Gun violence

Photo Of The Day

A coloured version of this famous photo by Shorpy. This vest weighed 11 lb (5.0 kg), fit close to the body, and was considered more comfortable. Credit to: Zuzahin.

A coloured version of this famous photo by Shorpy. This vest weighed 11 lb (5.0 kg), fit close to the body, and was considered more comfortable. Credit to: Zuzahin.

Bulletproof Photo Craze

Men Shot Each Other all the Time, it Seems, for Publicity Photos in the 1920s

A Brief History of Bulletproof Vests

On March 15, 1922, a news photographer captured this image of Leo Krause getting shot at close range near Carnegie Hall. Krause wasn’t a murder victim, though—he was a salesman who travelled the world demonstrating the death-defying superpowers that his patented bulletproof vest gave him. This was one of the first of more than 4,000 bullets he’d later estimate he’d been shot with in his 27-year career. And he knew that arresting images like this were the key to more sales.

Swaths of vest salesmen hawked their wares with such proto-viral stunts. Prohibition-era mobsters and gangsters were increasingly turning to gun violence, and newspapers regularly printed photos of tests of bulletproof clothing and bulletproof glass.

But the original story of the bulletproof vest is far more complicated than readers at the time knew, and it was an image in a popular magazine that started the deception.

The February 15th, 1902, edition of Scientific American arrived bearing great news: ingenious inventor Jan Szczepanik, often referred to in the press as the Polish Edison, had recently unveiled the first “bullet and dagger-proof waist coat” out of tightly wound silk. As a result, the recent plague of assassination attempts against Presidents and Monarchs would no longer be as deadly. (“Such an effect would indeed be most beneficial,” the magazine drily noted.) The article went on to describe the vest’s effectiveness:

“Highly impressive and dramatic are the firing tests upon a live person, who, in the consciousness of his invulnerability, calmly and without moving a muscle exposes his breast, protected by the wonderful silk fabric, to the otherwise death-dealing bullets…The bullets rebound from the vest like hailstones from iron armor and drop to the ground with the point flattened.”

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Bob Harvey is an idiot

Bob Harvey, just back from troughing it up in Paris at our expense, has decided to start lobbying for tougher gun laws.

New Zealand needs tighter controls on gun ownership to prevent mass shootings like the Paris terror attacks, a former West Auckland mayor says.

Sir Bob Harvey, who was mayor of Waitakere City from 1992 to 2010, believes gun violence will “come like a bloody avalanche” to New Zealand if the Government doesn’t do more to control who can own firearms.

He was recently in Paris to attend the UN climate talks and was “deeply, deeply traumatised” by the memorials to the victims of the November attacks.

“The reality of it, to be there, just shatters you,” he said. “You think, how far away are we from this?”

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Gun violence decreasing…except in gun free zones

gunfree

Breitbart reports on gun violence, which is dropping everywhere except in gun free zones.

On December 3, The Washington Post reported that gun crime has been on the decline for about 20 years, except for high-profile shootings in gun-free zones; WaPo claims those shootings are on the increase.

According to WaPo, “In 1993, there were seven homicides by firearm for every 100,000 Americans. … By 2013, that figure had fallen by nearly half, to 3.6 [per 100,000].”

Breitbart News previously pointed to this decline and explained it correlated with a massive increase in privately owned firearms over the same period of time. For example,Congressional Research Service showed that the number of privately owned firearms increased from 192 million in 1994 to 310 million in 2009. And record background checks under Obama make it easy to see how tens of millions more privately owned guns have found their way into Americans’ hands since 2009.

So gun ownership increased for 20 years, but “gun homicides” decreased–except in gun free zones.   Read more »

Police Association pushing for more protection for cops, but what about us?

Greg O’Connor of the Police Association is highlighting that criminals appear to have increased access to guns.

Firearms have become “ridiculously easy” for offenders to get their hands on and police are being confronted almost daily by gun-wielding criminals, the Police Association says.

The union is calling for an official police inquiry into where the guns are coming from and says the issue has been badly neglected by the top brass.

The call comes days after police were shot at as they pursued a pair of alleged offenders in West Auckland, and follows a spate of incidents where other police were fired on.

There have also been numerous instances in which firearms were aimed at the public, including a Hamilton diary owner who wrestled a gun from a would-be-robber during a dramatic encounter in August, and an armed holdup of a Mangere service station in September in which the offender fired a shot.

“It has become ridiculously easy for… criminals to get firearms. The evidence is apparent as police are stumbling across firearms and becoming involved in armed incidents on a daily basis,” said association president Greg O’Connor.

“Contrary to police assurances that armed incidents are ‘rare’, hardly a week goes by that police are not coming into contact with illegal firearms in the hands of offenders.

“A steady stream of information is coming in from cops on the street. They say there is no doubt that the number of weapons out there is on the increase and gun-toting crimes are becoming the rule rather than the exception… The big question is – where and how are they getting them?”

In the latest edition of association magazine, Police News, Mr O’Connor said firearms in the wrong hands was “an additional risk that police don’t need”.

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Never bet against the NRA

The NRA is one of the most effective lobbying and political movements in modern history. I am a member for two reasons, the first is to assist them in protecting the rights of gun owners and secondly to learn how they campaign.

Politicians though to try to take them one and they always fail.

After the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, many in the American media insisted that the tragedy should prompt a “conversation about gun control.” These articles were written as if there had never been such a conversation. In fact, the issue had been debated for decades. Given the results,I argued, there was no reason to presume that a new conversation would end in more gun control.

That conversation has now come and gone. The result?  Read more »

Everything you ever wanted to know about gun violence in America

The Atlantic has put together some proper facts and statistics about “gun violence” in America. I think you will be surprised, particularly those of you like the dick Piers Morgan who call for assault rifle bans just how few deaths are caused byt people armed with assault rifles:

How much gun violence is there in the U.S.?

There were 8,583 homicides by firearms in 2011, out of 12,664 homicides total, according to the FBI. This means that more than two-thirds of homicides involve a firearm. 6,220 of those homicides by firearm (72%) are known to have involved a handgun.

It’s worth noting that violent crime rates of all types have been steadily decreasing since the early 1990s. No one is quite sure what is causing this decrease, though there are many theories, ranging from tighter gun control laws to more innovative policing and changes in the drug market. Whatever the cause of this decline, America still has a homicide rate of 4.7 murders per 100,000 people, which is one of the highest of all developed countries (see: international comparison).

Gun violence also affects more than its victims. In areas where it is prevalent, just the threat of violence makes neighborhoods poorer. It’s very difficult to quantify the total harm caused by gun violence, but by asking many people how much they would pay to avoid this threat — a technique called contingent valuation — researchers have estimated a cost to American society of $100 billion dollars.

Guns are also involved in suicides and accidents. 19,392 of 38,264 suicides in 2010 involved a gun (50%), according to the CDC. There were 606 firearm-related accidents in the same year — about 5% of the number of intentional gun deaths.

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Obama is the best gun salesman ever, Ctd

Barack Obama has done more for the gun industry than any subsidies have …every time he opens his gob and talks gun control the general public rushes out and buys even more guns. I suppose he could claim it is his way of boosting the economy pre-Christmas…watch him claim success as the next economic indicators come in and show retail sales pre-Christmas rocketed.

Call it the law of unintended consequences. The more our public officials — from President Obama on down — talk about gun control and a possible ban on high-powered assault-type weapons, the faster the things are flying off the shelves.

Yes, even here in uber-liberal Massachusetts gun shops are doing a land office business in precisely the same gun used to slaughter 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The owner of the Northeast Trading Co. in North Attleboro told the Herald he sold out of the AR-15s, including a shipment of seven Bushmasters, Tuesday in four hours. The owner of C&F Guns in Middleboro reported that the 30 assault rifles he had in stock on Tuesday were gone by Wednesday — yes, that would be the day the president announced his task force and vowed to combat the “epidemic of gun violence that plagues” the country.

 

Gun Control alone won’t work

Charles Krauthammer explains why gun control alone won’t work:

Every mass shooting has three elements: the killer, the weapon and the cultural climate. As soon as the shooting stops, partisans immediately pick their preferred root cause with corresponding pet panacea. Names are hurled, scapegoats paraded, prejudices vented. The argument goes nowhere.

It goes nowhere because no politician has the stones to actually call out American society for their ills. Krauthammer examines the role of gun control:

(1) The Weapon

Within hours of last week’s Newtown, Conn., massacre, the focus was the weapon and the demand was for new gun laws. Several prominent pro-gun Democrats remorsefully professed new openness to gun control. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is introducing a new assault weapons ban. And the president emphasized guns and ammo above all else in announcing the creation of a new task force.

I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania studycommissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.

Feinstein’s law, for example, would exempt 900 weapons. And that’s the least of the loopholes. Even the guns that are banned can be made legal with simple, minor modifications.

Most fatal, however, is the grandfathering of existing weapons and magazines. That’s one of the reasons the ’94 law failed. At the time, there were 1.5 million assault weapons in circulation and 25 million large-capacity (i.e., more than 10 bullets) magazines. A reservoir that immense can take 100 years to draw down.

Studies show gun control doesn’t work, and the logistics preclude grandfathering as a solution. What about the nutters themselves?

(2) The Killer

Monsters shall always be with us, but in earlier days they did not roam free. As a psychiatrist in Massachusetts in the 1970s, I committed people — often right out of the emergency room — as a danger to themselves or to others. I never did so lightly, but I labored under none of the crushing bureaucratic and legal constraints that make involuntary commitment infinitely more difficult today.

Why do you think we have so many homeless? Destitution? Poverty has declinedsince the 1950s. The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill. In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.

A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers. Just about everyone around Tucson shooter Jared Loughner sensed he was mentally ill and dangerous. But in effect, he had to kill before he could be put away — and (forcibly) treated.

Random mass killings were three times more common in the 2000s than in the 1980s, when gun laws were actually weaker. Yet a 2011 University of California at Berkeley study found that states with strong civil commitment laws have about a one-third lower homicide rate.

Locking the nutters up would work but for the civil liberties weirdos.

(3) The Culture

We live in an entertainment culture soaked in graphic, often sadistic, violence. Older folks find themselves stunned by what a desensitized youth finds routine, often amusing. It’s not just movies. Young men sit for hours pulling video-game triggers, mowing down human beings en masse without pain or consequence. And we profess shock when a small cadre of unstable, deeply deranged, dangerously isolated young men go out and enact the overlearned narrative.

That is a pretty good summary of the issues, and why the focus on gun control alone won;t stop the shootings.

If we’re serious about curtailing future Columbines and Newtowns, everything — guns, commitment, culture — must be on the table. It’s not hard for President Obama to call out the NRA. But will he call out the ACLU? And will he call out his Hollywood friends?

The irony is that over the last 30 years, the U.S. homicide rate has declined by 50 percent. Gun murders as well. We’re living not through an epidemic of gun violence but through a historic decline.

Except for these unfathomable mass murders. But these are infinitely more difficult to prevent. While law deters the rational, it has far less effect on the psychotic. The best we can do is to try to detain them, disarm them and discourage “entertainment” that can intensify already murderous impulses.

But there’s a cost. Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.

Interesting to know that the homicide has decreased as guns have increased…funny that…but then again it isn’t so funny if you know and understand that of you act like a prick in a society where guns are prevalent then you might just get capped for your troubles.

Chart of the Day

There is a great deal of talk about America being “awash with guns” but is this true?

Well no it’s not:

7. Gun ownership in the United States is declining overall.

“For all the attention given to America’s culture of guns, ownership of firearms is at or near all-time lows,” writes political scientist Patrick Egan. The decline is most evident on the General Social Survey, though it also shows up on polling from Gallup, as you can see on this graph:
gun-ownership-declining1

The bottom line, Egan writes, is that “long-term trends suggest that we are in fact currently experiencing a waning culture of guns and violence in the United States. “

Now you have the interesting case of the incidences of gun crime rising as gun ownership falls…riddle that one out. It’s like the reverse of climate change. Temperatures rise because of CO2 so we need to reduce Co2…or so the liberals will tell us.

In this case gun ownership is declining and mass killings are increasing…could the solution be the same as for global wamring…increasing gun ownership will reduce mass killings.

They will argue the exact opposite…and yet the empirical, scientific evidence is there before you…gun ownership is dropping…you could say the science is settled.