Gun violence

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.

Read more »

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.