us.

        On a much more personal level I just can't imagine who I would shoot. As I've said, I would probably not be ready and would not be able to defend myself against an armed and awake burglar or attacker. I'd be better off with a whistle, mace and a cell phone or asking the attacker if his mother knew what he was doing. Would-be attackers are likely to be kids on drugs or people desperate about something. They might be pretty much like some members of our own families or the families of people we know. I don't want to kill them.

        And to defend against the government or some real but amorphous and intangible corporate enemy? Just who do I shoot? The town cop? The Exxon gas station attendant? I am not in to being a sheep but I don't think I can realistically protect myself from my government with a gun. It would be better to persuade, organize, write articles and support the people when and where they are attacked and abused.
        about an hour ago

      • Jim, I have other friends who also think guns should not be in the hands of non-law enforcement, and they too would rather use a cell phone or mace than a firearm to defend themselves. I just can't agree in this post-modern concept. If myfamily is attacked with lethal force, it's my responsibility at least to try to save them, right now. I also don't agree with the adversarial relationship concept about the government. Call me an idealist: I still believe in positive change, through initiative, referendum, recall, elections, etc. If I didn't think it was the best on earth, believe me brother, I'd leave. I don't know about 2nd Amendment rights in Somalia and Sudan, but I sure wouldn't want to move there, and this is hard to ignore:

        Gandhi: "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn."

        "As we have seen, the first public expression of disenchantment with nonviolence arose around the question of "self-defense." In a sense this is a false issue, for the right to defend one's home and one's person when attacked has been guaranteed through the ages by common law." Martin Luther King, Jr

        And Never Forget April 19, 2011 will be the 68th anniversary of the final battle of the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto uprising.

        "In early April, German soldiers began rounding up Jews for their final shipment to work camps. On April 19th, Passover eve, a group of less than 20 of them began fighting back, by killing a single German soldier, stealing his gun, and killing another, then another, and so on until perhaps 1000 men were armed and fighting back against the entire German army. An entire brigade worth of Germans were killed, along with 6,000 of the approximately 7000 Jews resident in the Ghetto. It ended on May 16th in a massacre by poison gas. The last of the fighters were trapped in a few buildings, and some sewer tunnels. They flooded the tunnels with gas, and then went in and exterminated all but a few who they saved for show trials. 6,000 died on their feet, rather than on their knees.

        • Clint, Anyone can write anything on facebook or the Internet. Your information about Gandhi and MLK and others is twisted or out of context at best and seems to come from the website, "" Jews for the Preservation of FirearmsOwnership (JPFO) which is a 4,000 member group dedicated to the preservation of gun rights and founded by former firearms dealer Aaron S. Zelman. I've read history more broadly from a variety of view points, especially the history of India and China and I don't buy the premise that disarming the population leads to genocide. Look at England.
          Sunday at 11:32am ·

        • Jim, this is backed up by facts...According to the BBC News, handgun crime in the United Kingdom rose by 40% in the two years after it passed its draconian gun ban in 1997. "Handgun crime 'up' despite ban," BBC News Online (July 16, 2001) at England is a prime example of how crime has increased after implementing gun control. For example, the original Pistols Act of 1903 did not stop murders from increasing on the island. The number of murders in England was 68 percent higher the year after the ban's enactment (1904) as opposed to the year before (1902). (Greenwood, supra note 1.) This was not an aberration, as almost seven decades later, firearms crimes in the U.K. were still on the rise: the number of cases where firearms were used or carried in a crime skyrocketed almost 1,000 percent from 1946 through 1969. (Greenwood, supra note 1 at 158.) And by 1996, the murder rate in England was 132 percent higher than it had been before the original gun ban of 1903 was enacted. (Compare Greenwood, supra note 1, with Bureau of Justice Statistics, Crime and Justice in the United States and in England and Wales, 1981-96, Bureau of Justice Statistics, October 1998).
          "You are more likely to be mugged in England than in the United States," stated the Reuters news agency in summarizing the study. "The rate of robbery is now 1.4 times higher in England and Wales than in the United States, and the British burglary rate is nearly double America's."6 The murder rate in the United States is reportedly higher than in England, but according to the DOJ study, "the difference between the [murder rates in the] two countries has narrowed over the past 16 years."
          Monday at 9:17am ·

        • From the article linked above, uncanny and timely info for the US today: "A new study suggests the use of handguns in crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.
          The research, commissioned by the Countryside Alliance's ...See More
          Monday at 9:21am ·

        • It's more of a point of view than a fact, Cllint. The Countryside Alliance's Campaign for Shooting clearly is a pro-gun lobby and the "other side" says it's more complicated than that and the reason for the increase in crime is illegal international gun sales that criminals, but not law abiding citizens, take advantage of. So, once you regulate guns it's easier for police to identify and regulate criminals but the crime rate might take a while to drop.

          Crime and gun control really isn't my issue. I just don't need to have a gun because I think I'm safer without one. But I'd be interested in whether crime with a gun went up or down in Chicago and New York after their strict gun laws were overturned recently - as reported by a legitimate news source like the NYT, Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post that practices "fact verification".
          Monday at 11:08am ·

        • Will you accept the Washington Times?

          "According to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, more guns in homes would cause more violent crime.

          "This has never been the case. Local politicians enthusiastically embraced the 1977 handgun ban predicting it would make Washington a safe place by dramatically reducing murder rates. But they were as wrong three decades ago as they are now.

          "A telling story is illustrated by the murder numbers since the handgun ban and gun-lock bans were struck down. Between 2008 and 2009, the FBI's preliminary numbers indicate that murders fell nationally by 10 percent and by about 8 percent in cities that have between 500,000 and 999,999 people. Washington's population is about 590,000. During that same period of time, murders in the District fell by an astounding 25 percent, dropping from 186 to 140. The city only started allowing its citizens to own handguns for defense again in late 2008.

          "Few who lived in Washington during the 1970s can forget the upswing in crime that started right after the ban was originally passed. In the five years before the 1977 ban, the murder rate fell from 37 to 27 murders per 100,000. In the five years after the gun ban went into effect, the murder rate rose back up to 35. One fact is particularly hard to ignore: D.C.'s murder rate fluctuated after 1976 but only once fell below what it was in 1976 before the ban. That aberration happened years later, in 1985.

          "This correlation between the D.C. gun ban and diminished safety was not a coincidence. Look at the Windy City. Immediately after Chicago banned handguns in 1982, the murder rate, which had been falling almost continually for a decade, started to rise. Chicago's murder rate rose relative to other large cities as well. The phenomenon of higher murder rates after gun bans are passed is not just limited to the United States. Every single time a country has passed a gun ban, its murder rate soared."
          Monday at 11:55am ·

        • Chicago gun deaths are rising and Mayor Daily and the police want tighter gun control according to the Christian Science Monitor at -

          The solution, Daley says, is to continue pressing state and federal courts to tighten restrictions on gun ownership – and to uphold the city’s ban on handguns and assault weapons.
          “This is all about guns, and that’s why the crusade is on,”

          And in Baltimore "Targeting guns to reduce violent crime" at

          I get the impression that the police and elected officials want gun control while the NRA doesn't.

          Reading through these articles, it's clear to me that it's not safe to be on the streets in Chicago and Baltimore. One gang member who shot a 20 month old girl in Chicago said he was aiming at her father, not the girl.
          Monday at 12:46pm ·

        • I agree with your conclusion: don't live in those cities. It's clear that when guns are criminalized, only criminals have guns (and law enforcement, who can't be in all places at all times to defend you). Too bad Daley's political opinion runs counter to the facts.
          Monday at 2:53p

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